Flowers, Art, and the Bizarre

Santa Fe offers lots of art galleries, flowers in yards and in public places, churches, and totally unexpected venues.

A walk down Canyon Road on a cool evening is a pleasant activity.  There’s plenty to see.  The red orange flowers are Yarrow.

Art galleries abound and have nice displays outside.  Since I know the prices are crazy expensive for the paintings and statutes, I am more interested in the plants, many of which I can’t identify.

The Mexican Feather Grass to the right of the seated Indian statue is an popular stand-by in our area of Texas.

Quirky.

Don’t know which variety of salvia this is, but it’s a beautiful deep purple.  The yellow Columbine looks like butterflies darting around.

Clever Rock, Paper, Scissors sculpture.

Many yards have Hollyhocks, which are lovely and reseed plentifully.

Red Hot Poker plants (Kniphofia reflexas or Kniphofia uvaria) add some pizzazz to this bed.

Like the look of a stone flowerpot.

Love all the bronze sculptures in Santa Fe, especially the ones of children.

Plants can be crammed into the smallest spaces.

We visited a bizarre attraction.  Forgive the blurred picture.  Meow Wolf is a 20,000 square foot experience entertainment business.  One enters different rooms via fire places, refrigerators, closets, etc.

New openings of Meow Wolf in Denver and Las Vegas will be in the near future.  The Santa Fe location generated $9 million last year.  The gift shop and online store gained revenue of over a million dollars.

Lots of neon contributes to the eeriness.  Using mallets, these ‘dinosaur bones’ produced musical tones.

This “ocean” is full of color.

Pressing on a cloth wall triggers more neon.

A jumbled maze of crazy entrances and spaces filled with unique decorations draws visitors into a confusing path with waiting surprises.

The New Mexico state capitol building reflects the adobe buildings of the area and the circular shape represents the Zia sun emblem on the state flag.  It’s very unlike the Texas capitol.

The walls inside the capitol are covered with individual paintings and other art work.  The public is welcome to walk through all the corridors to view the art.

In the center of town, the large old churches are reminders of the mission period in the southwest.  Shown here is The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

There are three museums on Museum Hill.  The bronze statutes all around Santa Fe reinforce the importance of art to the city.

A fun place to visit, Santa Fe offers many unique sights and experiences.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”   Winston Churchill

Valentine Brunch

There was a Ladies’ Valentine Brunch at church on Saturday the 13th of February.  I was on the planning committee and was the decorator for the event.

brunch2There are many challenges to change our fellowship hall into a space that looks somewhat classy.  First, my sweet husband agreed to bring in the padded chairs from the chapel.  That made a huge difference rather than using the battered, mismatched folding metal chairs.

We also carried out some wall decorations, metal chairs, and other items that were eye sores.

My dear husband helped in so many ways.  It could not have been accomplished without him.

brunchThere is a large window opening into the kitchen, so I used sheers and lights to block out that view and added three arrangements for a little distraction and interest.

Later I noticed the gaps in the curtains and pulled those together.

brunch7Sheers on the windows gave the whole room a softer look.

brunch3There is no budget for such events, so I purchased items that can be used again for another function.  I had sprayed some vases for a previous luncheon, so those were used to hold artificial red and white roses.  Also, I sprayed dried items and and made beaded wires.

The dried items came from my yard, like Red Yucca pods, plus some Yucca pods from the field.  The clusters of seeds came from a small Vitex tree and a Burl Curls bush.  The bushy ends on a stem are dried flowers from Sedum Brilliant.  There are also some stems with dried flower pods from Rose of Sharon bushes.

brunch5Around the vases are paper heart chains. candles, and Bible verse cards.

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brunchcThere were five beaded wires in each vase.  On each wire were red, white and silver beads.  No two were alike.  They didn’t show up well in the pictures, so I took a picture of one alone.  I wandered all over the house trying to find a good spot for the photograph but couldn’t find one.  Finally settled on this photo.

brunchaThe serving table is 16 feet long.  Since it is in front of the kitchen window, I moved the larger vase to the corner at the end of the serving line.

