The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!
Today we have a guest photographer! My coworker, Jen Clower-Brown, has been lucky enough to spend the summer watching a family of foxes grow up in her neighborhood north of Austin.
As you can imagine, there has been much cuteness and beauty as she captured images of them playing in her back yard and climbing her fence. Jen reports that these images are the result of much time sitting quietly on her back porch, waiting for them to show up!
I’m recovering from spending so much energy the last few days, so I’ll just share two pictures and my tarot card (I have done them most days with the app but today I used my real deck).
The yucca bud sure looks like a giant asparagus stalk! Maybe it’s tasty. I’m not going to chomp on it.
High Priestess in Robin Wood deck.
So today I drew the High Priestess. It’s a favorite of mine. I think she is acknowledging how hard I’m working to be mature and use my skills for good these days. The weekend went so well, and I’m patting myself on the back a bit.
And finally, I love this hummingbird I saw today. It’s a black chinned one, judging from the male that was also flitting around. I’m so glad they’re still here.
I’ve learned that cheerful posts don’t get as many hits, but, too bad. I had a really nice weekend, and I can’t change that fact. We didn’t go far, but it was quite relaxing in Lago Vista, Texas, capital of the North Shore of Lake Travis.
As I mentioned before, Lee and I spent the weekend at the condo where I showed you all the deer and flowers, along with our business partners, Carol and Russell. We hadn’t spent much time together in person lately, so this was a much-needed time to relax, reflect, have fun, and plan.
And we did! We chose going to thrift shops as out first “team building” activity, which was a lot of fun. I liked the fish sculpture.
Later, we had a celebratory dinner after our “big meeting” where we decided to move forward in a new direction with our real estate redevelopment business. We went to Broc’s, an Italian restaurant in Lago Vista, where we were absolutely charmed by the crooner singing 60s standards, a family with a toddler as cute as my son Kynan was at that age, and the whole family that owned the restaurant celebrating the owner’s 70th birthday.
This place had surprisingly good food. Lee couldn’t stop talking about the alfredo sauce he had. We all tasted it and agreed, it was both light and creamy, with a side of buttery. And their red sauce was such a wonderful combination of flavors that I bought a pint to cook a dinner for Anita, Declan, and Rylie (the younger son and his partner) on Wednesday.
Today we sat on the patio and talked and laughed and had ideas. We decided we need to do that more often, since we come up with great ideas when we are relaxed and not under pressure to accomplish this or that or meet deadlines.
This morning I took a walk while waiting for the rest of my team to arrive. This is an interesting area, because it was all laid out to be neighborhoods, then no one showed up to build houses, so the land has stayed pretty much untouched. Now, people are finally starting to move in, as the Austin suburbs move further and further out. Still, where we are staying has a lot of empty property.
This means that you can get a good idea of what the area around Lake Travis looked like, at least since the advent of all the cedar (ashe juniper) trees.
I’ve been here in the spring, and know the wildflowers are spectacular. It was easy to see from all the dried seeds heads I saw.
Our real estate mini-business has to have a board meeting every year. So we decided to do a weekend retreat somewhere we could concentrate. So Lee and I used our condo points to book literally the only available 2-bedroom condo in Texas.
It’s in Lago Vista, an oddly endearing resort village on the north shore of Lake Travis. Well, it’s a condo all right. I think it’s the least charming one I’ve ever been in. It appears to be the same age as the Bobcat house, only with very few upgrades. (Bathrooms have been done, on a budget.)
It appears it once had a lake view and lots of green space. But someone sold that land and put fancy condos on it. Now there is a sliver of lake and some rich people you can glimpse between units.
The other thing Anita and I squeezed into our few hours of Austin tourism was a trip to the East Austin Succulents nursery. You know it’s cool and trendy because:
It’s in east Austin
The website is mostly pictures and hard to find links on
They have a cute pug on the homepage of said website
All employees were young, and if male, had very full beards
I’ve lived in Austin since 1997, but had never been to the neighborhood where the nursery is located, so I was as much a tourist as Anita was on this trip. I really enjoyed seeing all the fun and funky areas, and was impressed at how many community centers there are. I probably just happened to drive by them all.
