Recycling. Complicated.

I’ll have a long and thoughtful post in the next few days on another topic, but until then, maybe I’ll just spew forth random comments from the past couple of days.

Maybe they aren’t really s pirals, but the symmetry attracted me.

I’ve been seeing spirals everywhere lately, even in the plants at the reception desk where I work. I wonder what all that’s about?

It’s prickly but darned pretty.

Maybe it’s just the time of year, when everything’s sprouting. I mean, wow, that is one attractive thistle.

All these lovely dandelions make me hungry for a salad or spring tonic or something.

Maybe it’s reminding me of recycling, which has as its theme image a mobius strip (which I didn’t realize until Joyce Conner mentioned it at our Master Naturalist meeting last week! Duh!).

Spealing of recycling, we recycled old t-shirts into tote bags to give out on Earth Day!

Joyce is a very thoughtful person, and she has been putting a great deal of thought into recycling, its benefits and its issues. She shared a lot of them at our meeting, which no doubt got everyone thinking about their own beliefs about recycling our waste.

I attempted to recycle myt-shirt sleeve into a visor. I think I failed.

Joyce showed us how much of the stuff we carefully recycle goes straight into landfills, because no one wants to recycle it. Apparently, we used to send a lot to China, but they don’t want it anymore.

In the end, she suggested that we concentrate on the reduce and re-use parts of the reduce, reu-use, recycle trio. That made sense to me. We try to re-use a lot of the glassware we buy things in, and I have started recycling boxes by decorating them and using them for storage, rather than buying decorative boxes.

Many of my friends re-use yarn rather than buying new, too.

What are you doing to re-use items?

Advertisements

Orchids of Joy

One of the blogs I read often is Chateaux des Fleurs, whose authors post a flower, usually one from New York City, every day.

The two blossoms on this one are quite different.

They’ve inspired me to occasionally share bonus posts with what’s blooming around my urban house. In this case, the flowers are IN my urban house.

I thought the blossom with the streak in it was cool! I wonder what caused it?

And the purple one is interesting, because the sprig had finished blooming, then grew more buds from the same stalk.

I love the shape of the stem!

I have another one that has branched out from a stalk that had bloomed and will soon flower again, but never has one sprouted on a spent stalk.

This is the one that has branched off a spent stem.

Dreary? But Beauty Awaits!

These plants give the neighbor privacy and me a nice view. The variety of shapes and textures makes this one of the loveliest flower beds in the neighborhood, to me.

While I’m working on a longer post, which may be a series of posts, I thought I’d share what struck me as I went out to the car to go to work this morning: you don’t have to go far to be in awe of natural beauty. I just looked across the street and saw the neighbor’s tangle of overgrown plants practically glowing in the gray, rainy light. I love how he has managed to convince the landscapers to keep the greenery so high and full.

Wet and lovely ball moss in bloom.

Then, I literally turned around and saw little jewels. The ball moss in the crepe myrtle was shining and shimmering against the dark bark and dark cedars behind it. It probably would have glistened more if the sun were out, but I was quite charmed by what I did see, so I tried to capture it in pictures.

A perfect rose in my favorite shade of pink, surrounded by unnaturally pink friends.

I guess Anita was up to the same thing inside the house, because she took this photo of how beautifully the roses have opened up in our cheerful post-Christmas flower arrangement. That bouquet has definitely helped cheer up the Bobcat Lair during the dreariness of 2019 so far (I hear it will clear up this afternoon).

Bonus moody photo of the ball moss.

As an aside, I love how the grocery store advertises the fact that there is a straw bow around each of these arrangements. They are “hand tied!” Woo! I’m pretty sure the other arrangements are “hand taped” to hold the plastic on them, too. I guess you take what you can get to differentiate flowers and charge a dollar more.

Cedar Fever. What the Heck.

We are in the middle of no one’s favorite season in the Hill Country of Texas, and that’s the “Cedar Fever” season. According to many news reports, this was supposed to be one of the worst seasons ever. If you’re reading from outside of Texas, you may be saying, “What the heck?”

If Anita and I WERE cedar fever sufferers, our front deck would be a scary place this time of year.

Lots of people call the tree found all along our hills Mountain Cedar, but it’s really Ashe Juniper. I first noticed them, like many new residents, during my first winter in the area. I was walking my baby around the neighborhood, which was still under construction, looking at all the limestone and stuff, when the tree in front of me started to smoke! I said some version of, “What the heck,” and called my La Leche League co-Leader (the only native Texan I knew) to ask her what was up. “Ah, the cedar is pollinating,” she told me.

This is what I saw when I was out walking in my neighborhood. Scary.

What is this plant? The Ashe Juniper has been around this area since before Europeans showed up, but it’s thought that they spread out of their native “cedar brakes” to take up more of the area once cattle showed up and messed with the delicate balance of native grasses and trees. Thanks, Euro-Americans.

Continue reading “Cedar Fever. What the Heck.”

Rest Your Weary Eyes on Timeless Granite

If you’ve had enough of lights, commercialism, and noise, come join me in remembering the timeless beauty of Enchanted Rock. Anita, Kynan, and I climbed to the top, then scrambled through the Echo Canyon train and the trail around the park.

The beauty in winter is that you can see for so many miles, and when you do hit upon a bright spot of color, it feels really special. No more talking, just pictures.

Bring on the Light!

This is me sending you peace and kindness at the solstice. Have a cool Yule!

Yule greetings to all you blog readers! Thank you for being there, and for brightening my life with your likes and comments. I wanted to send you a personal Yule greeting, since my work commitments didn’t allow me to write cards or anything.

This time of year always makes me feel closer to the rhythms of the seasons and to the wonders that the Earth keeps showing us. As the morning sun came into my east-facing window today, I marveled at how far the sun moves between the seasons. And then I thought of my southern hemisphere friends who have the same marvel, only on their longest daylight of the year.

Our small but bright portable tree makes the dime-store bows sparkle merrily.

This year in particular I have really appreciated all the holiday lights around homes and businesses. They honor the ancient traditions of burning special fires (Yule logs, outdoor trees with candles) to make the dark days cheery and bright. I have my pop-up tree here at the rental house, but I know my solar lights at the ranch are greeting passers-by, and our sleigh of trees cheers up the Austin house.

Anita and I drove around our Austin neighorhood last week and oohed and aahed just like when we were kids riding around with our parents. I remember that my mother really loved to ride around Gainesville, Florida to look at lights way back in the 60s. No innflatable Star Wars characters or projected lights on houses back then, but w did enjoy silver trees in people’s windows, and lots of huge electric lights. (I will share Fredericksburg lights, and I hope lights from Johnson City later this week!)

I’m captivated by the shiny highlights in the flowers on the poinsettia. As all us fans of botany know, those white things are leaves.

Even in winter, there is much beauty to be seen, so I am wishing you the time to take a look around you and savor the changing seasons with your own family, friends, and communities.

PS: I have a whole bunch of subjects I want to share, so get ready!