Time to Start Walking Again

The blown over Cypress tree.

I was sitting at my work table looking out of the window and reminiscing about life in general and my life specifically. For the immediate future, with the Pond Tour out of the way, there is nothing major coming up on the horizon that I need to be worrying about at least, nothing that I know of. We all know how that can change in an instant especially if one is an animal lover and I have four dogs and over two hundred fish to look after. Hopefully though, Nature will be kind and not present me with any animal problems.

I did get in the big pond and spent a couple of hours trying to put the Cypress tree that was the subject of an earlier blog, into a bigger and deeper pot in an effort to stop it from blowing over. It is tall enough now that it is top heavy and with the little pot that contains the roots not being of a suitable weight to hold it secure, tends to blow over pretty frequently.

It was rather a comedy of errors as I tried to wrestle the tree out of the shallow pot but unfortunately, it would not budge. It is jammed in their very solidly and the only way is to literally cut the pot off. So, I gave up on that idea and decided to try to place the entire pot into the bigger pot. I had to weight the big pot down with rocks to keep it stable while I tried to wrastle the smaller pot into it. Remember, that this was taking place with all of us, me, the tree and the pot standing in the pond in three and a half feet of water. Nothing would keep still as the water made everything buoyant. First the new pot would float away and then after I recaptured it, the tree in the existing pot would slide off it’s block foundation and into the water requiring that I struggle it upright, once again. Even though everything was easy to move whilst in the water, when I tried to lift the tree out of the water and into the bigger pot, it suddenly became a hundred pounds heavier. After a couple of hours of total frustration, I gave up on the entire idea and placed the tree back onto it’s original set of blocks and tied it off. Talk about a waste of time. It really is a two person job and as there is only one of me….I will add an additional couple of tie-off’s to try to stabilize it.

There is still a lot of dead stuff that I raked into heaps that need to be put on the compost pile plus I really need to get into the shallow pond and cut down a lot of the growth that has happened there. I think that one reason the Heron has stayed away is because it cannot see the water in the pond it is so grown over. This has been an amazing year for overall growth. Everything and I mean everything has just grown without any limitations and I have spent more time cutting stuff back this year than ever before. The one frost that we had came early in November and we had a very mild winter making for lots of early growth and it has not slowed since. To add to the perfect storm effect, excuse the pun, we have had a lot of rain and have not had any abnormally high temperatures with the highest so far a mere ninety two degrees. That will change as eventually it will reach a hundred degrees, hopefully later rather than sooner.

At the moment it is raining and we are in the middle of some pretty heavy thunderstorms including hailstones. With any luck, there will not be too much wind and the tree will remain upright. Which brings me to the subject and title of this piece, “Time to start walking again”. I haven’t been out on a real walk for quite some time and I really need to get out there not only for the exercise but also to take pictures and have something to write about. You can probably guess by this blog, I am almost desperate for subject matter. I hope that I am not turning into one of those bloggers that writes two lines and adds a picture and calls it a blog. I certainly hope not.

Written 6/6/2019

A Visit to Wimberley 4-21-2019

I went out for a drive and of course, took my camera with me. I headed towards Dripping Springs with the ultimate goal of driving into Wimberley. This is a nice old Hill Country Town founded in 1848 and most of the buildings reflect the age of the town although I don’t think any go back that far. The shops are many and specialize in arts and crafts. I was there on a Sunday and business was brisk with the sound of music coming from several different locations. The town is located on the banks of the Cypress Creek which flows through the center of the town and has many, many very old and and very large Cypress trees. One of the trees has a nameplate designating it as “Big Daddy” Circa 1400 AD which makes it well over 600 years old.

The Town

I walked around town taking pictures and one of the things that I noticed were the colorful cowboy boots at different locations. These are part of a project started in 2014 named Bootiful Wimberley and to date, there are 50 boots located around the town. You can read more about this project and see more pictures of all of the Boots at this Link. I was only able to locate a few in the area that I covered but even they are very impressive.

These boots just keep on walking.

I spent time on the creek taking pictures but I cannot do justice to the Cypress trees as they are far too tall to include the entire tree from my position under them. Many stand 80 to 100 feet or more high.

Cypress Trees on Cypress Creek

On the way out of town, I decided to take the River Road to see the views along the Creek and the rock formations that make up the banks. I was not disappointed and got some great pictures.

