Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the...Floor

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

I was feeling rather pleased with myself, because I'd finally found a mirror to fit over my dining room buffet. Here it is sitting (heavily) on the dining room floor...

And here is my buffet over which I plan to hang said mirror:

I started worrying today when I saw that it took two delivery men to carry the mirror into my house. It's 52" in diameter, carved solid hardwood and very heavy. And let's just say it didn't look quite as imposing in the consignment warehouse as it does right now. Uh oh.

My blooming orchid

As feared, my dh took one look at the mirror and said there was no way he could hang it himself. I thought, "No problem, I'll just look up "Mirror Hangers". Ha! Several unsuccessful phone calls later, I'm not feeling so pleased with myself. It's a mystery how I'm going to get this thing up on my dining room wall.

My blooming Oxalis

If any of you know someone who can safely hang a zillion-pound framed mirror in NW Austin Texas so it actually stays on my wall and doesn't fall & kill man or beast, I'd be very appreciative to know their name & number.


But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott. ~
The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892).

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

All Hail Precipitation!

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

We're experiencing a major drought here in Austin, so I relish most anything that falls from the sky. I would, however, like to draw the line at large chunks of ice that break car & house windows like we had on Wednesday. Most of the hailstones in my garden were about the diameter of a quarter, like this one...

Though I've read and seen on the news that some parts of NW Austin had some tennis ball-sized hailstones.

When the hail hit the noise was tremendous! You can see a slideshow of the Greater Austin hailstorm here. My property did not have too much apparent damage, other than beat-up plants, but we're still waiting for someone to come out and take a look at our roof. We were very lucky compared to others in the area.

This is the first photo I took during the storm...

Right after taking the photo I sat with my son under the stairs to calm him down until the noise was over. He's been afraid of storms since we were hit by 3 hurricanes in 2004. Poor kid.

Once the hail had mostly stopped I opened the door to get a closer look...

and grabbed a piece of ice for the photo at the top of this entry.

To get a good idea of the force with which this hail actually hit, you may want to watch the amazing video below that I found on YouTube. You can see how high the water splashes in the pool when the biggest hailstones hit. The video was made by someone whose house is relatively near my own as well as Annie's from The Transplantable Rose:

The day before the storm I caught these two doves relaxing on my newly-cleaned container water garden. The pair stayed there until well after dusk. I hope they weren't hurt by the hail.

Of course, crazy hailstorms are nothing new to Texas, as one can glean from reading about Isaac Cline's experience with them in the late 1800's:

"Visitors from the town of Ben Ficklin fifty miles up the Concho came to San Angelo [Texas] and reported that a monstrous hailstorm had struck about ten days earlier, the day of the flood. The storm discharged stones the size of ostrich eggs that killed hundreds of cattle and fell in such volume they filled erosion gulches and piled to depths of up to three feet on level ground." from [p.61] Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Useful Garden Pottery

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

I've been on the lookout for a large pot or urn for my front porch. This week I finally found one at Hill Country Water Gardens. It's always a joy to visit this unique nursery.

They seem to have everything I love; from plants...

...to pottery...

...complete with wildlife like this green anole...

...and fountains with very special goldfish and koi.

I was tempted to buy another birdbath for my back garden as well.

But in the end I decided on a pot from the clearance area. It has a hairline crack at the top, but since I don't plan on using it to hold water that's okay. Here it is on my porch.

The staff at Hill Country recommended that I add some pea gravel to the base as ballast. I may also try hanging a light-weight pot of flowers just inside the top. For now I'm enjoying the fact that I finally have something on my front porch besides my welcome mat.

BTW, I hope all of you had a very Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's the Oxalis that's decorating our breakfast table this week.

‘I’m very glad,’ said Pooh happily, ‘that I thought of giving you a Useful Pot to put things in.’
‘I’m very glad,’ said Piglet happily, ‘that I thought of giving you Something to put in a Useful Pot.’ ~
A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.