The planning committee borrowed dishes from another church and brought flatware from home to make it more special than using paper plates and plastic utensils.  Volunteers washed dishes afterwards.

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brunch9This vase was on the drink table.  We found a great punch recipe on the internet.  It’s called Grandma’s punch and was really delicious and was red.

brunchbWe had a duet, a solo, and a short devotional.  Another lady was in charge of the games, which were a big success.  Everyone seemed to have a great time.  So the hours of preparation were worth it.

“Three things can’t be hidden: coughing, poverty, and love.”          Yiddish Proverb

Christmas, Again

Yes, the Christmas season has passed, but since I put up most of my decorations this year, I’m going to show the pictures.  Our kids swap out Thanksgiving and Christmas with each set of parents, so I only put up Christmas decorations every other year.   A very abbreviated version is out on the years we host Thanksgiving.

xmasuuIn the entry hall…

xmaskis the “Flight to Egypt” figurine.  This was bought at Walmart years ago.  I had started a collection of Lladros from Spain before I found these.  Although considerable cheaper and not as fine, I think this is well done.

xmaskkThe manager scene is also from Walmart.

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xmas1This Santa, made from an old quilt, was bought at a craft fair.

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xmas4Three small trees are decorated with a western theme.

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xmasvOrnaments reflect the historical and present Texas culture.

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xmas6Over the years I have collected all sorts of Santas.

xmas7They seemed to be enjoyed by the whole family.

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xmastSome are true collectibles, like Clothique Dream Santas.

xmasttHallmark was one of the retailers where they were/are available.  One of my sisters used to work there.  So several of my Santas were gifts from her.

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xmasaOthers were picked up at all kinds of stores and craft fairs.

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xmasbI also have a small collection of mangers.

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xmasccOn the left is a Jim Short nativity, and the one on the right came from Peru.

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xmasddThis Santa is animated with moving arms and head.

xmaseSome of my favorites are simple handmade mangers.  Most of the wooden decorations came craft fairs.

xmaseeThe paper mache Santa came from Germany.

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xmashhThe magi on camels, a folding metal cutout of Bethlehem, and an angel candelabra provides this table scene.

xmashGetting an snapshot of an overall view just didn’t work out.

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xmasiiThe cloth is a crazy quilt my mother made.  She used some ties that my Dad used to wear, like the blue with dots, along with other cloth scraps.

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xmasllThe picture was in a magazine about Debbie Mum and her artwork.

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xmasmmThe inside of this Santa is a piece of wood, about 5″ x 4″ x 2″.  This gives the support to sit him up.

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xmasqOn the windowsill above the kitchen sink.

xmasqqqThis is one of the first manger scenes I bought.  The people are made from corn husks.  Very creative.

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xmasrrElves behind Santa helping with the heavy bag.

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xmasuAnother animated Santa Claus with a lighted candle.

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xmaswwSanta faces painted on cinnamon sticks.

Although it took me a week to decorate, my husband offered to help me get it all put away today.  So everything is safely boxed in plastic crates and on the shelves in the barn.  Whew.  So happy for the help and heavy lifting.

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright.  The following quote is a good reminder to us all for the coming year.

“Never ignore a nudge or a whisper from God.”  unknown

San Angelo

This is the time of the year when most gardening seminars are held across Texas.  Recently we attended the Concho Valley Master Gardener Symposium in San Angelo.

sanangeloWhile there, we visited some favorite sites.  As crazy as it sounds, we enjoy the San Angelo Visitor’s Center.  I know I’ve shown this place before, so I tried to get different photo shots.

sanangelo1With the visitor’s center up high, the rock work down the slope to the Concho River is attractive and creative.

sanangelo3This grass clump, whatever it is, has grown even taller than when we last saw it.

sanangelo4The plants chosen for this area are drought tolerant and hardy, like this Knock Out Rose bush.

sanangelo6I took the following pictures in the bathroom because they appealed to me.  They show Texas native animals.  You can just scroll through quickly if you’re not interested.

