Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hill Country Invasion

Don't be alarmed, it's almost over.  We haven't found a live one in the house since the weather turned cool. 


I'm fond of saying we never know what we'll find when we open our front door. But that wasn't true in October when the forces of the universe coalesced into an outbreak of millipedes with a side of centipedes for scare.  We didn't walk barefoot.
Millipede above.  They don't sting.  Red-headed centipede below.  Nasty sting and grow to 6" long.



It wasn't just us, either.  People talked about it in the line at the grocery store and at the mailbox as they picked up their mail. Mostly millipedes, by the dozens. Little crawlies inching along the floor from the door, creeping up the shower wall, dead and curled into a crispy coil.

I'm blaming it on the phase of the moon or a planet in retrograde or maybe the hot air from Washington D.C.  Whatever, we're glad it's over.


I hope our next invasion is butterflies.


American Snout, photo taken during American Snout invasion of 2009.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Spaces -- Mediterranean Meets Texas

From the back porch of Sandy and Gary Howard's hillside Horseshoe Bay home, they can see Lake LBJ glittering under the Texas sun.  The view reminds them of  of Italy's Amalfi coast. In fact,  Sandy says they live in the "Riviera of Texas."

I enjoy writing "Spaces" articles for the San Antonio Express-News--I learn so much every time.  

Visiting with Sandy in this Horseshoe Bay home was a lesson in how to make a home feel like an Italian coastal retreat--even if you live 250 miles from the coast.  In case that sounds good to you, here's the article: Mediterranean meets Texas.

You'll probably like it even more if you drink a glass of red wine as you read.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Walking Tours: Seven Cities Worth Exploring by Foot

Galveston's charm lies in it's tropical collision of past and present.  Photo courtesy of Galveston CVB.  


The air is soft, with a salty tang. It cleans your pipes on the way in. Palms dot wide sidewalks in front of sand-colored brick and stone buildings. You share the space with local characters, vacationers and island workers in khakis and tropical shirts.


You're ambling down The Strand in Galveston, everyone's favorite Texas island town and one of the best places in the state to explore on foot, where there's as much to see and do after dark as in daylight.

A brightly painted facade on the 1882 Greenleve, Block & Co. building on The Strand.

Most travel writers like to walk.  You catch nuance you'd miss from car, train or bus.  

Blogger and writer Irene S. Levine gathered vignettes from seven travel writers about their favorite cities to explore on foot, including mine on Galveston. Whether you're an armchair traveler or planning your next trip, check it out on Irene's blog: More Time to Travel.

But before you go, take a second here to share your favorite towns to walk. I'll wave if I see you there.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Coming Soon: Cedar Fever Season


The yellow rain starts in mid-December; a silky mist of cedar pollen floating on the wind, staining the land and sending Hill Country residents to the doctor.  The doctor may prescribe medication.  It may reduce symptoms ...but nothing completely stops head-splitting, cough-and-shiver-inducing cedar fever once you have it.  

We know why it happens.  And where--anywhere within wind-distance of Ashe or Mountain junipers. Some experts say the pollen can travel 50 miles in a good wind. 

But there may be a preventive, if you act fast.  I don't say it works or that you should take it, just that Denny and I do; and we haven't had the dreaded fever for the five years we've been making and taking the stuff we call Cedar Fever Potion. 

My friend Phoebe made a batch this year and shared with us. I was just as glad not to make it. Now that our home is 'For Sale' I'm leery of making potions that fog the rooms with a smell akin to cat-piss.  I'm pretty sure the odor wouldn't help sell the house.

If your house isn't for sale and you want to know more about making potion, click here. But we're not doctors so you're on your own with risk and all that.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.