Veni. Vidi. Vino. 

Girls night out!   It’s been months since all of us were able to make it.   It was…. lovely!

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DOWO.

With the Cooper’s hawk flying through regularly, my backyard bird activity has dropped significantly.  But the resident Downy woodpeckers are not phased by it.  I have at least one male/female pair.  They frequent the feeder all day, every day.   This is a photo of a female downy woodpecker (DOWO) on the finch feeder.  They love to pick the sunflower chips out of the mix.  Downy’s are notoriously difficult to ID versus the similar looking, but larger, Hairy woodpecker species.  In this photo, though, you can see a couple of the markers that confirms it is a downy:  the relatively short beak, and the black flecks on the outer white tailfeathers.  Here’s a link to Audubon guidance on differentiating the two species.

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Second chance.

I was sitting on the back patio today when four beautiful warblers decided to take a bath in the fountain, about 10 feet away from me!   I was treated to a yellow warbler, two black-throated green warblers, and a mourning warbler.  I had my binoculars so I enjoyed a nice long look.  But of course, the camera was in the house.   After they had moved on, I went back in for my camera.   The earlier photo opp didn’t repeat, but I did get a shot or two of a beautiful yellow warbler that dropped down to the fountain for a drink.   Fall migration is on!

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Who’s here?

Keeto often asks us, “Who’s here?”   Well, this morning, when I opened up the blinds to look at the back yard, I was excited to see a flock of baltimore orioles in the bird bath/fountain that I put out in the spring.  There were many more in the trees above, taking turns bathing.   The orioles are currently migrating south for the winter.  In the spring, on their way north, I only got a moment’s glance at a single male baltimore oriole.  Today though, I got to enjoy them for about 15 minutes.   And then, poof, they were gone.   I hope they remember to stop here on their way back next spring.

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Back to black.  

We returned last night after our extended Eclipse 2017 trip; we took the opportunity to visit family in the area while we were up there.  We drove 19 hours straight across five states, and got home a little after midnight.  We wanted to get home to check on things, given Hurricane Harvey’s arrival the night before.   I’m thankful that the only bad thing so far is that our power is out.  I’ve no idea how long it will take to restore.  But it’s not a big deal for us; it’s nice to be home. 

This is a view of the sunset from the highway outside Dallas last night.  I’m praying for the folks on the Texas gulf coast and southeast part of the state.  

GNO.   

It’s been busy here for the last month or so.  We had several nieces under our roof and at the lake with us this past week, which was a joy for me.  Good visits, good fun and lots of laughs were had.   But they are now back in their respective places living their exciting young lives.  As for me, I’m committed to relaxing for the rest of this week.   Last night I joined some friends for girls’ night out at Alcomar in south Austin.   I enjoyed it. 

 PROs:  Tasty tapa-ish seafood dishes.  Happy hour from 3-6pm every day.  And their own parking lot on S 1st! 

CONs: wine not included in happy hour.  

Blues on the green.  

Tonight we made it to the last concert in this year’s Blues on the Green free concert series at Austin’s lovely Zilker Park.   Bright Light Social Hour was the headliner.   We joined Lori and Doray, who have made it to every show this year. They’re professionals; they have the parking/tailgating/setup thing down.  We got downtown early, went for a swim in Barton Springs Pool and then headed over to the Great Lawn to set up our chairs and share some nibblies before the show.  


    I enjoyed the night very much.  Temps were in the 80s!! How lucky was that?!

    Yes, we CAN!

    I helped my friend, Lori, unpack boxes from her recent move to a new home in South Austin yesterday.  The first thing we unpacked were the wine glasses, because she greeted me with a can of wine, one of her latest finds, a lovely rosé made by The Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery that’s located just down the street from her new place.  Kinda fun and not bad!  I can see this on the boat in my future.  🙂

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    Beautiful view.

    We spent the weekend on the lake — floating with Marty & Sue, and doing some boat chores.  I got up at 1 AM and 3:30 AM early Sunday morning to try to see meteors from the Perseids shower, but didn’t spot any.  We went for a fun sail late on Sunday afternoon in some good north winds.  The cold front that they brought in will drop our temps into the frosty mid-nineties for a change this week.  🙂

    This view never gets old…

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    Empty nest.  

    Not ones to miss a taproom visit opportunity, we left an hour early to take Fran and family to the airport, stopping in at the Live Oak Brewing Company right across the highway from the Austin airport.  It sure beats the cellphone lot!

    Back home, the house is sadly quiet.  Except for Keeto asking “who’s here?”  We await our next visitors!

    Colleen sent me these cute wine glass charm birdies.  We tried them out last night.   Cheers!

    Barton Springs, Lake Travis, and a shanghai’ed uncle.

    Days 3, 4 and 5 of our visit with family brought a trip to Barton Springs, Sno-beach snocones, a brewery crawl, an overnight at anchor on the boat on Lake Travis, and pizza night.  The weekend was filled with swimming, diving and floating.   A brother-in-law from Houston drove to Austin and he spent the night with us on the boat – whether he knew he was going to or not 🙂

    I love the chance to spend this time with family.  Keeto will be devastated when everyone leaves tonight.

    This is a shot from the southern end of Barton Springs pool, looking north to the Austin skyline.  The background has changed much since Mary Doerr captured the same vantage point years ago – the Capitol building is now obscured by skyscrapers.  But the pool in the foreground is exactly the same.

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    Meat-o-rama. 

    My sister and her family are visiting us for a week.   We are having more fun than six people should.  We tubed the San Marcos River today, and hit the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood for dinner on the way home. Delicious.  


    Photo credit to Fran.  🙂

    Welcome back, Celis!

    We attended tonight’s Grand Opening for the new Celis Brewery.  Celis opened in 1992 producing award winning local craft beer.   Sadly, it closed in 2000.  But the original founder’s daughter worked hard to make todays re-opening of  Celis Brewery a reality, 25 years from the original brewery’s birthday.  Cheers!