This is a wild boar or feral hog (Sus scrofa).  These have become a major problem because they destroy property, are dangerous to animals and humans, and are multiplying faster than they can be controlled.  The tile picture makes it look cute, but it definitely isn’t.

sanangelo7Scorpions have become a problem this year for us.  For some reason, they have invaded our house, even with pesticide spraying.  I’ve been stung once and had forgotten how painful they are.

sanangelo8Another pest around here are jackrabbits because they feed on flowerbed plants as well as grass.

sanangelo9 It’s very rare to see a Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) or Horny Toad, as they are called in West Texas, anymore.  They’re presently on the threatened species list.

sanangeloaWild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are hunted, but I don’t see how there could be much meat on them.

sanangelobAnd, lastly, the nemesis that digs up our yard and burrows in the flowerbeds.  The Nine Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is the only armadillo to live in the U.S.  Sometimes I think they have targeted us, but I know that it’s much easier to dig in amended and watered soil than in the hard, dry pasture land.

sanangelocAll around San Angelo are painted fiberglass animals.  This cross-eyed ram stands in front of a Mexican restaurant.

sanangelodThere are several murals around town that depict periods of history or influences that shaped San Angelo.  Although most people haven’t heard of Elmer Kelton, he was a prolific author about cattle ranches and other aspects of West Texas life.

sanangeloeThe fourth Hilton Hotel was built here.  Over the years, it has housed many different enterprises, including an ‘old folks’ home’.  Currently, the bottom floor has a restaurant, and the upper floors appear to be apartments.  The mezzanine seems to have the only remaining remnants of the original art deco style.  The ballroom is still in its original condition.

sanangelofThis is the top of one of the columns just outside the ballroom.

sanangelogWhile in San Angelo, of course, we had to make a stop at the International Water Lily Collection.

sanangelohWe waited until a cooler part of the day to go, just as the sun was low.  Again, just flip through these if you’re not interested.

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sanangelonThis past weekend we attended the Pollinator Pow Wow in Kerrville.  Pow Wow is a native American term that means ‘The gathering of the people to share wise words’.

Bright colors of painted bats blend well with dead leaves where they roost. Flight, Vespertilionidae, S and SE Asia

Bright colors of painted bats blend well with dead leaves where they roost. Flight, Vespertilionidae, S and SE Asia

A lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonyderis yerbabuenae) feeding on cardon cactus fruit, This is the world's largest cactus, growing up to 50 feet tall. Seed Dispersal

A lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonyderis yerbabuenae) feeding on cardon cactus fruit, This is the world’s largest cactus, growing up to 50 feet tall. Seed Dispersal

Dr. Merlin Tuttle was the main speaker.

My opinion about bats was what most people think – yucky creatures.  But he convinced me of their importance in pollinating many different plants around the world.  He told excellent stories about his interventions to save bats.

This is longer than most posts.  Thanks for sticking with it.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”    Albert Einstein.

Decorating Outside the Box

The 33rd Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes was held the second weekend in December in Weatherford, TX.  Eleven sites were open for a very reasonable ticket price.  These included homes, museums, a children’s home and a garden.

weatherforddecor7First, we bought our tickets at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.  I think it’s on the tour each year, but there is always a special exhibit.

weatherforddecorThis Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in the entry area caught my eye because the branches are so tall.

weatherforddecor1Plus, the leaves and flowers are sparse.

crownofthornsThis is one I have at home.  Following advice online, I cut the top off when it reached about 10 inches tall.  Then it branched out.

weatherforddecor2And here is the inspiration for the name – Crown of Thorns.  And, of course, the reference to the one that was forced on Jesus at his trial.

weatherforddecor3Now to the special exhibit:  paintings of Homer Norris.  The ones that appealed to me the most were of children.

weatherforddecor4Homer was one of eleven children born to a brilliant yet poor Aledo welder during the bleak days of the Great Depression.  He was drawn to the romantic history of Parker County’s artifacts and relics and the stark beauty of the area.

