Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Study of Moss

Lately Houston has been deluged with daily thunder storms accompanied by lots of rain, rain so deep that entire neighborhoods have been flooded. All this rain has birthed mosquitos as well as moss on many surfaces. Enjoy this collage of moss growing in the yard, on the fence and on rocks.

The fence in this photo is not altered in any way. It is truly green with moss. No special filters used, no techniques. Just a true photo of the way it looks.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

In Memory of Audrey Wade

Today's post is dedicated to a remarkable woman. This afternoon was the service for Audrey Wade, my beloved neighbor for more than twenty years, and my friend for much longer, who died June 29, 2010. Audrey was a truly wonderful person, full of life and smiles, full of love for all, truly guileless, inquisitive, adventuresome, and brave. She and her husband were fond of taking trips and they inevitably brought back some treasures for my children or for me. There are many reminders of Audrey around my house. Audrey and Jim raised six great kids and contributed mightily to their community and to their church. Audrey would frequently pop over to my house to chat or to bring a goodie. Other times we chatted over our common back wall. She was always ready to share something with me including late-night excursions to her backyard to see the night-blooming cereus. There are many tales I could tell and all of them good and wonderful.

Lucky for me, I saw Audrey in December last year when I had lunch with her and her dear husband Jim. Audrey will forever remain in my heart. She will be missed by so many to whom she was beloved. My prayers go out to Jim and all the family.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Galveston Mansions

There are a number of beautiful mansions in the coastal town of Galveston, TX. Many were built during the height of its affluence, in the late 1800s.

Some of the mansions are beyond what most of us can imagine, with hand-painted murals, custom iron work, amazingly intricate wood carvings, marble steps, and frankly, too many special features to describe.

If you ever have a chance to visit Galveston, take the time to tour one of their truly unique homes.

Galveston was originally inhabited by an extinct native American tribe called the Auias, whose influence extended all the way to Corpus Christi. Disease, conflict with Europeans, and numerous other reasons caused them to be extinct before the Civil War. Several Spanish explorers, beginning in 1528, had significant influence on the island town, including the naming of the town for the Spanish Count Galvez (Galvez-town).

The natural harbor there provided a base for pirates until the Texas Navy routed them with the support of Mexico. Galveston was a prosperous town and a progressive town until it was devastated by a hurricane in 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in US history. It never returned to its previous days of glory but the remnants, like the mansions on main street, are a testament to its once prosperous times.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moss Roses (Portulaca Grandiflora)

This little plant can take heat and dry conditions, making it a perfect little summer plant. They can be used in hanging baskets to add color or they also make a great plant for a rock garden.