Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My 15 Minutes (she says, with tongue firmly in cheek)

Really nice write-up in the Express-News from Jim Beal Jr.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The death of Posterous - well, crap

I read that Posterous was dying, some time back, and didn't think much of it.

Completely forgot that when we went to Vietnam in 2009, I had used Posterous for a lot of the photo hosting for this blog, because it as an easy way email photos from my phone.

So now most of my Vietnam travel posts have broken image links... I have the images, but it's going to be a drag to try to recreate some of the visual narratives.

Paper wasp

paper wasp, originally uploaded by txfiddlechick.

My new hobby seems to be taking macro shots of bugs. Here's a paper wasp that sat still long enough for me to get this shot.

There's a good sized nest on the ceiling of the back porch - not the most ideal spot (one will occasionally fly into the house), but we've had less caterpillar problems in the veggie garden this year, so we're peacefully co-existing.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Peruvian tree cactus fruit

Read they were edible. Thought they might be palatable. But they're quite delicious and something to look forward to. Sort of dragon-fruit / watermelon in texture but lighter. The seeds are flavorless but give it an interesting crunch. Happy our plant has started producing these and adding them to the list of accidental favorite garden foods (along with the Purslane that grows as a weed literally from the cracks in our sidewalk). We're living off the fat of the land, I tell ya.

Peruvian tree cactus, night bloom just opening

Goofing around with my new camera (another point-and-shoot, because I'm way too lazy to drag around and learn how to use a DSLR). Still learning how to use it - it's fancier with more manual control than my old one.

This cactus is night blooming. Rather large flowers, maybe 5-6" in diameter when they're fully open. This one is just opening.

I normally don't see the flowers until the next morning when they're rather spent and starting to close again, but Daniel was out in the garden tonight and noticed this fresh one. He had a flashlight and stuck it inside the flower, which looked surprisingly cool. I went and grabbed the camera on Auto (don't know how to use most of the settings yet) and after a few shots, ended up with this.

Peruvian tree cactus fruit

Peruvian cactus fruit, originally uploaded by txfiddlechick.

This is the first time we've seen this cactus fruit (it's only started flowering in the last two seasons). The fruits are supposedly edible.

A few days ago, we wondered how we'd know when they were ready - the bottom one burst open overnight. Ta-da, guess that means it's ready. Picked the other two (the one on the top right is getting ready to explode). The flesh looks a little like a dragon fruit and smells sweet/fruity. We'll try eating them tomorrow.

They look kind of gigantic in the photo, but they're maybe medium apple sized.

PlantFiles: Apple Cactus, Peruvian Apple, Hedge Cactus, Peruvian Tree Cactus,
Cereus repandus

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tonight's View from the Stage

Twin Sisters in Alamo Heights, San Antonio, Texas.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Obama Explains Black America to White America

I thought this week's speech/press-conference by the president (which clearly wasn't expected - you can see the press corps scrambling because they were expecting a typical White House spokesman briefing) addressing the Treyvon Martin verdict was really well done. Thoughtful and though provoking. Kind of groundbreaking, in an understated way. I wish more politicians - heck, more people - would talk about race relations this simply and fearlessly.

The Washington Post has the original video and transcript. Worth the time to watch it, I think.

NPR has a good commentary (so good, in fact, that I stole their article title).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Giant swallowtail courtship

We were baffled when we saw these three butterflies in the front garden, seemingly flying in formation. Eventually figured out that it's a courtship thing - probably two males following / vying for a female.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Yellow Garden Spider

This yellow garden spider has been making itself at home in our gigantic, leggy, overgrown Juliet tomato plant for the last few weeks. Finally got a good picture of him/her, along with some fat, unlucky mummified flies. Below, a cropped-in detail. The spinneret is amazing up close!

Yellow Garden Spider - detail

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This Is Water

This is worth watching, both for the message and the visuals.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Antique find of the day

60s (?) walnut side chair with original vinyl (?) brocade upholstery. I've cleaned/Restor-a-Finished/oiled/waxed the arm on the left. The right arm shows how scuffed and dull the wood was. $35 at one of the little shops on Hildebrand's antique row.