Friday, December 2, 2016

A (mostly) Blank Slate

After a few years, my Iris bed...drifted.  The irises didn't necessarily drift, but the Mexican Petunia sure did.

Here's a picture after I planted it in 2012:



And here's a photo after the first year:

And from December of 2014 (the last time I took a photo):

The petunias only got more out of control - like to the point where they were completely shading out the irises, so I decided they had to go.  The problem with the petunias, however, is that they can be a bit problematic to pull out because the stems break easily.  This means that the best way to get rid of them is to dig them up.  Considering that it had also been 4 years since I planted the bed, I figured it would be a good time to separate the irises anyway (those that had survived in any case).  All that to say that bed now looks like this:

Surprisingly (to me) it had more irises that were still good versus those that were bad which I'll replant in the area:

Since I think I need something a little taller in the back, I'll plant some milkweed (or really just dump some milkweed seeds in the back and hope they do well).

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Timmy and Coco Adventures: Argus Cidery Edition

In another edition of the Timmy and Coco Adventures, Roberta, Michael, Shawn (my husband), and I met up with Joel and Dion whom Shawn and I know through Shawn's XTERRA races at Last Stand Brewing for Chicken Shit BINGO.  To let Shawn catch up with Joel and Dion, Roberta, Michael and I went to Argus Cidery, which is just down the street.  I'm much more a fan of Cider than Beer so I thought it was a rousing success.

Cider being made

Bokeh
You can see Roberta's photos on her Instagram account here.  Photos are from October 16 (though I think Roberta didn't start posting photos until about a week later).  My favorite is the one Roberta took of me driving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Vines


Vines growing on a storage silo in Lexington, Texas

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Timmy and Coco Adventures: Lexington Edition



Roberta and I try to get together about once a month to go on an adventure - they really are of the "grab your coat, we're going on an adventure" style.  So far we've gone to the Lonestar Round Up, lunch and walk around old-town Bastrop, photo trip at the New Sweden Church, McKinney Falls State Park, went on a geo-cacheing adventure but got sidetracked at the cemetery, and went together when Roberta got her most recent tattoo.

Roberta's husband, Michael, started calling our trips "The Timmy and Coco Adventures" because I name all the opossums I see "Timmy" and Roberta calls all the cockroaches "Coco."


Based on a recommendation from Michael, we went to Lexington to get Snow's BBQ.


Roberta talking to Tootsie
Snow's BBQ pitmaster, Tootsie, is, I believe, the only female pitmaster in Texas, and boy does she make some freaking delicious barbeque.  Snow's is only open on Saturdays, opens at 8 in the morning and stays open until they run out of meat (around noon). I remember hearing about Snow's years ago, probably7 or 8 years ago when they were named best BBQ in Texas (beating out Kreuz's, Black's, Smitty's, Mueller's, and City Market), when some friends decided to get up at 6 in the morning to go wait in line at Snow's in Lexington.  I couldn't understand why anyone would want to go wait in line for hours for food (and I still don't get it - the lines at Franklin's confuse me).  We only waited for about an hour before we were at the front of the line and able to order our meat, and let me tell you - it was freaking delicious.  I fell in love with the chicken, and I liked the brisket better than Smitty's (the only other BBQ joint on the list that I've had the brisket at; at Luling's City Market, I had the sausage).  A list of the 50 best BBQ joints in Texas can be found here

After eating food, we went and looked at the store across the street - it's run by a gentleman named Buddy who also makes rings out of coins. All the girls at Snow's wear his rings.
Buddy explaining the story of the carousel horse to Michael and Roberta (Roberta's standing behind Michael).  The picture at the top is also from Buddy's.

After Buddy's we took a quick stroll around the town - stroll implies that we meandered, and we did, but Lexington isn't big so it was still a quick walk.  At the end of the street there's a livestock auction house.  The guys there were so helpful - I mean we're obviously City folk and we're walking around with SLR cameras at an Auction house, we didn't know if they were going to chase us off with pitchforks or if they'd allow us in as long as we agreed to not take photos or who knows what.  In the end, the onsite veterinarian had seen us taking photos of some of the cows up for auction outside, and Roberta asked if we could go in the Auction house.  He said he didn't see why not and we just needed to stop at the front desk to explain that we wanted to watch the auction, but didn't want to participate.

Auction.  The auctioneer sits in the area between the two lighted signs and talks very fast just like you would expect.
The auction is a well-oiled machine.  The auctioneer was talking constantly and so fast that I couldn't understand a word he said. The guy on the left would open the door, a cow would run in, would basically run the half circle to the other door where the guy on the right would close the gate and open the door which led the cow back out to one of the holding pens.  After we got in and watched for a little while, we noticed there was a cattle dog in attendance and moved over to sit next to him, because of course we would do that.

Blue

Blue's owner was happy to explain the auctioning process to us (he had brought his steers in to be auctioned).  The cattle are sold individually by the pound - not by the lot as we had assumed based on how quickly the process was going.  The number in red on the right hand side in the auction photo is the weight of the steer in the auction pen.  $0.85/pound is pretty standard, $1/pound is good but a few years ago the prices were much higher.  Most of the cattle being sold at this auction were to be raised for meat, with a few very young bulls being sold to be breeders in a few years.  Earlier in the day there was a goat auction, and if we had waited around another hour or so, there was to be a cow (as in female cattle) auction.

Watching the Auction


You can see Roberta's photos from the day here: http://www.mercyphotoblog.com/images/

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on Gregg's Mistflower (Conoclinium greggii)

It's butterfly migration season.  Haven't seen many Monarchs (a handful), but sure a lot of Queens.