Yesterday I had to take off work to do some boring personal stuff, but in the end, there was lots of time in the day left over. Since I will be out of town for Anita’s birthday on Saturday, I decided to take her to some places in Austin she’d never been. The first was the Contemporary Austin museum at Laguna Gloria, which I just shared some photos of flowers from.
I hadn’t been to Laguna Gloria since some art classes when my children were small. It’s changed a lot since then, and they have added some fancy new, but not quite finished, buildings there, like a cafe (we had a nice light meal from there, though we had to eat in the car due to no seating), a cute gift shop (where Vlassic got a new “dress collar”), and such.
But we were there for the sculptures (and plants), so off we went. The day got warmer and warmer, but we persevered.
All the modern sculptures were interesting, at least, and some I just loved. The settings in and among all the native and other plants was really pleasant. Plus, I’m just glad there is still a little space where people can see Lake Austin from the ground. Most of it is full of giant, fancy houses.
My favorite one didn’t photograph well, but it was party of a trio of pieces hanging from one of the many huge trees on the property. I guess you’ll just have to go to see it.
Among many things I did today, I took an impromptu trip to Laguna Gloria on Lake Austin. I’ll share some of the sculptures later, but I thought tonight I would share some of the plants. Enjoy the photo essay.
I uploaded 40 or so images to iNaturalist. That was fun! Most were trees and such.
Some identification may be wrong. I’ll fix them if I find out.
Hey there. It’s Weird Wednesday for me, but I wanted to share some cute photos I took of the hummingbirds migrating through our area right now. Beware of them if you are wearing floral perfume, because they will buzz right up to you and get in your face, as a coworker found out! The birds just LOVE Turk’s cap (because its nectar is extra sweet), so we always get a nice show this time of year at work.
I noticed we have at least three different types, but of course all my photos are of females, and who can tell what they are (answer: not me). But I saw the usual black-chinned ones, a couple of ruby-throated that only show up here during migration, and something very, very tiny, even for a hummingbird. That one was near my house, not at work.
Card o’ Day
Today I came up with the 7 of Swords. It’s typically a card about deceit or thievery, but when I looked at the card in this deck, I was reminded of the 8 of Pentacles, which depicts someone hard at work on a repetitive project. Immediately I thought of all those plans I’ve been making at my job, and how much work they will be, and I began to wonder if my boss and I are fooling ourselves to think we’ll get to do all this stuff, in a part of the company that’s being redirected and shifted around a lot lately (our turn has not come yet). Well, I’m not stressing on it. I’ll just deal with it.
Tomorrow I think I’ll go back to my beloved Robin Wood deck, just because it’s my buddy, and I can shuffle it. This DruidCraft one is pretty, but it’s too big for my stubby little fingers. Let’s just hope the Four of Cups doesn’t come back to haunt me from 2007. Speaking of which, here’s ME in 2007:
There will be more to report later, perhaps fun things, even.
For many years, I drew a daily tarot card and thought about what its imagery or the archetypes depicted in it meant to me, in the current moment. I did one yesterday, the Three of Swords, which is the “broken heart” card (a quick way to see it). In yesterday’s post, I wrote about how I really feel like the changing seasons meant time for me to end a chapter of pain, which has gone on for nine months (how long it takes to grow a baby!), and move on to see how it’s transformed me.
And then today, I got this one:
It’s the World or the Universe, or whatever your deck calls it. It’s the final card of the major arcana, and symbolizes the end of the Fool’s journey, where the Fool has learned all they need to move on to the next thing. Drawing this card was a nice confirmation that it is time to set aside some things and let them stew, and focus on new and maybe more productive areas.
I had some very interesting experiences, where I’d draw the same card over and over until I figured out some message my subconscious wanted me to know. For example:
The 4 of Swords kept telling me I was wounded and needed to take time off until I finally DID what it said. It lasted months! And earlier, the Hierophant kept popping up over and over until I got the heck out of an institution that was trying to drain the life out of me.