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Friday, May 07, 2004

Move towards the light(s)

I spent an hour or more messing about with the landscape lights in the front yard today. This included a quick trip to Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) up the street to replace the expensive little halogen bulbs ($9.99/2 bulbs) used in the 3 flood lights. All three of them had been flaky or gone out entirely over the last month. There is also a chronic problem in getting the clamps on each unit to grip the low-voltage wire and let the power flow. I think I have solved that problem, though. The little teeth inside the connector that actually pierces the insulation on the wire get bent out of alignment. A quick push with the screw driver and things were working much better.

My son came out into the yard to help me during the procedure and actually picked up a weeding tool and started in on some nut grass and spurge growing the driveway. Woohoo! Someone to help me with the weeding. With all the hot weather we have been having lately, we are in great need of some weeding.

This weekend starts a series of book signings for my wife, though, and gardening time will continue to be in short supply for the foreseeable future. I am the official photographer, kid wrangler, wine pourer and, also, head flunky. (SMILE)

A quick feeding of the birds, squirrels and hummingbird feeders ended our afternoon in the garden.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Botanical Fonts

What do you get when you turn a bunch of designers loose in the woods and tell them re-create fonts using only the material found around them?

You get some wonderful botanical fonts, available in both TrueType and JPEG format, to spice up your garden journals, blogs and more.

Here are 2 examples of the fonts, using both the font files (B&W) and the full-color JPEG artwork.

Click for larger image

All this work took place at AIGA Minnesota's Design Camp. According to the description on their web site:

"Drawing from his fine art background, Chank encouraged designers to create "found art" letterforms, using only materials found laying around the campgrounds in Nisswa, Minnesota. AIGA campers sparked their creativity by exploring the area looking for leaves, twigs, flower petals, cigarette butts, rocks, fish bones, wild berries -- anything that might help them fashion attractive new organic letterforms."

You can download Mr. Twiggy, Twigdancer, Sauertwiggo via the web site.

More bees...

I had another "bee-in" today. I have know idea why I keep running into them. Maybe someday in the future it will all "bee-come" clear. (SMILE)

As I arrived at the home of a consulting client today, I noticed that the car was surrounded by bees. Not too keen on getting stung, I parked a short distance away, where the bee cloud thinned out. I couldn't see the swarm itself, but I could certainly hear it. The sounds of 20,000-30,000 bees is quite unique. The swarm must have just recently settled in the olive tree by the client's driveway, as there was still a large cloud in the air around the tree.

About 20 minutes later, I was finished with my work. The cloud had thinned dramatically outside and I was able to easily see the large clump of bees on a limb of the olive tree, abouty 15 feet in the air. Quite an amazing site! I wonder if someone is trying to tell me something with all these apian encounters?

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

Check out my remarks on Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation over on My Word.

It isn't related to gardening, but I think you all might be interested in it.