Thursday, July 06, 2017

I intentionally snuggled the guest house under a Live Oak tree when we built it.  So every year or two I need to do some serious trimming to keep it from hitting the metal roof.  That is me up there with a bow saw and loppers.  Branches scratching on metal could negatively impact the five-star lodging experience for our guests!

It's been more than ten years since we first started construction in Wimberley, and the task of maintaining what I built can be overwhelming at times.  I probably have a backlog of a dozen troubleshooting and major maintenance projects.  So it is time to start actually hiring firms to do some of the bigger projects, and I think the first project will be repainting all of the exterior wall and trim on the main house and garage.  Maybe I'll limit my involvement to sipping on some iced tea while inspecting their work...

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Not-So-Wild Flowers

It's been dry so far this year in Wimberley, so the crop of truly wild wildflowers has been a bust. But here in our new fenced garden, with more than a foot of great imported topsoil, the wildflower seeds we planted during the winter are looking good.  This mix is aimed at creating butterfly nirvana, and includes black-foot daisy, bee-balm, fire wheel,

As for my nearly year-long absence from blog posts, I've been tied up with creating a LLC and designing/building a prototype affordable housing project in Houston, so my trips to Wimberley have been few and short. has the details. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kayaking on the Blanco

Ann had a brilliant idea for my birthday this year and bought two kayaks for our boating pleasure.  After our first adventure in them, I must admit to feeling pretty stupid about never doing this in the 14 years since I bought the property!  We have been in the Blanco many times, since we have private access through our subdivision 's community park.  But we never saw many people navigating the waters and were not sure how feasible it would be.  Heading downstream is definitely more fun than (mostly) dragging the kayak upstream, but it is still loads of fun.  Now that we have tested them out, it is time for friends and family to come out and enjoy them too!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ladybird Wildflower Center

The only thing better than visiting in the Wildflower Center in the Spring is visiting in the Spring with good friends.  Mike and Shawn were with us recently and aside from being the easiest guests we could possibly ever have, we got to show them around our go-to outdoor wonderland early one morning.  Just in time too, since the nasty hot summer weather is definitely upon us!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Daisy Duty

Our 1972 Chevy pickup spends a lot of time under cover in our garage, but when she is needed it is great to have her around.  This Spring's hail/wind storm left a huge amount of tree parts scattered around, and Daisy provides a great way to get all of that to our burn piles located alongside the road. Before Daisy, a wheelbarrow was the biggest thing I had, which wasn't much better than just dragging limbs along the ground.  She is probably going to be asking for an allowance increase after this... 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


I saw this guy (or gal) during a hike down our backyard creek bed this weekend.  I'm no expert, and am wondering if it is a Garden Spider. Whatever it is, I imagine it doesn't make a lot of human friends with looks like that...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Turkey Mega-Flock

We've had turkeys on our property for many years, but for some reason the past year they've been more frequent and numerous than ever.  They absolutely love to eat the reject birdseed and hulls from under our ten bird feeders, and I know they visit all of them because they've created very clear trails between each feeder.  At one point I counted thirteen of them in the backyard together.  For obvious reasons their numbers tend to decline significantly right around turkey hunting season, perhaps a combination of death by hunters and just being too scared to come anywhere near our house when the hunt is on.

I never thought of turkeys as especially attractive until I starting seeing them in bright sunlight, when their feathers reflect the light and burst with bright colors.  Someday I will get that elusive perfect photo of one showing off all that color!  It's tough because the only time they are still enough to get a got photo is when they are under the feeders, which of course are hung from trees which create shade underneath... 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Awnings, Finally

Two years after the exterior of the guest house was completed, I finally got around to designing, building, and installing the first of the window awnings in my original plan.  This is one of the smaller ones, and the next one will have three of the cedar brackets shown here and will span two side-by-side windows.   The standing seam metal galvalume roofing is identical to the roofs on the houses.  For both houses I had a professional do the work, but I found doing the awning by myself was actually pretty interesting, and definitely educational.  And of course if these were to leak... no big deal!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Carolina Chickadees?

We managed to get a peak inside our new birdhouse before the chicks flew away, but we still aren't sure what kind of birds they are.  Carolina Chickadees were our first bet, but we have since just about talked ourselves out of that... Next year, maybe an automatic wildlife camera is in order! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Canyon Lake Gorge Guided Tour

Wimberley is just a half hour drive from Canyon Lake, and the huge gorge it created when in overflowed the spillway in  2002.  For ten bucks per person,  a volunteer guide provides guided tours which focus mostly on the geology which was exposed from the erosion of that flood.  From dinosaur tracks to continental upheavals way before the dinosaurs, this walking tour is amazing and very educational.  Make your reservations on their website