The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- February 2004

Last Update: February 27

Snow! (See February 14 posting.)

An American Goldfinch at one of our feeders.

February 3 - morning

A cool clear morning... The Goldfinches are busy at our feeders and the cats have all assumed the "meatloaf" position in various warm corners. Spring is just around the corner and I am already getting excited about the changes that lie ahead.

A small patch of daffodils that we inherited are getting ready to bloom. These are survivors from a previous garden and I suspect they have been around for forty years. When we moved in they were buried under bamboo and weedy trees. They showed themselves after  we cleared the property and bloomed again, maybe for the first time in decades, last spring. I would love to know which variety they are, perhaps Trevithian, and will post pictures as soon as they bloom. Perhaps you can help me identify them.

In the meantime, I am hoping that a few Goldfinches grace your garden too.

February 7 - evening

Narcissus 'Yael.'


Evening light(house.)

Another intense week with interviews, studio shoots, documentary work, my radio program, print deadlines,  grant writing, meetings, meetings, meetings, and, of course... gardening. Thank God for the gardening!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing the authors of a new book, Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible, two young men who are exploring the various incarnations of the divine in contemporary American life. My favorite line from the book (paraphrased) is that "orthodoxy is just another heresy done up in drag." Gotta love that! I recommend their website to you.

Also, yesterday, I had the great pleasure of attending a concert by Craig Hella Johnson's Conspirare Choir. They performed music from the Baltic region of Northern Europe including pieces by Part and Sibelius. It was an incredible experience. Magnificent. Transformative. Bravo! I cannot wait until they perform again. Austin is very fortunate to have such remarkable talent, this is as good as music gets in the "Live Music Capital of the World."

February 14 - morning

We awoke this morning to a most unusual sight, an inch or two of snow had fallen during the night. As I write this, it has almost entirely disappeared. However, Victor and I managed to shoot nearly two hundred images of the garden in its winter attire! Victor took most of the pics since I had to rush off to do my radio program. I hope you enjoyed the snow (our first measurable snowfall in many years.) Here's our winter tour of the garden...

A snow covered piece of driftwood with some riverstones.

Bald Cypress branches.


Stepping stones.


Our Zen lighthouse.


The labyrinth of snow.


More Cypress branches (from our allee.)


The conversation room.


One of the "Painted Churches" birdhouses made by my Dad.


The conversation room.


A cantera angel with fragrant sumac in the foreground.


The allee.


Our Lady of Guadalupe.


Prickly pear.

February 17 - morning

After our little snow event, the weather has turned positively balmy. Yesterday, it reached nearly 70 degrees ( about 20 celcius.) The rest of the week is supposed to be more of the same. I just hope that the plants don't think that spring has arrived and start to break their dormancy.

Here are a few more snow pics...


A juniper bonsai on our back deck.


The view from the back corner of the garden.


The cypress trees of our allee really looked great in the snow.


The bench in the middle of our Possumahw circle.

February 19 - morning

As it turns out, our mystery daffodils, the ones that appeared in our backyard after our intial "clearing"  when we moved in, are the much maligned 'King Alfred.' This is a variety that has been poor-mouthed for decades, perhaps because of genetic slippage over the years. But ours were probably planted in the 'fifties or 'sixties, and now that they are getting some sun, seem happy as can be.  Here is a pic taken this morning...


February 20 - morning

A few more daffodil pics...

A close-up of one of our King Alfreds.


Our first Campernelle blossom (only about a quarter of the size of the King Alfred.)


A profile shot of the King Alfred.

February 27 - morning

I spent an hour or two yesterday shooting still images of Laguna Gloria for an upcoming documentary program that KLRU is producing. It was a pleasure enjoying the restored grounds of the villa on a glorious spring-like day. Here are a few of the images...

The "Temple of Love" with historic gates from the Capitol.


The Villa.

















A magnificent old Live Oak tree.

Continue to March 2004

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