Harvey – Day 3


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I checked the computer and watched  the news before going to bed around 11:00 pm on Saturday evening. There were tales of doom and gloom on both of them with dire warnings of flooding and high winds. I figured that there was not much I could do unless the roof blew off the house in which case, I would be busy rescuing important stuff, like pets and electronic gadgets including my cameras before jumping in the car (hopefully) and heading out. Or if this was not possible, hunkering down in any room that was still dry if I couldn’t get the car out of the garage.

Hoping for the best, I went to bed and fell asleep in no time flat only waking when the call of nature prodded my brain to use the bathroom which sadly to say, happens all too often nowadays. I didn’t hear the storm as it continued through the night although my cell phone went off a couple of times with weather alerts telling me to be aware of “strong winds” and “lots of rain”. Sometimes it helps to wear hearing aids which I remove at night enabling me to sleep through anything but the loudest thunder.

I awoke the next morning and looked out of the french doors at the yard. As far as I could see, apart from things laying in different directions from the wind, I could not visibly see any damage. The stained glass window is still hanging in the trees although a little more lopsided than before. I still need to find it a new home when the weather gets better.

Choosing to get up even though it was before 8:00 am, I showered and dressed and went outside to see the extent of the damage up close. There are leaves off the trees everywhere. Many plants are laying lopsided as the wind has blown them over and apart from the water in the 5000 gallon pond being very dirty and of course the downed Cypress tree in the 6000 gallon pond, everything doesn’t look too bad at all. It looks like one of the pumps has stopped working or is blocked in the 5000 gallon pond. I will get to that later. All of the ponds are full to the brim with the overflows working nicely to let some of the water run off.

I wandered down to the bottom of the garden to the area know as Murmuring Creek which, as I have mentioned many times before, only murmurs when we get a real gully washer and although it was very obvious that it had flooded a little bit, it was nothing like I had expected.

All in all, it looks like my part of town has gotten off very lightly. The weather map shows the main part of the Hurricane to have moved off to the East and we should probably only be getting strong winds and rain for a couple more days. If there is anything to report tomorrow, I will follow up then.

More Ramblings


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The Stained Glass Window in the Tree

I have just finished a poem about Hurricane Harvey, the second in the series. Will there be one tomorrow or the day after? Who knows as it all depends on what the weather will bring in that time. There is still a lot of storm left and plenty of time for it to reke havoc and damage. Quite obviously, all outside activity is curtailed for a while except to go out and check the ponds occasionally to put right any minor things that may be malfunctioning. So far, everything is holding up well.

I do have a stained glass window that I hung in one of the trees a few years back. Unfortunately, the branch I hung it on is now dead and I need to get up there and take the window down before the wind breaks the branch which has to be in the near future somewhere. That is nature’s way of trimming the trees, let the branches die until they are rotten and flimsy and then blow them down. Unfortunately, there is sometimes something wrong with the plan as it doesn’t take into consideration anything that may be situated under or hanging on the rotten branch. Make a note to myself to take down the window as soon as the storm leaves.

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View of the Vegetation in the Garden from the Deck

The rain that we are getting out of this storm is very welcome.  We have had around 80 days of 100 sometimes plus degree weather this summer and we are not through yet. The State has been in a drought like forever. Funnily enough, I was thinking just the other day that I have not set up the soaker hose systems that I have ready to go every summer. I have hand watered a few times on a couple of plants but not an excessive amount and the garden and plants have held up well.  Everything is pretty much native plantings and they are very drought tolerant. Except when I have to do a partial water change in one of the ponds which pushes the water bill up around the $60.00 mark, my normal consumption is around $23.00 worth of water. One old guy living alone sure makes a difference and yes, I do shower every day.

