Author of OUTBACK LOVE a contemporary romance novel set in Australia, JETTING AWAY a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS a paranormal romantic comedy and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS a collection of short stories and poems about life and love. All are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. On Twitter @TeriHeyer

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wild About Texas Wildflowers

These gorgeous wildflowers were everywhere.

Last week my husband, our two dogs, Shani and Dude, and I took a whirlwind five-day, mini-vacation road trip to East Texas and back. This was our first vacation in four years and, I must say, it was much too short. I could have spent weeks there instead of just days.

My husband and dogs aren't all that crazy about wildflowers, but I happen to wild about them.

These beautiful wildflowers were all along the roadside.

In all, we traveled 1,585 miles from the Florida Panhandle to East Texas, with stops in Beaumont, Temple, Waco, back to Beaumont and home.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about all those miles. Thank goodness I was just the passenger and didn't have to do all that driving.

There were huge displays of Texas Bluebonnets.

Several hundred miles of that trip was through East Texas back roads so I could take photos of the wildflowers, farmlands, rolling hills, old buildings, rivers, Longhorns and anything else that caught my fancy. Of course, the wildflowers were the highlight of this short Spring trip.

Such a beautiful shade of yellow.

I love flowers and I'm particularly wild about wildflowers. Other than the Texas Bluebonnets, I don't know the names of any of these beautiful wildflowers. So when you look at my photos in this post, if you can identify the flowers I'd surely appreciate it if you'd let me know what they are in the comments below.

A wildflower along the Brazos River.

My camera is a relatively new one and I haven't learned all the ins and outs of the thing. So when I got back home I found that several of my "great photos" were actually blurred.

Hmm! Obviously I should have snapped a lot more photos and then I would have more to chose from. You would think that after all these years (more years than I care to count) I would have learned that lesson. Oh well. At least I did get a few wildflower photos worth adding to this post.

There were fields of these exquisite red wildflowers.

Our East Texas road trip was much too short. I could have spent days/weeks slowly meandering along the back roads, taking photos of everything that caught my eye. Rest assured, next time it'll be a much longer trip.

I you have some time on your hands, and you happen to be wild about wildflowers, then I'd suggest a Spring road trip through the back roads of East Texas. I'm sure you'll love every minute of the drive.

Over the next few days I'll be doing more East Texas posts. So please stop by for an assortment of Texas photos. Y'all come back now!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

After-Easter Lilies and more April Showers

After-Easter Lilies in my backyard this morning.

This week my backyard Easter Lilies started blooming. Obviously they didn't make it in time for Easter. My front yard Easter Lilies are still a week or two away from blooming. Hmm! Apparently there's something different about my front and backyards. My After-Easter Lilies looked so pretty in the rain this morning.

Rain? Yesiree! The latest round of April Showers began in the wee hours with an accompaniment of lightning and thunder. My dog, Dude, who is usually a bit stressed over lightning and thunder, slept through the whole wild night. I suppose Dude was worn out from yesterday afternoon's romp at the dog park.

April Showers on our patio.

This morning it's still raining, drizzling. According to the TV, another line of thunder showers is heading our way.

This morning, while the rain was at the drizzle stage, my dog Shani and I went outside to take photos. Wildflowers are blooming all over our backyard. Beautiful purples, lavender, yellow and white. The Wisteria growing on our patio trellis is blooming too. The Wisteria has delicate white blooms.

Here on the Florida Panhandle, close to the Gulf Coast, it's definitely a day of April Showers. The air smells so fresh and clean. Windows are open and I'm listening to the musical sound of rain. This is a perfect day to sip coffee and read.

Wisteria that bloomed in this morning's rain.

I'm always reading an assortment of books at any given time, depending on my mood at the moment. So here's a list of my current reads:

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory (from the library)
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley (on my Kindle)
The Abilene Trail a Ralph Compton Novel by Dusty Richards (paperback)
The Chisholm Trail by Wayne Gard (a history book from my bookshelves)

A perfect morning to sip coffee and read.

I'm researching Texas history for a western romance series I'll be writing, which is why I'm reading the last two books listed above. My husband and I are planning a Texas vacation soon so I can further my research. Hey, that's a good excuse for some much needed time off to sight-see.

I can't wait to walk along the Brazos River, which was a crossing point for the Chisholm Trail (also known as the Abilene Trail) and the Shawnee Trail. So please check back for upcoming Texas posts with lots of photos. I happen to love Longhorn cattle, so rest assured I'll have photos of Longhorns too.

Shani checking out this morning's April Showers.

As I'm writing this, Dude and my husband are off on a car ride in the rain. Shani, on the other hand, is curled up next to my recliner. She doesn't care for car rides.

Today I'll be enjoying the lovely April Showers and reading one book or another. Thanks again for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Showers Bring May Flowers?

This morning's April Showers in our backyard.

