Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Small Town Saturday: Picnic Edition

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My family and I recently decided to try out a new picnic spot.  We headed out to Lake Naconiche, which has been in the works for as long as I can remember.  It is now a thriving fishing destination, but picnicking?  Not so much.

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When we discovered that was not going to work out, we headed up to the ever-reliable arboretum at the University.  This is a trusty spot we've frequented for many years, which boasts plenty of seating spots and spring blooms.  In fact, the arboretum is in bloom practically all year round, but I'm particularly partial to it in the Spring.

The arboretum is generously populated with pines to give shade to the plants that live there, and the humans who visit.  This makes me quite happy.

One of my favorite things about East Texas is the gorgeous forest full of Pines.

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One of my least favorite things about East Texas is the gorgeous forests full of Pines.

Yep.  You read that right.  I love 'em and I hate 'em.  They are by far one of the most beautiful species of tree I have ever come across, but I am so so so allergic to the pollen, and I'm just miserable for most of the Spring time as a result.  I clearly haven't tried too hard to escape the misery, though...

Nacogdoches is pretty proud of it's plant life, and I can't say that I blame it.  Azaleas are the undisputed favorite, and I can say that I blame that.  Wait, it doesn't work very well to turn that phrase around like that, but you know what I mean.

Azaleas have just never been my personal favorite flower, though they probably should be since they're apparently impossible to kill, and I pretty much have the opposite of a green thumb...

I just really like more delicate, less in-your-face plants.  Take. for example, the plant commonly called the "Wild Azalea" around here.

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I may be wrong, but I don't think it's actually related to what we call an azalea at all.  Sort of like how we call a "Tulip Tree" by that name, even though it's not related to a Tulip at all.  Somebody *ahem* maybe an Abt? *ahem* correct me if I'm wrong, please.

The Wild Azalea is really a diminutive tree with tons of blossoms in little circular sprays all over it.  They are just lovely plants, and come in a great array of colors.  Someday I'd like to have them all over my backyard.

Well, let's get back to the subject at hand - the Arboretum.  Our arboretum has an entire section called the Azalea Garden which really has much more than just Azaleas, and is truly wonderful all throughout the year, but imagine my joy when I discovered that the section across the street from the Azalea Garden is populated by wild azaleas, and other such woodland plants that suit my fancy much better than the big, showy ones of the Azalea Garden.

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I took the opportunity to practice with Manual focus on my camera, and am feeling a little better about my photography skills again.  Every photo on this post is completely unedited, and I am semi-happy with all of them.

Also?  If you're lucky enough, upon arriving at the Arboretum, you may get to park next to one of these...

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Probably the closest I'll ever get to one.

Any suggestions for Small-Town Saturday?  Anything locals or non-locals are interested in seeing featured here?  I welcome your input.


  1. You could go antiqueing :) Or do one on Java Jacks or Chilly Fillmores or the snow cone stand, or parks (Maroney, Pecan, Pioneer, Lanana Creek Trail). Those are the ones that come to mind for me!

  2. Those pines are pretty magnificent, but I completely understand about the pollen. One of my friends from high school LOVED Colorado. She had family there and always enjoyed visiting. But. She was highly allergic to pine trees. So, whenever she visited, she was highly miserable and incredibly happy at the same time. I guess it worked out, though, because it's been several years since we've graduated and now she lives in Denver and loves it so. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your picnic regardless! I haven't been on one in ages. The weather here in Indiana is not summer-like at all (it's in the 70s at the moment), so I'm hoping for either a picnic or a small campfire this weekend.


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