Comet!

Comet PANSTARRS over Lake Travis.
Comet PANSTARRS over Lake Travis.

We were successful tonight!  The comet is definitely not as bright as it must have been just a few days ago.  I have seen some really clear pictures of it taken from Austin.  But, now that it is a bit higher in the sky, it sets later and so it may be easier to make out after the sun has set.  But it is definitely faint.  We drove out to Iguana Grill as the sun was setting.  I think we spotted it around 8:25pm, or about 50 minutes after sunset.  I was not able to see it with my naked eye.  We brought binoculars, and I was able to see it pretty clearly through those.   I used a 3-5 second exposure on my camera and was able to catch it faintly.  Can you see it to the left of the waxing cresent moon?
My first comet shot!

Red skies at night.

Lovely sunset.
Lovely sunset.

Today is the last day of my vacation.  Tomorrow it’s back to work for me.

My day started with a mimosa and ended with a glass of champagne — with this absolutely gorgeous sunset squeezed in between.  I snapped this as we headed to BB Rover’s for a quick dinner.

Monte and I have discovered the Showtime series called The Tudors.  We don’t have Showtime, but BBC America is broadcasting past seasons’ episodes via cable.  Yesterday and today have been a marathon session of season’s 1 and 2.   I found seasons 3 & 4 on Amazon Instant Video, so we can stream them for free at our leisure.  🙂  Speaking of leisure… I can’t wait til Friday!

Down at the Armadillo.

Inside Palmer Events Center.
Inside Palmer Events Center.

‘Tis the season for the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar!!  This is the 37th year of the Bazaar.  If you go, you can find local artists showing and selling their wares (over 150 artists this year), live music on a stage in the center of the hall, and food/drinks to fortify you as you make the rounds.  If you are anywhere near Austin between now and Christmas Eve, check it out.

While I was there tonight, Marcia Ball and Kimmie Rhodes shared the stage from 8-10pm – great music!  Here’s the obligatory shot from the floor…

Marcia Ball & Kimmie Rhodes.
Marcia Ball & Kimmie Rhodes.

 

Twinkle, twinkle.

Painting with a twist - holiday edition.
Painting with a twist – holiday edition.

Julie took her last final of Fall semester today – and is headed home for the holidays tomorrow.  Tonight we went to Painting with a Twist to create a work of art.   This is my version.   Not bad.  A little festive.  Probably worth hanging on the wall for a week or two (?)   🙂

Just playin’ a round.

Looking back at the 17th hole (I think).

We made a trip down to southeast Austin to run an errand or two this morning.  Since we were heading down there, we planned to play a round of golf at Jimmy Clay Golf Course.  So, we loaded our clubs into the car on our way out.

We played 18 holes.  Not only has it been a while since we played golf together.  It’s been a very long time since we played 18.  We usually play a twilight 9 holes after work.  But we got there early enough today to hit the range, the chipping and putting greens, and then play a full round.  We even got a cart today… a treat… as we usually walk it.

It was a nice day – sunny with highs in the 70’s.  I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo, but when we got there, we found a big flock of Monk parakeets (aka Quaker parrots) in residence at the golf course.   They were noisily greeting golfers from the oak trees around the clubhouse.  When we finished our round, they had gone – they must have returned to their nest for the evening.

A nice day.

Hmmm.  What’s wrong with this picture?  🙂

Fore!

Pretty dangles.

My first attempt at making earrings.

The other day when my sister and I spent an afternoon running around and playing in downtown Austin, I mentioned that we stopped into a bead shop (Bead It on South Lamar).  Over the years, I have assembled a nice set of jewelry-making tools that I use to repair miscellaneous of my favorite purchased pieces that have broken.  I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc, but have never taken that step.

So, when I came home last week with several baggies of beads and earring posts & hangers, I was excited to make a few pairs.   These are my very first pieces.   Not bad, i think.   Hmmmm, could there be an etsy storefront in my future?    🙂

P.s.  I’m wearing the purple/amethyst ones as I’m posting this…

Taking the day off.

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.

My sister leaves tomorrow, so I took the afternoon off to play hooky with her.  We started off buying beads at a bead shop to get supplies for making jewelry thingies.  No pics of that – a project for another day.  Then we headed to Zilker Park for a hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.  It was really lovely out.   High 70’s and sunny.  Perfect for a hike.  The creek is mostly dry.  We did see lots of flowers, butterflies and dragonflies.

The orange butterfly in the shot below stopped to let me take several shots.

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae).

Later on down the trail this swallowtail stopped to let me do the same thing.

Eastern tiger swallowtail (papilio glaucus?).

I found a pretty good butterfly guide website to try to identify them.  You might want to bookmark for future reference.

