Saturday, March 28, 2009

geese, gull, gills, goldfish and scorpion

These two were having a discussion in loud terms this morning about where to nest, but still, they were trying to keep it private...

Then, I noticed an eavesdropper...these gulls have been known to be very brutal about denying the Canada Geese the priviledge of seeing their young ones hatch, and then moving right into the dispossessed nest.

These may be Giant Cypress Agaricus, or maybe Honey Mushroom, I'm not good enough yet at mushroom identification. Any experts out there wanna help me out?

Nematanthus gregarius, goldfish plant:

...lives in the greenhouse and likes high humidity and lots of light, though it has a 'dormant' phase where it prefers less water or else it drops a lot of leaves.

Yikes! Someone encountered a live scorpion in the house! I'm thinking it hitchhiked in on some firewood, though I always bang each piece on the pile before I load it onto the cart to knock off various undesirable Stuff. Otherwise, it's baffling. Where there's one, is there another? I'll look into getting a blacklight, because scorpions fluoresce or glow under ultra-violate light so they are easy to find with the aid of a black light during the night. I'll be tippy-toeing around the house in the middle of the night with my blacklight so guests will feel comfortable and safe.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A welcoming fire

I laid a fire in the pit to welcome visitors, and while they tarried, we welcomed Orion and all the stars with a serenade on my guitar. Would that we could welcome you, too, here beside the fires of earth and sky.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

diving into it

We had to try out the gear and the environment it was made for to make sure it was all according to the brochure...

It is...

1941 Packard Woody Wagon

Just showing off.

Wildlife at the watering hole

She really acts like she's in the wild when she's outside. No one can get near her, and she's very camera shy. But later inside the cottage, she reaches her paw up and taps me on the arm, and says, "come on, let's play cat & mouse, I'll be the cat."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

more bloomin' flowers

This is from some kind of aloe growing near the Tintagel-inspired arch I was walking by in the fading light of a foggy sunset. It's like a torch lit to guide Arthur back to the castle after knightfall.

Some lovely orchids in the greenhouse.

The Cordyline is in bloom.

Anthirium, also called Flamingo flower

A robust Croton

A room full of silent activity.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monterey Ensatina

I've been going on nocturnal snail and slug raids in the garden. Raising vegetables and ornamentals is too much work to let those slimy thieves munch off the best parts at their leisure under cover of darkness. So I don my headlamp and flashlight and spend a half an hour pulling them off my leaves and fruits, and dispatching them swiftly, with a crunch or a slice. A few nights a week keeps their population under control, and still leaves plenty left over for the likes of this fellow:
His (her?) name is Monterey Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii from the family PLETHODONTIDAE). It has no lungs and breathes through it's skin. I was amazed to learn that some of these live up to 14-16 years of age.

Kinda cute, huh?

flower power

A few of the local signs of spring are telling their stories, singing their songs, spreading their good news.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Danger, men cooking...

That black object over there, looking vaguely like Darth Vader spreading his wings, is a deluxe barbecue grill, under it's protective cover, that a generous guest gifted to Searock.

We hastily set it on pavers until it was decided that this was a reasonable place for it to remain.

Here it is in use, still sitting on it's temporary pad just visible beneath the gleaming steel of the podbay doors:

To create a fitting launch pad for future missions, we moved it aside and prepared a base of compacted crushed granite,

overlaid with carmel stone:

and grouted with mortar and muddy footprints:

and finished off with a sloping apron of granite stone:

befitting of it's elegance and polish, not to mention utility.

Tinkering with the piano

Had the piano technician out for a piano tune-up on the 1901 Steinway & Sons artcase 8-legged grand .  The felt hammers are getting worn and the pedals need a little work, especially the clutch and gas pedal.   

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Price of Gold

"I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich" Revelation 3:18