The shadow of a Giant Armadillo loomed over us as we entered the flea market, pushing against the stream of fleeing fleas.
I’m not sure what the state animal of Texas is, but it should be the armadillo.
Ok, so I just did a little googling extensive research and came to find the state animal is the armadillo. But, because Texas is so large, they need two state animals: the armadillo and the longhorn. I should’ve known.
They’re all over this time of year: foraging in my campsite, roasting on barbeque pits, and splattered all over the road. I prefer the former. After learning they carry leprosy, I have no intention of ever trying armadillo meat. However, a fellow blogger in Texas at of mule dung and ash claims to have eaten armadillo several times. He seems fine. Not that we’ve met in person. Ok, so it’s a guess.
Baby armadillos have been foraging in my campsite for grubs or roots or whatever it is armadillos forage for. They’re adorable, and seem unconcerned with my presence most of the time. Maybe they sense I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. Or a BBQ spatula. The rangers, however, seem less accepting of them and want to fill in their burrows, or shoot rubber bands at them.
I did try to grab a photo, but you all know how fickle my photography can be. Fear not, Kernutties, I got photos of something better: A giant armadillo statue!! Yes, it’s true. Texas has a giant armadillo statue or . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Giant Armadillo Invades Flea Market in Texas; Fleas Terrified.
A petite prayer.
A diminutive denomination.
It may be small, but it’s cute. (That’s what he said.)
St Martin’s Catholic Church, The World’s Smallest Active Church
Size only matters in horseshoes and hand grenades. Wait, I think I have that wrong. Err, uhh, never mind.
Just as I love both extremes of the phases of the moon, the full moon and the littlest sliver that looks like a fingernail clipping,
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a little.)
With an abundance of my much-missed Starbucks/any coffee shop and health food restaurants, Austin reminds me a bit of many cities in California. And there’s quite a bit of fun, wacky stuff to see in Austin, the capital of Texas – besides the big blue spider butt.
This post was going to be about the Largest Urban Bat Colony, but my photography skills the photos suck could be better (but are shown below anyway because I still think that’s much more interesting than a state capitol building).
You’ll just have to trust me… there are hundreds of bats in this photo.
Really, there are hundreds of bats in the above photo. See that blotch that looks like a swarm of bees going across the center? That’s the bats. I’m so glad you can see them. (Just pretend you can.)
They live under the Congress Avenue bridge in downtown Austin. They fly out around sunset, usually between March and November. The photos below are of the bridge. If you go to see the bats, wait on the other side of the bridge because this isn’t the side they fly out of. But the pictures are prettier on this side.
Beautiful downtown Austin at sunset… no bats.
Beautiful downtown Austin after sunset.
It’s a good thing I dragged a victim friend along to see wacky stuff in Austin.
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : A Capital Capitol in Austin, Texas
Remember when I said ‘Texans have big balls‘? Well, they have some really big nuts, too.
But they let me in anyway.
I went to the nuthouse. I know you’re all thinking, “Well, it’s about time!”
No, not as a patient! It was just for a visit thankyouverymuch. Besides, it wasn’t that kind of nuthouse.
But before we get to the nuthouse, I’m going to tell you about the World’s Biggest Nuts. And they’re in Texas, of course.
Seguin, Texas, Home of the World’s Largest Pecan. But which one? There are three and this is the small one.
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Texans have some really big nuts.
The next few posts are going to be mostly photos because I don’t have much of a story to go with them. Think of it like Playboy, but without the nakedness.
This one is about Port Aransas, locally known as “Port A”, an island in the gulf coast of Texas. It’s reached by a free ferry ride.
Ferry to Port Aransas.
View of the channel from Port Aransas.
Port A is a beautiful place, albeit a bit touristy. There are lots of colorful shops, but my favorite was this one with a Giant Shark for a door…
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Giant Shark in Port Aransas
Here are a few of the weird, wacky, and wonderful oddities found in and around Rockport, Texas.
A Big Tree? So big it gets a sign of it's own?
A Big Tree? So big it gets a sign of it’s own? This is Texas – the tree must be really big!
The Big Tree on Goose Island State Park.
Huh. Somehow I thought it would be bigger. (That’s what she said.)
Maybe it’s the angle? (That’s what he said.) Let’s try another view… (Baby, get closer to it…)
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Oddities in Rockport, Texas
Calipatria, in southern California, boldly claims to hold such distinctions as possessing the “World’s Tallest Flagpole” and being the “Lowest Down City Below Sea Level in the Western Hemisphere”.
The population is around 7,700. That includes the 4,000 inmates at the Calipatria State Prison. If you’re as good at math as I am, you’ve already figured out more than half the population consists of incarcerated criminals.
I only take you guys to the best places.
While the library is the size of some apartments I’ve lived in, it still has several internet access stations.
As I walked toward the intersection, a young gal was leading her cow across the street. Yup, she was out walking her cow. On a leash.
Calipatria is known locally as “CowPat” because of all the cows, and more to the point, because of their numerous patties, the pungent scent from which is often blown all the way to Slab City, a beefy 12 miles away.
Calipatria, California: Lowest Down City and World's Tallest Flagpole – according to the local government. Who just may have escaped from the local prison.
At 184 feet below sea level,
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : I got down, way down, in Calipatria.
When I escaped (and we won’t go into how, but we’ll just say he let me go), I went to the Salton Sea Beach. And then I walked on the millions of dead fish that cover the shore. Lemme esplain… (and you might not want to look at the pictures or go any farther if you’re eating lunch.) Ok, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Salton Sea Beach is on the eastern side of the Salton Sea in southern California. It’s a wonderful park and campground full of amenities. And the birdwatching is terrific. . . . → But wait, there’s more! : I was eaten by a giant dinosaur, and then I found millions of Zombie Fish.
On returning to the Bay Area to visit friends and family for the holidays, the first thing that struck me was the traffic. It was around noon on a Monday and Highway 101 was packed in the southbound direction. Luckily, I was heading northbound.
In the two months I had spent traveling the southwest (Southern California desert, Utah, Arizona) I never encountered any traffic. I didn’t miss it one bit.
From the Saratoga foothills, looking east.
The Bay Area has a little of everything: culture, shopping centers, great restaurants, surfing, and work. Even in this economy Silicon Valley has managed to still appear prosperous in comparison to other areas of the country I’ve seen. (Sadly, I saw many more abandoned buildings and homes in the southwest.)
Plus, they have some cool, weird stuff. And some really big stuff.
The Largest Monopoly Board, at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose.
World's Biggest Monopoly Board
If you don’t share this story, zombies will get you. (Just a . . . → But wait, there’s more! : Giant Bunnies, Giant Monopoly Boards, and World’s Longest Garlic Braid. Welcome to Northern California.