Gratuitous Post about Birds, Plants, and Wine

This has been a pretty good year for bird watching.  I’ve got a couple of painted buntings that visit fairly regularly.  These are generally one-time-a-year birds here – at least that’s my experience. I also have a fairly substantial flock of European starlings.  Theirs is an interesting tale and instructive on the cautionary side.  The…

It’s Fall!

Ah, September and Fall – my favourite time of the year.  Of course in Central Texas, that means lower ’90s, but I’ll take what I can get.  Today is exceptionally beautiful.  After Friday’s rain – between five and seven inches…woo hoo! and Saturday’s transition, today turned out to be clear and fine.  And I love…

Wanderlust

So last week, I went hiking in the Barton Creek Greenbelt behind the house.  I still forget how lucky I am that I can just step out my back gate and be on the trail.  A bit like Bilbo Baggins. It was one of those “Chamber of Commerce” weather days – amazing for mid-August – low 90s, a…

Gardening Inspiration – China

It wasn’t intentional, but I found that several aspects of my garden were inspired by some of trips we’ve taken.  One of the most different from southwest Austin was our 2007 trip to China.  I really liked all the variations I found on Chinese Guardian Lions, Shishi, (aka Foo Dogs).  Here’s what we have on…

I am a camera.

I’ve been pretty busy lately so haven’t had much time to post anything.  Brian’s parents are on their grand tour of Europe; six weeks and more countries than I can keep count of.  Each afternoon we look forward to his mother’s recap of the day.  They make me want to pack my bags.  She’s an excellent…

Birds…and one lizard

I don’t think I’ve written about the birds in the garden yet.  I’m pretty lucky to live on the edge of the Barton Creek Greenbelt which is a nice mix of trees (a gigantic live oak; cedars; Houston Yaupon hollies; a Texas persimmon; etc.) and meadow land.  The ecology provides abundant nesting opportunities as well…

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…

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…

Garden Update – First of the Year

So yesterday was my first real ‘work day’ of the year in the garden.  I’ve been piddling around here-and-there all year, but yesterday was the first ‘back-breaker’ as it were.  Odd-number years are never good for me because of the Legislature and this year was particularly bad because I was juggling so many bills and…