Art as a Gift

For the past eleven years, I (Rick) have made a piece of art for my daughter, Megan, for her birthday. I like to give her something that reflects some aspect of her life in the past year. While having dinner with Megan a few nights ago, we were trying to remember what I had made … Continue reading

What To Do With Hundreds Of Dead Trees

What To Do With Hundreds Of Dead Trees

Once you fell a tree, what do you do with it? In our case, what do we do with hundreds of trees? We are our own foresters; we do all the trimming, pruning and lately, all the felling of doomed Chinese tallow trees. There are two parts to the disposal question: trunks and twigs. The tops … Continue reading

Druid Wedding

Our friends Terry and Nivien were married on a brilliant, sunny, cool Houston day. The official ceremony was at noon at the Courthouse. The later “Druid” ceremony was in the garden behind the house. Terry and Nivien are both interested in the environment, nature and they wanted a Druid Priest. Rick was the closest thing … Continue reading

Goodbye, Chinese Tallow Trees

Goodbye, Chinese Tallow Trees

The last few months have been eventful in our little forest. The most conspicuous trees here have been the Chinese tallow tree, Triadica sebifera. According to Wikipedia, they account for 23 percent of the trees in the Houston area, more than any other tree species! Fast growing non-natives, they crowd out just about everything when they … Continue reading

Waterer For Four Hens

Waterer For Four Hens

We’d been looking for a better way to water our four chickens. A crock of water was what we started with, and even sitting up on a block, it was always full of mud and worse. Because we have just four hens, we didn’t want a gravity fed, two-piece waterer, because they have to be … Continue reading

Weathering the Summer

One of our first posts at the beginning of the summer was about not using air conditioning.  We decided that we would not use any, if possible, over the course of the Houston 2012 summer.  Now, with the first cool front pushing through, perhaps marking the end of summer, we can look back. We did … Continue reading

Habitat Destruction

Habitat Destruction

Last Friday evening, we were saddened to see that the acre of land just north of us was being cleared. When we moved here there was a little strip of five acres, with a street along the front and a power easement along the back. The five acres were a nice little patch of dense … Continue reading

Summertime Is For Outdoor Showers

Summertime Is For Outdoor Showers

One of the best things we thought of when we planned this house was an outdoor shower.  We have plenty of privacy and the perfect spot for one: just outside the back door, on the raised part of the concrete pad. It’s pretty basic, just a shower with a four foot hose and a temperature/on-off … Continue reading

Eggs

Eggs

We were expecting our first egg sometime in June, and we got it, just in time. The other morning we were drinking coffee and reading the paper (yes, we still get a paper delivered every morning) when we heard a huge ruckus from the chickens.  It didn’t last long so we thought nothing of it. Later … Continue reading

Adios Goats

The goats have gone and we miss them.  Stella and Link, our Dobermans, miss the excitement of running to the windows every time there’s any chance of seeing the goats.  In the three weeks they were here the goats became part of the family.  We adapted to their rhythm – indeed, they trained us well.  … Continue reading