All of the animals are fast asleep. Pete is in his usual place on the couch and I can hear him snoring from way over the other side of the room. Ginny had to have her teeth cleaned two days ago resulting in the extraction of a couple of them. Now she is feeling sorry for herself stretched out fast asleep on the bed. I don’t know where the cat is, probably asleep somewhere in one of her hidey holes. Must be a great life to be a pet in a good home.

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A Different View of the Garden and the Native Plants.

Maybe I should take a leaf out of their book and join Ginny and take a nap…Or I could watch the English Premier League on television but  wait, I like to watch those recorded games in the evening. There is always the cat’s litter box that needs cleaning and a whole bunch of dusting and furniture polishing needing attention that I have been putting off for a couple of years or so. Or I could think of something else to blog about and add it to the couple of months worth that I am already scheduled ahead. I know,  while I am making up my mind, I will make myself another Latte to help me to think….

 

Apologies for my absence


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Trail at the Austin Greenbelt

To all of my readers out there, I must apologize for nor blogging for a month or so. I have quite literally been up to my ears building a new website for my favorite Association, the Austin Pond Society. The last Webmaster had slowly been pulling back from his involvement and I had taken over most of his duties in keeping up the old site. He had mentioned that it was time for a new site with a more modern look to it but that he just didn’t have the time.

I am not a computer geek inasmuch that I am not professionally trained but I have been around computers for the past 20 odd years and have had a couple of websites in the past but nothing to the degree that the Pond Society expected. Being the adventuress sort, I said to myself, “What the hell, all I can do is screw up or I might just succeed” and in my mind, failure was not an option.

Central Texas where I live, has been experiencing some very cold (for us) weather with freezes at night and temperatures in the day not going much above 40 degrees Farenheit with some days even colder than that. Consequently, the attraction for going outside and working in the yard or even going hiking was not very appealing and it wasn’t hard to stay glued to the computer for the last couple of months. Sad to say, I got so involved that I even let slip my work out schedule and barely made one trip a week to the gym instead of every two days.

I chose to build the site using WordPress which is also the site that hosts my blog so the decision was not very difficult. I set up a new account and downloaded a package to get me started. I found a hosting site and also downloaded a Theme which I liked and got to work.

It was a struggle at first and more than a little frustrating as many things I tried would not work and I spent a lot of time debugging my own work. I settled on a format that was also flexible enough that I could make changes as the site grows and spent the next two months almost totally glued to my computers. I even had one computer freeze up on me and had to rush it to the shop for repair work but luckily for me, all of the content was backed up.

Finally, last week, the site went live at http://www.austinpondsociety.org That doesn’t mean to say it is finished. Like all good things, the work is never done as there will be pages to add as the Pond Society goes through its usual annual routine of Speakers at the monthly meetings, Sponsor Night when all of our sponsors have a show and tell, the Plant Swap when our members bring in all of their surplus plants, fish and equipment and swap it out for someone else’s plants, fish and equipment. Everyone goes home happy. The big item will be the Pond Tour that this year that will be held on June 6,7. Following that, the next meeting will be a review of the Pond Tour when many of those that showed their ponds talk about their experiences. The final meeting in November will be our Thanksgiving/Christmas Party when a fun time is had by all. Finally, as the weather warms, there will be hikes and trips to the great outdoors.

So, I have lots of material up ahead to report on both in the new website and also in the Ripples, the quarterly Pond Society newsletter for which I am the Editor, and of course my own blog which I have neglected these past couple of months.

Luckily for me, the weather is going to warm up. After all, this is Texas, the State with the 100 degree summers. This we can rely on with real certainty. Usually, we go from Winter and the small amount of cold that we have to endure directly to Summer. Somehow, we miss out on Spring as it slips by us so fast that we barely notice it probably because it lasts all of two days. Just kidding of course but the temperatures do warm up very quickly.

I can’t wait. I hate the cold which is why I ended up in Texas after ten years of New York State winters. Oh yes, please check the new site out and let me know what you think of it. Criticism or Praise, we all need both.

Maybe, I’ll see you on the hiking trails.