Happy 4th!

So it’s the 4th of July – one of my favourite holidays.  Didn’t do much today but putz around the garden, rearranging and pruning a bit.  I’ve been practicing with the camera; here are some odds-and-ends that came out half-way decent.  Gotta go fire up the grill in a minute – we’re having fajitas and beans…woo hoo!  (Last year when we were in Toronto on Dieciséis de Septiembre, we went to a Mexican restaurant.  The food was pretty good , but I nearly spit up my margarita when the table next to us ordered “fa-JEYE-tas”)

I’m nothing if not patriotic.

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So I’m a complete luddite – technology is definitely not my thing.  I don’t believe I qualify to have a smartphone.  I find it fascinating when folks are always chasing down the latest gadget/upgrade/app.  App-shcmapp, give me low-tech any day.  These for example…clay pot feet shaped like reposing lions.  I just love these things but have never been able to find more like this.

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They’re supporting a pot of caladiums I got yesterday.

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I also spruced up and put out more of my tchotchkes.  I did realize how many Buddhas I had.

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This is my pink ‘Rose of Sharon’ – it’s doing exceptionally well; much better than the ones on the Capitol grounds.

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This bird house reminds me of 4th of July at my great grandparents’ house in San Antonio when I was a really little kid.  My great grandfather, Hugh Brunnemann, made this out of bits of quartz and a roof shingle when he was little – more than 100 years ago.

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And here’s my attempt at ‘sunrise.’  I’m probably better at ‘Tequila Sunrises,’ but I’ll keep trying.

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Hope everybody has a great 4th and wakes up on the 5th with all fingers in tact…

Mulch – I’m still alive to tell the tale…

So yesterday was my annual mulch day.  I usually do that in late April/early May when the oak process – old leaf drop; tassles; pollen – is completed, but I was exceptionally busy with the Legislature this year and the oak process seemed to go very late.  Anyroad, this was the first weekend I could get to it.  Note to self – Never wait this long again!hotashell

This year, it was 70 bags.  Usually, I go to Lowe’s and collect the stuff myself, but somebody kept saying I was too old for that sort of thing, so I had it delivered.  Hopefully I don’t look 49, but this afternoon I feel like 149.  If I’d’ve picked up the mulch myself, I’d probably be dead now.  I didn’t realize what a chore that was.  The Highlander can only hold 24 bags, so that’s three trips where I load the bags on the flat-bed cart; push with all my might to overcome inertia; and pray there’s a straight shot to the cashier.  Then it’s unloading the cart into the car; schlepping them home (looking like a low-rider in the process); unloading them out of the Highlander; then repeat twice.  Of course, the folks at Lowe’s think I’m either a gardening god or a complete freak.  I missed that attention this year.SI Exif

On Friday morning, a huge truck pulled up with a folk lift and quicker than you could say ‘Jack Robinson,’ I had two pallets of mulch in the driveway.  Yesterday morning was unloading the pallets and distributing the bags.  Then the work began.

Here are some photos – mainly as evidence that I do this crazy thing every year.

Here’s the front – before and after:

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And the back:

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During the day I stopped a couple of times – when I thought I was going to keel over and die – and got some fairly decent photos.  I’ve seen a lot of dragon flies this year.  This one was particularly colourful – orange wings and a crimson abdomen.

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My white Rose of Sharon (hibiscus syriacus) is doing very well.

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I’ve noticed that the crepe myrtles (lagerstroemia) in Austin seem to be doing exceptionally well this year.  The ones I planted behind the fence started blooming about a week ago.

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For some reason, my clematis (ranunculaceae) is blooming again.  That’s always been my biggest complaint about it; there seems to be an exceptionally short blooming season.  It might be getting more light this year than in the past, so perhaps that’s it.

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And I noticed that a titmouse has build a nest in the hollow part of this wrought-iron bear – extremely ingenious!

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Well, that’s another mulch day for the history books – Oy gewalt…