This eight-acre garden is the result of a partnership of the Stephen F. Austin State University horticulture program and members of the Nacogdoches community, nurtured by several local families who believe beautiful gardens are an important part of the education process. The garden was developed as a project of the SFA Mast Arboretum, and was begun in response to the wishes of Nacogdoches residents Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Mast, Jr. that the university beautify its eastern entrance. Construction began in an overgrown loblolly pine forest in winter 1997 and most plantings were completed 5 years later. Today, the garden contains 46 planting beds, 1.25 miles of universally accessible trails, and 50 benches. The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is a highlight of the Nacogdoches Azalea Trail, now in its 10th year. Special events each March include guided tours during azalea season, an annual Azalea Symposium, and a Little Miss Princess Tea Party.

We stopped here and the late cold snap had the Azaleas still blooming in mid-April when they would normally be all gone.  We also found some Camilias blooming.  I’ve been here before, but never noticed the artwork.

"George Tabor" a pale pink and lilac azalea

“George Tabor” a pale pink and lilac azalea

Sunrise Azalea

Sunrise Azalea






While out in Carthage this past weekend we had the opportunity to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The curator, Rhonda, gave us a personal tour and answered all our questions.  She was great!  Here are just a few of the displays, if you are ever out in East Texas, stop by and tell Rhonda we sent you!


A whole flock of these were here getting a drink today.  It was amazing to watch them come in.  Wish I’d gotten a better picture.  I assume they are headed north for the summer.

This was our first time to visit Padre Island.


This is the Visitor’s Center and the Gift Shop.


Plastic replica of the turtles that come here to lay their eggs.


One of the walkways down to the beach.


Where the bricks end and the sand begins.


Visitor’s Center from the beach side.


Huge flock of Pelicans.  They flew over several times.


View of the surf as the tide was out.


One of several dead blow fish left up on the sand.


Tree out in the water.


The picture doesn’t do the butterfly shells justice.  They were very pretty pinks, purple and blue.


No trip to the beach is complete without the gulls on the posts.


Back in town we stopped at the t-shirt “Castle”


We have just returned from a four day road trip to South Texas and I am trying to get caught up.  I really should have kept a running log, because it is very hard to keep all our activities straight.  While going through San Antonio we detoured to visit this Mission.  We had been there before, but it is a really nice place so we used it as a “rest break” from sitting in the car.


This is the entrance.  The Visitor’s Center was open so we just circled the area.




The tree below has a limb with a huge boil or something on it.  Behind the tree are some Yucca’s blooming.


There didn’t appear to be any way to get down to the bridge.


They need to do something to preserve these beautiful doors.


Inside the Mission.




We went out and wandered around the wetlands today after work. It was 72 and breezy. We didn’t see many birds and no other wildlife although the signs say you could see beaver, deer, etc.

The walk started at the information center, which was already closed for the day.


The walk is on regular roads that circle the three marshes.


I think they are pumping water into the marshes from the river nearby.


The cattails are beginning to turn to fluff.


Not sure where this bridge goes to, the instructions say stay on the road.


We detoured off the road in a couple places to check out the bird viewing huts.

DSCF7351 DSCF7353

This is just a view of the marsh.


We detoured out onto the pontoon bridge too.


Sample of the signs they have posted.



Cruise night is back.  There wasn’t one in Dec, Jan or Feb.  From now thru November there will be a Cruise Night the first Saturday of each month at the Church of the Open Door in Bellmead.  It is the place to be to see a variety of cool vehicles.  If you own such a vehicle you should bring it out.  BIG 95 KBGO furnishes great oldies music.  There was  a vender set up with a variety of signs for sale.   Here are my pictures.  I think I got cars different from the ones I have previously posted.  There was a great turnout so it was hard getting car pictures with people standing around looking and discussing them.

This truck is one I’ve never seen before.  Had to take several pictures to capture all the neat stuff it had.


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