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Ocean Isle Beach Nature Trail

Coastal plants are some of my favorites and the nature trail at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, is a good place to get up close. Boardwalks take you across squishy bits of the tidal marsh and into the sandy maritime forest full of juniper, live oak, wax myrtle, and yaupon holly. It’s a peaceful, beautiful place. These photos were taken in Autumn of 2016.

oib nature walk saltbush baccharis
oib nature trail
wax myrtle
greenbriar smilax berries
oib nature trail
boardwalk nature trail oib
cordgrass oib nature trail
the marsh oib nature trail
marsh grass oib nature trail
OIB nature trail smilax
nest in the yaupon
nature trail oib
nature trail oib
old pine oib nature trail
nature trail oib
nature trail oib
yaupon berries
pine tree tidal marsh
nature trail oib
pine oib nature trail
nature trail oib
nature trail oib
oib nature trail
oib nature trail andropogon
pine cones oib nature trail
tidal marsh oib nature trail
tidal marsh oib nature trail
andropogon oib nature trail
juniper oib nature trail
pine and juniper oib nature trail
andropogon oib nature trail
nature trail oib
live oak oib nature trail
oak tree oib nature trail
oib nature trail
oib nature trail
oib nature trail yaupon
oib nature trail bones
nature trail oib
nature trail oib
pine needles oib
nature trail oib
yaupon pine needles

A Warm Welcome and a Literary Scoundrel: Pre-Fling Austin

I arrived in Austin a day early for the Garden Bloggers Fling and took a quick look around town. Nearly adjacent to the hotel was a neat little surprise: the house, now a museum, where William Sydney Porter — a.k.a. the (in)famous writer, O. Henry — lived with his family in the 1880s and ’90s.

O. Henry’s life story is truly interesting. He was born and grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, but it appears that he “got to Texas as fast as he could,” a cute refrain I heard several times while I was in Austin. William tried out lots of jobs and at times was a pharmacist, a ranch hand, a cook, a store clerk, a draftsman, a musician, a bank teller and bookkeeper. He was also an embezzler who once convicted was so freaked out by the idea of prison that he left his young family and fled to Honduras (he is credited with coining the phrase “banana republic” while there).

Becoming a fugitive didn’t help William’s situation, but did give him lots of fodder for stories. He began to use the name O. Henry when he eventually did his time at a prison in Ohio, so he could continue to write for magazines and newspapers and remain anonymous.

O. Henry is probably known best for “Gift of the Magi,” and for the surprising “twist” endings to most of his stories. Among his friends he was probably better known for being an “adult beverage enthusiast.” The QR codes in the photos below actually work if you scan the screen of your computer with your phone. Videos will then pop up to tell you more.

milkweed GBF Austin Vicki's Garden

Look at the incredible flowers on this antelope horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula) in Vicki’s front yard garden!

Convinced before noon that Austin is colorful, and maybe also weird, I met up with Janet and we ubered to north Austin for a gathering at fellow blogger Vicki’s house. It was a nice time of reacquainting and just hanging out in the pleasant verdure of Vicki’s artsy backyard garden. Nothing weird (unless you count that antelope horns milkweed!), just pretty plants, delicious treats — almond cake with strawberries and yogurt and a wonderfully fragrant tea, and then a friendly ride back to town.  It was a pleasant easing-in to what would be an intense weekend of non-stop garden touring.

GBF Austin O. Henry House
GBF Austin O. Henry House
GBF Austin O. Henry
GBF Austin O. Henry House
GBF Austin O. Henry House Fabaceae
GBF Austin O. Henry House Porter Family
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
gbf Austin Vicki's garden roses
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
lonicera sempervirens vicki's garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
milkweed GBF Austin Vicki's Garden
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