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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Great Hail Storm of 2016

 At 3:00 AM Saturday morning, April 30th, Ann and I were sitting in the living room looking out through the large view windows at swirling winds and a bit of hail coming down.  It did not seem especially vicious to me, and she asked if there could be any damage to my car which was sitting outside because the garage had two other cars in it.  Since the hail looked mostly pea-size in diameter, and the winds appeared no stronger than we commonly receive, I assured her that it would do no real damage.  Wrong.

We woke at sunrise to discover that we had dozens of trees snapped to pieces or uprooted, both driveways blocked by large trees and branches, and $4,000 of hail damage to my car.  Those live oaks which were not destroyed all lost about half of their leaves, so we'll see if the inevitable summer drought coming up is enough to kill some more of them.

We feel pretty lucky all things considered, since we never lost power or suffered damage to either house (thank you, metal roof!)  This uprooted tree fell against the guest house but just lightly, although it did wipe out the TV antenna and bird feeders there.   

Later after talking with other locals we heard tales of many home windows being blown in, so that made us realize how fortunate we really were. 

It will take years of chainsawing to clear all the mess, but the driveways are already cleared so that is a good start.  Time to invest in more chainsaw chains and a few gallons of 2-cycle fuel...