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Friday, August 19, 2005

Sedona Sunshine...and a bit of thunder

My wife and I are currently having a bit of work/fun near Sedona, Arizona. I really love this area, for a variety of reasons, but one major reason is its stark, rugged, natural beauty. The striking red rocks against a dark blue sky filled with puffy white clouds just does something to me.

After a trip into "the city" of Sedona this morning, I returned for a quick dip in the pool. It is about 90 degrees here today, so it was a welcome relief. As I floated about I watched as this very large wasp (or more likely, several)returned again and again to the pool. I have seen wasps gathering water before, but it seemed to me that they usually hovered over the water and only lightly touched surface. These wasps would land completely on the water and even float there for 15-30 seconds each time.

Finally, I climbed out of the pool. The cloud I had been watching build over the last minutes or so started dropping rain to the southeast of us and sent peals of thunder rolling over the valley.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bonsai

Whenever I visit the Huntington Library and Gardens in nearby Pasadena, I am always fascinated with their extensive bonsai collection. I usually start my day walking through the Japanese Garden, ending up contemplating the lovely stone Zen garden and then strolling over to the bonsai. This beautiful trees, in miniature, capture my attention with their gnarled and weathered-looking trunks, as well as their tiny, yet perfectly formed, leaves.

While I appreciate the conifer-based bonsai, the maple trees are my favorite. They remind me of the giant maples that arched over every main street in my my small home town, New London, Ohio (Satellite Photo).

I am not sure I would ever have the skill or patience to create a decent bonsai, but this tutorial from WikiHow might be a good place to start.

How to Create a Bonsai Tree - wikiHow

Japanese maples are ideal deciduous trees for creating beautiful bonsai. Using a method called air layering, it is very easy to make a branch sprout roots that will support it after separation from the tree. By selecting a nicely shaped branch you can create a bonsai tree that will bring years of enjoyment.

With this method you can create a tree that would normally take five years or more to develop from seed or cuttings.

(Via del.icio.us/tag/garden.)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Shade sails


Reading the comments on this posting from Apartment Therapy, it seems that these outdoor shade covers are quite popular in Australia. If you have large, sun-baked expanses of garden (unlike myself) this might be a way to reclaim part of the garden for daytime enjoyment.

shade sails

Want shade and can't build an arbor or install a big roll-out awning? Whether you are heading up to the roof or out to the backyard, we have found that Shade Sails are the best things around for creating a lot of shade on a lower budget.

Originally developed in Australia, where canopies were made of sail cloth, these new versions are made of a synthetic knit fabric that blocks 90% of the sun's harmful rays, is super light and impervious to moisture and mold...

posted by epersonae to garden to-buy

(Via del.icio.us/tag/garden.)