Monday, June 05, 2006

Back to Work

So we're back, y'all.

While we were away, we tried to focus more on kayaking than plants, but if you know us, that was short-lived. After a family event in Houston we made the trek to Corpus Christi for a quick 3-day camping/kayaking trip. Usually we set up directly on the Gulf-side beach, but the sand was too powdery, too soft for others in our party to drive on without 4-wheel drive. The wind was brutally strong, too. Instead, we explored the bayside at Bird Island Basin, arguably the best windsurfing spot on the continent (or so we were told.)

Weather conditions were perfect: sunny, warm, slightly breezy, calm waters. Of course, the windsurfers were a bit disappointed but we kayakers were stoked. Camping accommodations are primitive and, being part of the Padre Island National Seashore, the natural beauty is almost pristine. As far as the eye can see there are only native vegetation, dunes and the Laguna Madre.

What are some of the native plants, you might ask? One of my favorites is Sea Oxe Eye, or Borrichia frutescens. It looks like a mini-sunflower with silver foliage. So cute. Like our ecoregion, the Texas Gulf Coast is home to Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella.) Grasses, too, line the coastal areas and sway gently in the breeze (or lay flat in the brutal wind!) Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata) are indicator species of coastal areas, and look very similar to Inland Seaoats (Chasmanthium latifolium) which find their natural distribution right here on the Blackland Prairie, among other places.

Our vacation over, today we're returning calls, emails and working on a few designs. Beginning tomorrow through the next few weeks we will be finishing up a few large installation projects (and one small one) before we transition into 'design season' which kicks off officially the last week in June. Already we're meeting with several new design clients next week...I'll post updates to our availability as things change. Until then...stay cool and be well.

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