This is an ongoing tale of Alan and Jo's exploits in Austin, TX. Alan hopes there will be plenty of tasty beer involved, while Jo hopes to find lots of interesting aircraft.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let there be light!

It's Christmas season, and with it comes lights, in great abundance and profusion.

But first: an insect! Haven't had one for a while, so here is a Leaf-Footed Bug for your education and amusement:


Now, back to the lights. It seems that right after Thanksgiving, people rush out and start decorating their houses. The first two weeks in December glow brighter each night as more lights come online.

Surprisingly, from what Alan has been told at work, most people decorate their gardens long before they actually get their Christmas tree. We have got ours now and it's looking all festive :-)

Here follows a series of pictures taken on Brodie Lane, and Denbar Court just off Brodie. Denbar Court is particularly impressive; a whole entire cul-de-sac in which every house has a dazzling display.

These first two sit opposite each other somewhere around Brodie and Sesbania Drive. The first one won their local lights contest.




Now we're in Denbar Court.







So, if I don't post again before the holiday, I wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Gardening part 3

Well, the guys have done their thing and we now have a shiny new bit of landscaping.

I really like what they have done. It has masses of potential to grow, and time will see it getting bigger and each plant will fill in the spaces that exist now.

Here's an overlook to compare with the previous two (clicky):


Here's some various angles on the area.
This is the riverbed/stream area. The first time we get a heavy rain, this will sort itself out, the rain should wash through here and start making it look more natural.

The grasses in this area are Big Muhly and Weeping Muhly; they will grow relatively tall. There's some Lindheimer's Nolina mixed in here too.

Below is the gravel patio. This looks very new right now but as we use it, will blend into the landscape. You can just see anti-deer netting around the Possumhaw Holly (with red berries on) and stakes either side of the other new tree, the Mexican Buckeye, which will turn bright pink in the spring.

It is also surrounded with Texas Sotol, a small spiny leaved thing which has tall flowers when it blooms.

This is a Sago Palm, in front of the riverbed.


Here's a Texas Lantana. I like these, they are bright yellow and orange and attract loads of butterflies. We have a couple of these; they will bush out nicely. Behind it is a spineless Prickly Pear cactus and behind that is the Mexican Buckeye.


There's also some Twisted-leaf Yucca plants around, and one Texas Kidney Wood which apparently has very lovely scented white flowers.

So, watch this space... I'll certainly be doing so. Waiting for the spring and summer, to see how this progresses!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gardening part 2

Well, the chaps have been working hard today. We have a bunch of rocks starting to form the faux riverbed area and the bed for the new patio has been laid. They'll be back tomorrow and expect to get it finished by the end of the day.

Here's a Bobcat carrying one of our new trees. They've put it in the garage overnight to stop it getting attacked by deer before it is planted. They will eat this tree but it's big enough that once it is in the ground, it will survive and grow taller than the deer.

The Bobcat was also used for carting all the gravel for the patio across to the site. They only had it for one day so tomorrow's gravel will have to be done by shovel and wheelbarrow.

Here's a look at the whole site (weird perspective due to photo stitching):

Click for enlargement.

The patio is clearly visible on the right. Behind this area will go two new trees. A few plants are in the ground but most are waiting until the rock area is finished.

It looks good from the ground - expect further updates in due course!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gardening

A quick update to mention the garden. We're having some work done on it, so watch for updates showing progress.

Here's what it looks like now:

(Click on it to see it bigger)

Here's a couple more gratuitous shots from my wanderings downtown last night.

Austin skyline with the Zilker Park Christmas tree visible.


Underneath the tree. It's really quite large.


Christmas lights on Congress Avenue.

Right, stay tuned...

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