Fun with Foxes

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!

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Big Plant, Little Bird

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).

This yucca has decided to bloom. The bud is growing many inches per day.

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.

Probably too blurry, but pretty.

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.

Can’t Help It. Had a Good Weekend.

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.

A fish powered by a lower brass instrument. Just right for a Pisces musician.

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.

We had to bring our own champagne, but that wasn’t a problem.

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 guy was quite good and not too loud. I also cove the grape lights for our wine room.

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.

Relaxing with no

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.

Russell got the pond working at one of the houses we looked at. It was a nice size and had a huge workroom.
Continue reading “Can’t Help It. Had a Good Weekend.”

Walking around Lake Travis

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.

Typical terrain in this area. Lots of juniper, little oak trees, and some mesquite.

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.

The lake is low. But it’s been MUCH lower.

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.

Mexican hats and seed heads. Camera stubbornly focused on the back one.
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Deer Watching Retreat

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.

At least the lake is not totally dry.

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.)

The arrow shows the nice condos and the sliver of lake we can see from our deck. Check the lower right for a photo bomber.

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.

Oh well. It’s almost free. And it has deer.

White-tail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Majestic buck.
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Succulent Tourism

Tiny but gorgeous.

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
Teeny tiny cactus flower.

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.

Happy flower!
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Being an Austin Tourist

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.

The main building, the former home.

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.

I’m quite proud of my new beaded leather collar. Call me fashion dog.

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.

Tree sculpture, with palm.
Continue reading “Being an Austin Tourist”

Flowers at Lake Austin

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.

Panicled tick trefoil

I uploaded 40 or so images to iNaturalist. That was fun! Most were trees and such.

Pink Mexican ruellia

Some identification may be wrong. I’ll fix them if I find out.

Prairie acacia
Continue reading “Flowers at Lake Austin”

Humming Along

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.

Look at those wings going! And aren’t the plants lovely?

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.

I’m resting. Buzzing around the flowers and the people takes a lot out of a bird.

Card o’ Day

Woe is me, I gotta work and work, and all these swords are making me nervous.

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:

Enchanted Rock is always a good place to sit and think. I still wear that jacket.

There will be more to report later, perhaps fun things, even.

Why I Stopped Drawing a Daily Tarot Card, But Will Again

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:

Druidcraft Tarot

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.

Why I haven’t been looking at cards lately

I used to share a tarot blog with my husband, which went on for a few years (2006-10). I also would post my cards of the day on my personal Blogger blog, which is still out there if you want to know what I did from 2005-2011 (yeah, right).

Proof I had a former blog. This is Lee in 2007, in the field at his dad’s farm.

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.

Continue reading “Why I Stopped Drawing a Daily Tarot Card, But Will Again”
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