I’ve decided that the next time I trip on a sidewalk and break myself and end up in surgery, it will be my daughter’s fault.
She was cutting my hair the other day and said she’d been driving on some freeway ramp or other when she spotted a police vehicle on the shoulder. An officer was helping a young porcupine who was having some trouble scaling a bit of steep concrete to gain access to a tree.
How come everybody sees porcupines but me? I whined, not having seen a single one since we last watched the enormous porcupines gnawing on loaves of bread outside the Steak Pit restaurant at Snowbird. I see them mentioned on NextDoor now and again, but have yet to see one around my house.
Oh, I had one in the big oak tree in back, said Tracy. They look like squirrel nests. I wouldn’t even have known it was there except that the dog was barking her head off.
So now I can’t even walk Travis without spending most of my time looking up hopefully. So far, only squirrel nests.
Central Texas has settled into a pretty normal winter; I feel very fortunate to be spared the effects of the polar vortex currently torturing the midwest. Last week I finally finished cutting back the sidewalk garden, one bed at a time, and then Floyd helped me throw down compost and mulch.
It’s pretty quiet out there.
We’re never completely devoid of color. As you no doubt recall, my last winter’s post about our snowy night was followed within 48 hours by green grass and sunshine. It seems we almost never even run out of flowers.
And then there’s the little greenhouse, toasty warm and loaded with delicious oxygen.
My crown of thorns (plant variety) is too big to get into the greenhouse, so it stands just outside with a shroud of light plastic tarps.
Slowly, slowly, the succulent flowers open.
While Travis and I were out at The Natural Gardener for compost and mulch, we couldn’t really resist some herbs and new succulents. What gardener can get through the dormant season without at least something to look forward to planting?
And since I’ve been declaring all over the place that spaghetti is life, any trip to Trader Joe’s is likely to result in a new basil plant.
I’ve even allowed myself a pot of hens and chicks, one succulent I always manage to kill. This time I will really truly ignore it, I promise.
I know, nobody kills hens and chicks. But I am the gardener who once put in five zucchini plants and harvested zero zucchini. I like to think that’s a record.
Doesn’t every gardener have something that will not thrive for them?
In the house, oddly enough, my Mother’s Day orchid is still alive, though its flowers are long past. But at the first of the year my office-mate Karen gave me a beautiful orchid to mark my transition out of the office and into working from home, which is way past wonderful.
So is that orchid!
Just like the ocean, the sky is always doing something beautiful. We’ve had some brilliant sunrises and sunsets, and the other morning there was a range of clouds like you might see on a meteorology final.
I keep taking sky photos with the intention of practicing some sky painting. My attempts at formal work are too dismal to report, so I’m mostly drawing scenes to paint loosely (like copying the cover of my pad of paper).
Or having fun with hot glue and metallic paints.
There’s a bigger purpose with these guys: I want to do some of this on the next generation of garden posts. I’m hoping Gorilla Hot Glue and a few coats of metallic Rust-O-Leum (or however you spell that) will hold up. Meanwhile, the practice is fun and I haven’t burned the house down yet.
So for all my peeps who are currently snow and ice-bound, I hope this little note of color will help.
You know you always have a place in Austin.