Spring

Things are coming along in the garden.

 

 

clematis

My yearly clematis photo

 

east bed

The east bed – filled in and mulched

 

new fountain

A new fountain

 

northwest bed

The northwest bed

 

northwest corner

The northwest corner

 

passion vine

Passion Vine Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina!

So this is a way late post…  I went to a Department of Labor Conference in Charleston, South Carolina in early March.  I’ve just been swamped with legislative session and haven’t gotten around to posting.

It was a very quick trip in-and-out of Charleston and only had about three hours to walk around, but the weather was fantastic.  There are some great cemeteries there.

 

church cemetery

A church cemetery with mossy trees

 

gravestone1

Late 17th Century Gravestone

 

gravestone2

Another Gravestone

 

steeple

One of Many Steeples

 

Azaleas

Azaleas at Their Peak

 

window box

Window Box on a Colonial House

 

house

Colonial House

 

Confederate Monument

Fort Sumter Monument

 

Fire House

Outside a Fire House

 

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Winter

This weekend has been gray and dreary – typical Winter – but not cold enough for my liking.  In mid-December, though, it got quite cold for a few days – upper 20s.  Cold enough that most of my perennials died off.  And last week, it got down to 18 degrees for a couple of nights, killing off the rest.

I took that as my cue to start afresh in 2017.  I pulled out everything from all the beds except the major architectural plants.  I’ll start amending the soil (or at least trying – it’s probably a lost cause at this point) and hopefully replanting in April after the live oak leaf drop/pollen explosion is done with.  But here’s the current state affairs…a bit bleak.

 

back-yard

The Back Yard – 15 January 2017

 

east-bed

The East Bed – waiting for vines and ground cover

 

north-bed

The North Bed – A clean slate

 

fannie

Fannie

 

mable

Mable – a bit blurry – she never sits still

 

elm-tree

The Naked Elm Tree

 

holly-tree

The Holly Tree

 

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Meh.

 

F-Minus - fm170101comb_qs.tif

happy new year from ‘F minus’

 

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Year Ends and Odds

Just some random photos from the past month…

cyclamens

Some cyclamens

 

strawberry-shrimp-plant

A strawberry shrimp plant

 

 

christmas-outside

Outside Christmas Decorations

 

christmas-dinner

Christmas Goose and the Trimmings

 

fanny-and-mable

Fannie and Mabel in Stairway Prison

 

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A Doggone Merry Christmas!

willow

This is Willow – she’s my drinking buddy at the Draught House.  Well, I have the IPA and she has water and the occasional jerky treat.  She came to my friend, her human companion, from the South Texas Aussie Rescue.

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Greetings from Scotland! (Part the Last -Glasgow and the South)

So the first stop on the last day of the Scotland sojourn was a boat trip on Loch Katrine, beginning and ending at Stronachlachar.  It was supposed to be aboard a famous steamship, ‘Sir Walter Scott,’ but the propeller fell off and we had to go on another boat. It was two hours roundtrip on the Loch; a clear day, but windy and freezing cold.   The most interesting part of the boat ride was watching a group of day trippers from Glasgow.  A fun, motley crew who I intellectually knew were speaking English, but it sure didn’t sound like it.

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Stronachlachar Pier

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Loch Katrine Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Loch Katrine Scotland – 23 September 2016

After Loch Katrine, it was on to Rosslyn Chapel, in Roslin, Midlothian.  I’d been looking forward to this visit.  The chapel was featured in ‘The Da Vinci Code‘ and is famous for its connection to the Knights Templar, the Masons, and possibly the resting place of the Holy Grail.  I found the medieval architecture and decorations stunning.  There is so much to see it’s almost overwhelming.

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Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Gargoyle – Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Architectural Urn – Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Doorway – Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian Scotland – 23 September 2016

After Rosslyn, it was on to Melrose Abbey, the final destination of our trip.  Melrose Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey in Scotland and is famous as the resting place of the heart of Robert the Bruce.  Another medieval architectural masterpiece.

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Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Water Spout – Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Graveyard – Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Gargoyle – Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

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Melrose Abbey, Scotland – 23 September 2016

After Melrose, it was on to Glasgow and our last Scottish hotel, Blythswood Square.  I don’t have any photos of Glasgow; we arrive after dark and it’s not really the most picturesque place in the world.

The following day, we started our trip home – Glasgow to Dublin, Dublin to Dulles, and Dulles to Austin.  The transatlantic flight was on Aer Lingus, so it was kind of like a little trip to Ireland thrown in!

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