Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cruisin' Elgin

I took a nice, long, exploratory bike ride today. I haven't been able to bike much lately, largely because the weather has not coordinated well with my schedule. But it was a nice, moody, overcast day today, in the 60s, all of which is terrific for me (I'm no great fan of sunshine, personally).

So. I wanted to break out of our usual biking patterns (10th St to Ave C to the duck pond or Main and back again) and see some new things, which totally worked out. I went down 2nd heading east of downtown and found myself on Ila, Bill, QS Goins[!], and Louise (streets, not people), where they have lots of rockin' yard bling and an adventurous, DIY approach to home construction and decoration.

Unfortunately, my camera card was full, so the only pix I could take were with my phone.

But here are some of the interesting things I saw.

This exceptionally gloomy abandoned house and derelict property.

I love old ruins--they're so pleasantly, tantalizingly melancholy

This woodcutter's cottage. His house is entirely fenced in firewood. Having been raised in the suburbs, I utterly do not know what to make of it. Is that how he heats his house? Does he sell firewood for a living? Answer comes there none.

The woodcutter's inexplicable cottage

Signs of spring. Daffodils, flowering quince, and pears were in bloom all over town.

A very big, old pear in bloom

And finally, one of the awesome things about living in a small town: goats! In town!

The tiny white dot in the back is a goat. He has another goat pal lurking behind the brush pile.

You want to know something weird? I like bike riding. I mean, I like it. It was always one of the more tolerable forms of exercise, but I never liked exercise in any form--it's always been a disagreeable but necessary means to some end or other. But this--this is fun. I didn't want to stop. I don't know what to make of this--some chemical change in my brain? Something to do with aging? Or maybe it's just the mild weather--moving around is fun when the great outdoors doesn't feel like a gigantic griddle. Who knows? I hope it's a long-lasting condition, though.

Early spring planting
A couple of weeks ago, we visited Barton Springs [or Creek? I always forget which it is] Nursery in Austin, just for a little looksee, and of course they were having a sale and had all sorts of lovely things in bloom to tempt our color-starved eyes.

Salvia vanhouttii 'Burgundy'

But then it was freezing, and wet, and snowy(!), so our purchases have been hanging out in Matt's greenhouse ever since. It's still a bit early, but I gambled and popped our burgundy Vanhouttii salvias in the ground, a 'Marilyn's Choice' abutilon, a 'New Dawn' abutilon, a garden mint, a cardoon (well, why the hell not?), and a couple of shrimp plants: dark red and firecracker orange.

'Marilyn's Choice' abutilon--you can see why I couldn't resist putting it in the ground

And, because they're still in bloom & I want to appreciate them while I can, here are some more of our cemetery iris, Iris albicans


Anonymous said...

While I love the iris, capturing it with the water/rain/dew drops on it is fantastic!

Elgin_house said...

Thanks! I can't tell you how fond I've become of those irises. Will it spoil the romance if I confess that the water on the flowers came from irrigation, not precipitation?

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