After the hike we stopped by Barton Springs Pool.  Such a pretty place.  The pool was beautifully clear.

Barton Springs.

Then we ran over to Sno-Beach for a must-have best-snocone-ever experience.  You’d better hurry, they close at the end of October for the winter.  Go out and get one!

Sno-Beach!

Then.  Back to Zilker to rent a kayak and tootle around Town Lake (ok, sorry “Lady Bird Lake.” old habits die hard).  We paddled all the way to the South 1st Street bridge.  On our paddle back we passed 3 UT Women’s Crew boats training.

UT Women’s 8.

The Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place this weekend.  It’s a 3 day music extravaganza hosted in Zilker Park.  Everything is setup and just about ready for the throngs of festival-goers.  I took the opportunity to take a quick shot of the festival entrance, so I wouldn’t have to come down here with 75,000 of my closest friends to get the shot this weekend.

ACL!

What a great Austin afternoon!

Sunday postscript.

Mr. Bojangles.

One more quick post before the clock strikes midnight.  We’ve had a lovely anniversary weekend.   We capped it off with a concert at One World Theatre tonight, with friends Marty & Sue.  We bought tickets months ago for tonight’s show with Jerry Jeff Walker, and we had a great time.

The evening wouldn’t have been complete without hearing Sangria Wine, and we were not sent home disappointed 🙂  It was an extra treat to have Austin musician Chris Gage join Jerry Jeff on lead guitar, mandolin, accordion and backup vocals.   Nicely done, Chris!

Have a great week everybody.

Raining sunshine.

Sunbeams.

What a nice weekend!  Saturday we (Julie, Monte and I) headed to the lake.  We raced in the Beer Can for the first time on Nirvana.  Let’s just say we have room for improvement 🙂  We came in 4th though!

Afterwards we anchored in Arky South for the night.  Just us this time.  Today we picked up the anchor around 11:30 and sailed to the yacht club and back.  Julie took the helm for the first half of the trip.  She’s a natural.

Back in the slip we floated and visited with Joe, Marty and Wally.

I can’t wait til the upcoming long Labor Day weekend!

Big finale.

We went to a Round Rock Express baseball game tonight.  On Friday nights they have a post-game fireworks show.  We had great seats right along the 3rd base line.  The game didn’t end well, but the fireworks sure did.

TGIF!!!!

Shades of blue.

Glassybabies.

Rachel is back home.  Julie is studying.  Monte is at the lake.  And I’m getting ready for a Sunday afternoon full of work-work.

We went to brunch at Güero’s this morning, then I dropped Julie back at her apartment, before taking Rachel to the airport.  This is a shot of some of Julie’s many glassybaby pieces.   These blue ones are pretty.  I also like the taupe/beige/cream colored ones.  But I guess I’m feeling blue today.

We had a nice weekend.   But we all have a busy week ahead.

Tomorrow is Rachel’s first day as a surgical resident (u go girl!).  Julie has a test.  And I have a full slate of meetings and presentations.

Here’s to the next girls’ weekend.

And, Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!  My dad is gone – for several years now.  But he would be very proud of his progeny, especially the two very talented, determined and self-reliant granddaughters that I got to spent the weekend with.

Green & black denier.

Texture.

I drove down to Julie’s apartment this morning to pick her up so that we could spend the day together.  We came back home and watched a bit of the boat parade for the Queen’s Jubilee celebration on BBC America.  Before too long we were at the marina.  Lots of the usual B-dock suspects showed up at some point.  We saw Marty, Sue, Joe, Kurt, Wally, Kevin, Robert, Tasha, Jay, Mike, and Dave.  Summer is here!  But the day was pretty overcast.  We put up the shade and floated for most of the afternoon.

Afterwards we opted for dinner at Jardin Corona and then we deposited Julie back home.

Twas a nice day.

The shot above is a swatch of my official “bound-for-the-lake” backpack.

A day to remember.

Old glory

On this Memorial Day, we spent several hours with friends at the marina.  We are actually just starting to look at boats for sale.  We looked at 2 sloops on E-dock today.  Time will tell how long it will take us to find a successor to our beloved Cupholder 🙂

Speaking of Cupholder, we sailed the slip with Marty, Sue, Joe and Wally, and then headed home.

Rigging at rest.

We had just enough energy left in us to buzz downtown for dinner at Taverna, and stopped by to see Willie along the way.

Hangin’ with Willie.

Pizza and Pils.


My niece is moving to Austin to attend grad school at UT.  She and her brother drove down from Seattle, and arrived on Friday.   We’ve enjoyed visiting with them for the last few days.  Tonight we drove down to South Congress to meet them for dinner, and afterwards watched the bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

We enjoyed an ATX double header:  Home Slice Pizza and Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap Pils.  Yum!