Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Some gratuitous cat pictures

It's been such lovely weather this Spring that we have spent some time sitting outside, and sometimes I've taken my long lens out with me. And then the cats come and hang out with us...

Portrait of Sunshine

Portrait of Smokey

Smokey languishing

And prowling

Meanwhile, Sunshine has taken over the old barbecue table...

Smokey is watching the birds

Calm; before...

The inevitable storm...

Some Creatures

I've found a few various creatures in my camera lens recently. Let's see what we have here.

This Opossum showed up in my game camera. We also saw a suspected skunk; at least, the blurry shape was black and white, and judging from the smells the next morning, I don't think it was the local cat.

Here's a Great Horned Owl that alighted in our tree the other night. I happened to see her land; the motion looked unfamiliar - not a vulture - and then I realized the shape had ears! It was almost dark; the sun was well down, but I grabbed my long lens and maxed out the camera as fast it would go.

Here's a Polyphemus moth outside friend Terri's stable. That hosepipe in the picture is an inch in diameter, for scale.

This is from back in January but I don't think I posted it yet. A Sparrow and a Cardinal sharing the feeder.

Some flowers

Spring has sprung, and the flowers are starting to color the world. Yay!

Spring begins with the Redbud tree. It's one of the closest things we have to cherry blossom. This one isn't fully out yet.

I've no idea what these little yellow flowers are - they're about 2 inches wide and are popping up all over the place. Some kind of primrose? It has a strange stem/root structure.

If you can't see the flowers, you sure as heck can smell these Mountain Laurels. Ours, like many others, is in full swing this year. They flower in two-year cycles; we got nothing last year but some bean pods. They make an incredible aroma; very sweet, a bit like honeysuckle maybe, and you can smell them for miles around. I'm sure someone is making a fortune bottling this smell. If nothing else, the bush is starting to buzz with all the happy insects visiting it.

This is the pear tree that friend Tamzin got us a couple of years ago. It's blooming nicely this year. Also filling my cherry blossom void.

Friend Terri think these might be Boysenberries, or blackberries. I thought they looked like blackberry bushes. Let's hope I find the fruit before the deer do.

And last but not least, it's not allowed to be Spring in Texas without a profusion of Bluebonnets. We had enough rain earlier this year that they say it will be a good year for wildflowers. I expect to see a lot more of these guys over the next month or two.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Front Yard update

Spring is sprung, and I got The Twitch on to get some new plants. 

A friend and I went to a garden center we hadn't been to before and ended up with a few things. 

There's a variegated garlic, a gerbera and a fuzzy Jew on the right. 

The Twitch didn't go away, and since its been such lovely weather recently, today I procured Tank #2 for the front yard. This has gone into the shady end which doesn't get any direct sun, so I got shade tolerant ferns and Impatiens flowers. 

I also put a few new plants into Tank #1 since we lost the pencil cactus, unfortunately. The chap at the garden center advised leaving them in their pots for a bit so I just plopped them in place as you see here. 

Here's the whole tank. 

You can see the drapey thing has grown, and we even have a blue flower :-) (bottom left)

I moved the Gerbera to the back yard as I don't think it was getting enough sun where it was. 

So; onwards. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015


I just got my drone back in the air after a bit of a hiatus, so what else to do but a quick before and after of the front yard?

Here's what it used to look like, last January. I didn't get quite high enough to show the whole yard but you can see it was not a pretty thing.

And here's what it looks like now.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gratuitous Cat Pictures

Because it's been far too long since we had a Cat Post.

Sunshine Noir

Sunshine in the Sun

Cat Nest :-)

Something interesting is up this tree...

Smokey poses for the camera

Contemplating bugs in the grass

Surveying his domain

Quality controlling the comfort levels of the bench

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New uses for old things

We have an old fire pit that has been kicking around for ages. The lid rusted through so we replaced it with a bigger pit.

I thought I would clean it up and make a planter out of it. 

Hm, maybe not. The bowl fell apart as soon as I touched it. 

Plan B then; the base was still in good shape, so I took the Percussive Detachment Tool (a hammer) to it and cleaned that up, with steel brushes and sanding. One can of spray paint and a suitably sized terra cotta bowl later, we have This:

A nice splash of color for the front yard. Not bad, eh?