Written 4/24/2019

The Second Day of Harvey…


I got up early just so I could see
damage caused by Hurricane Harvey
I slept soundly through the night
and did not hear weather to give me a fright
I did not even hear the rain
as it beat upon the window pane
and yet the two rain gauges show
that 4 inches fell of this I know

As I walked around the yard
the wind was still blowing pretty hard
treetops swayed first this way and that
as I stood waiting for them to crack
but so far everything is fine
in the part of Texas that I call mine
I’m sure before this storm is gone
something will break before too long.

I looked into the biggest pond
wondering where the tree had gone
as in this pond sits a cypress tree
in a pot with rocks but standing free
although it has a couple of ropes
cross tied so that in the hope
to stop it from falling upside down
when the big winds come around.

Alas the winds were mighty strong
and the tree is floating so before too long
I need to jump in and work on the tree
in order to get it vertically
but not much use until the storm ends
and then maybe with the help of friends
the tree we can right the way it should be
pointing upwards and proud for all to see.

So far nothing to make me sad
or damage so bad it makes me mad
the little bit that I can see
is not very much to worry me
not even enough to bring me tears
which I can fix when the weather clears
with trimmers and rakes and a wheelbarrow too
it won’t take long to make it look new.

There is still maybe two more days
of Hurricane Harvey coming our way
before he will blow himself out
and we will no longer be in drought
as the rain that he has left behind
will water our yards for a long long time
enough to last the rest of this year
as Fall is approaching and is quite near
and the weather will cool and more pleasant be
and the super hot days will be history.

“For this year…”

The Garden in March-3/15/2012

English: Flower of Nelumbo nucifera, bean of I...

The weather here in Texas has been mild with, for us, quite a bit of rain. This past weekend, my garden received almost 2 inches of the wet stuff. We could still use a lot more as the killer drought of last year sucked all of the moisture out of the soil.

The rain coupled with the warm weather is making things grow with, of course, a lot of help from Mother Nature. Things are growing that I thought were dead. Just goes to show how resilient plants can be. In one of the ponds, stands a small cypress tree that my neighbour passed along to me last year. I had seen one in a pond at Emerald Gardens, a local plant store that also caters to us pond enthusiasts and when it was presented to me, decided to try my luck at turning this particular tree into a water version. It didn’t look good through the past year but I left it in the water and lo and behold, it is breaking out with new leaves and looks incredibly healthy. Who can tell. That and a couple of other plants that I thought were gone are the success story so far.

The fish are getting active and with it comes extra work as the filters need changing more frequently. I don’t mind as I view everything as a gift and am grateful that nature can make things so beautiful. Whatever time I have left on this earth, I intend to enjoy it as much as I can which includes cleaning filters.

It won’t be long before the fish go into their mating ritual. This is really a case of the survival of the fittest at least for the females as the males chase them around the pond and literally bump into them for what seems like hours which I suppose generates a trigger to release the eggs.

My apologies if you have heard this story but for those of you that haven’t heard it, read on. Last year, I was sitting quietly reading and I could hear the fish splashing as they chased each other around. There was this one extra loud splash but I didn’t think too much of it until I realized that my tearaway dachshund, Richie, was being awful quiet. I went looking for him and discovered both him and a large Koi at the bottom of the garden. Richie, being the enterprising young fellow that he is, had seen the fish jump clean out of the pond and had then carried it down to the bottom of the garden where he was busy eating the thing. I guess that as Koi originated in Japan Richie decided that he had his own Sushi to munch on.  The Koi probably weighed 15 pounds so Richie had his work cut out getting it to the bottom of the garden. All for nothing as I took it away from him and tossed it over the fence where all dead things go for the buzzards and any of Nature‘s clean up crew to finish off.

I don’t need any more fish and I guess that there are so many Koi, except in one pond, that they do a good job of eating the eggs and any hatchlings that do emerge. Last year, in the Koi ponds, I had four new Koi survive. In the goldfish pond, I had two goldfish survive. Those ratios are bearable because if ever they stopped naturally limiting the number that hatch, I would be over run with fish. Those numbers are also enough to replace the fish lost throughout the year.

I still have to mulch the entire yard and have been putting it off until I get over this vertigo. It is much better and I act almost normal. Not ready to play soccer yet though. That and new gravel on the walkways to freshen things up and then I can sit back and enjoy, that is except for cleaning those filters…