I woke up this morning to the drip-drop, plip-plop, split-splat of April Showers. Hours later the sky is darker and the rain is still coming down. Off in the distance is rolling thunder with the occasional bright flash of lightning and booming thunder almost overhead.

My dog, Dude, is curled up in one of his favorite "safe spots" next to the couch and my bookshelves. Dude, as a pup, eagerly jumped into a neighbor's pool, but now as a two year old "mature dog" he avoids water in most every form, including rain.

Dude waiting for the April Showers to end.

My other dog, Shani, is older and wiser and doesn't mind the rain all that much. She's already ventured outside and then came back inside to shake off all that rain. Ahh, the smell of wet dog.

Dude, on the other hand, will wait all day before he risks the onslaught of those chilly raindrops. He doesn't seem to mind the lightning or thunder today, but the rain, well, that's just not his thing.

Some of my potted flowers soaking up the rain.

My potted flowers are happily soaking up all that nourishing rain. The grass, under a blanket of fallen oak leaves, should be happy too. And then there are all those giant oak trees that need lots and lots of rain.

Now the tourists on the beach, those Spring Breakers who came here for all that Florida sunshine, well, they won't find any sun today. A few hardy souls will venture out in rain gear to walk along the beach, but the rest will sit in hotel rooms and condos watching their vacation time drip away.

Shani showing little concern for the April Showers.

I thought about going over the bridge to take a few photos of the rain-drenched beach, but then decided Dude has the right idea about staying warm and dry inside. This is a perfect day to curl up with a good book and listen to the rain.

Hmm! So what am I going to read today? I'll probably alternate between Bernard Cornwell's 1356 that I checked out from my local library and Susanna Kearsley's The Shadowy Horses which I'm reading on my Kindle Fire. I'm almost always reading more than one book.

If you want to see the books I've been reading lately, mostly historical fiction these past few months, check out my Goodreads page: Teri Heyer on Goodreads

I checked Amazon/Kindle this morning to see if there were any April Showers books and found the three listed below. All three are romances (in no particular order):

April Showers by Ann LeValley
April Showers (HQ, A Valley Ridge Wedding) by Holly Jacobs
April Showers (Twelve Months of Romance - April) by Margaret Lake *

*Just added to my Kindle

Well, the rain has been going on for hours and hours with no end in sight. I guess it's time to settle into my recliner and read for a while. Here in Florida, these April Showers are sure to bring a riot of May Flowers.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Outrageously Orange

Some of the orange flowers in my flowerpots.

Orange is one of those bold, in-your-face colors. There is very little orange inside my house, as I tend toward earth tones, but outside is another matter. I love flowers. So bright and bold, outrageously orange flowers are just my thing. My flowerpots are always filled with bright colored flowers. I love Gerbera Daisies, Marigolds, Sunflowers, wildflowers. I could go on and on.

Lucky for me that I live in Florida where flowers are everywhere. Some days my dog, Dude, and I drive through the neighborhood just to look at all the flowers. Well, I look at the flowers and Dude looks for dogs, cats and kids. I don't think Dude is all that interested in flowers, though as a pup he ate some of my flowers from time to time. Thankfully he's outgrown his flower-eating days.

Dude, my reddish-orange dog.
Lately I've been writing blog posts about colors. So if you have a fascination with colors you might want to check out those other posts: Seeing Red, Passionate About Purple, Think Pink, Yodeling for Yellow and Shades of White.

Some days I love to get out my oil paints or acrylics, a fresh canvas, my assortment of brushes and just start painting. Some days I paint landscapes or seascapes, while other days I prefer florals. I love painting flowers, as that's when I can use all those bold colors. Trust me in this, orange is a fun color to paint.

For those who follow my blog, I almost always include a list of books in my posts. So I couldn't resist adding a list of Orange Books, which is fiction and non-fiction that has something to do with the color orange (in no particular order):

Moonlight and Oranges by Elise Stephens*
Bright Orange for the Shroud (Travis McGee #6) by John D. MacDonald**
Cat in an Orange Twist (A Midnight Louie Mystery) by Carole Nelson Douglas
The Orange Blossom Express by Marlena Evangeline*
Oranges by John McPhee
Five Quarters of an Orange by Joanne Harris
Orange Crush (Serge Storms) by Tim Dorsey
The River Runs Orange (A Meg Harris Mystery) by R. J. Harlick
Song of the Orange Moons by Lori Ann Stephens*
The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin
Orange as Marmalade by Fran Stewart
The Orange Trees of Baghdad: In Search of My Lost Family by Leilah Nadir
The Burnt Orange Sunrise (A Berger & Mitry Mystery) by David Handler
Orange Blossom Trails: Walks in the Natural Areas of Florida by Phillip Manning

*TBR on my Kindle
**Read (I love the whole Travis McGee Series)

Please feel free to add some orange reads in the comments below. Thanks again for stopping by. I hope you have an outrageously orange day.