The Daily Muse

Thoughts from an Austin Garden  -- December 2009


Last update -  December 30


Bigtooth maple leaves - November 2009 - Lost Maples.


December 6 - morning


Greetings and apologies for my long absence from these pages. As I sit writing this, I am looking out of my new home-office window looking at a possumhaw holly tree that I planted over twenty years ago. It is a gray, damp morning but the bright red berries are a cheerful sight, as are the chickadees that are noisily hopping around the branches. Last month, my former partner and I sold our home and beloved garden and I have moved back into a small condominium where I lived and gardened for many years. My new / old home is near the center of town and I am getting reacquainted with the pleasures of living in a small zen-like space. In fact, the downsizing and shedding of "stuff" has been positively liberating. It is a cliche of our down-sizing times, and I know that to many it may sound like rationalizing, but I am happy to have been free of the stuff that "owned" me for too long!


I expect to be writing about the restoration of my current garden over the course of the coming months and I am looking forward to the task of refashioning its somewhat shaggy appearance. Despite years of having no gardener around, its centerpiece, a shared courtyard, is still a very pleasing space. In fact, several of my neighbors, folks who have move in in the years while I was away, have told me that the garden was the reason they chose to buy a home here. The young daughter of one of them has already befriended me and has confided that she tells her friends that she lives in a "secret garden."


In the middle of selling my home, moving, packing and unpacking, I have managed to steal a few hours to work on my  book project, and will have to really bear down on that in the coming weeks. As a result, my entries here will be somewhat limited for a while. However, I can still share some new images! What follows are a few pictures taken during my annual retreat to the Sabinal River valley and Lost Maples State Natural Area.


Blessings and peace to everyone - thank you for being there for me!



The butterfly migration was in full swing at the beginnning of November when this picture was taken.



Mealy blue sage and meadow grasses near the banks of the Sabinal.



A stream in Lost Maples SNA.



Slanting light near sunset.



Glorious color.



Backlit leaves.



It was not the best of years for color at the park, but it wasn't too shabby!



One of my favorite "bonsai" trees at the park.



Same tree - different angle.






More soon - I promise!


December 9 - morning


NEPAL ELEVATION from warmeye on Vimeo.

I am feeling elevated this morning. Enjoy!

December 23 - morning

A moonlight Merry Christmas!

Timelapse movie: The Alps -- part II (night) from Michael Rissi on Vimeo.

December 30 - morning

This is not exactly what I would like to be posting right now...

Yesterday, I received an email from the new owner of my former house and garden letting me know that someone had stolen several  garden benches and assorted garden ornaments that I had left for them. It appears as if the thief "cherry picked" the items and might have had some knowledge about what was there - perhaps someone who had visited on a garden tour?  I am very upset by this, as are the new owners. If you have a gardening "friend" who has recently acquired two rough eastern red cedar benches like those pictured below, please let me know.



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