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weatherforddecor6This pictures evoke strong emotions about childhood.

weatherforddecoryNow to the house that provided the title for this post.

weatherforddecor8Just stepping upon the porch, I had the sense that a creative woman lived here.  That may sound sexist, but usually, the lady of the house does the decorating.

weatherforddecor9Mercury glass ornaments hanging from the porch – what a simple, but attractive detail.

weatherforddecoraThe home owners made good use of old items, like these washtubs and blades from a windmill.

weatherforddecorbThe staircase ornaments looked old but probably weren’t.

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weatherforddecordAlthough this would be a great mantel vignette, it is on top of a bookcase.

weatherforddecoreIn a small hallway, simple hanging ornaments on one side keeps it interesting.

weatherforddecorfOn the opposite wall these small boxes hold a variety of items.  A few Christmassy things have been added, like the jar of floating cranberries.

weatherforddecorgMost of the older homes we saw used several small Christmas trees scattered throughout the house, rather than a large one that takes up lots of space.

weatherforddecorhNow this, I could make next year.

weatherforddecoriA bedside table with unusual items.

weatherforddecorjDon’t you love how old factory thread spools and a cotton carder can be highlighted with some seasonal candy?

weatherforddecorkOld homes have character, but they also have drawbacks with small bathrooms.  Plus, most only had one bathroom.  So some renovation is necessary to provide modern conveniences.

weatherforddecorlYou’ll see a theme.  This lady likes old window frames.

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weatherforddecornA candy dish filled with old door handles.  The small details really added to this home.

weatherforddecoroThis old store display rack for cards stands in one corner of the living area.

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weatherforddecorqWhat a lovely table setting.

weatherforddecorsThe kitchen was updated or added on.

The homeowner made these wreathes from one old Methodist hymnal.  I looked closely at them.  They appear to be pages from the hymn book cut into squares, probably about 3 or 4 inches.  Then each square is gathered up from the center, twisted, and stuck into a styrofoam wreath with a pin.

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weatherforddecoruAll of her antique (or at least, old) finds were displayed creatively.  This hanging cabinet was made from scrap lumber and old reclaimed doors.

weatherforddecorwAs we left the house, this tree along the street hung over the fence.

weatherforddecorxI don’t know what it is, but it was full of these small berries.

weatherforddecorvA carriage ride was included in the tour ticket.  This one was waiting outside this home, so we hopped on for a short spin.

Wherever you live, it’s fun to take in events in the area.  I recommend giving them a try.

The next post will finish up this particular tour.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.  May your lives be filled with the joy of Christmas all year long.

“The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

Granbury, TX, Tour, part 2

The last post about the Granbury Candlelight Tour of Homes showed houses near the town center.  After hosting these home tours for over 30 years, it must be a struggle for these small towns to come up with historical homes each year.

So they also choose some homes with interesting features, but not necessarily old.

grandburystourIn a new section of town is this home built in the Victorian style with Queen Anne style towers.

grandburystour1Notice the bobbing tassel on the volunteer’s hat.

grandburystour2The large interior is modern and comfortable.

grandburystour3These rounded shrubs on the back balcony are artificial.

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grandburystour5The dining room table sits at the back of the house in the open kitchen area.

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grandburystour7Nice outfit.

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grandburystour9This Greek Revival style clapboard church was built in 1889.

grandburystouraNativities are displayed inside.

grandburystourbOver 900 creches belong to one woman.

grandburystourcTwo long tables in the center of the room were filled on both sides.

grandburystourdTables along the walls were also full.

grandburystoureMany of the mangers came from overseas.  If you’ve ever started a collection, you know that people often bring that item to you from their trips or just from a great find.

grandburystourfMy mother’s collection of camels grew into the hundreds because people enjoyed adding to it.

grandburystourgWork on this house began in 1940 when construction materials were scarce.  The “peanut brittle” or random pattern limestone stone exterior was done by a mason from a neighboring town.

grandburystourhThe front part of the house had these impressive wood floors.  The wood strips are 2 x 4’s laid with the small side facing up.  No nails were needed because the deep wood planks stood firmly up.  Can you imagine what a solid floor that is.

grandburystouriThe last stop was the First Presbyterian Church which was built in 1896.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get a picture of its beautiful exterior.

Although taking these tours might appeal more to females, it’s amazing how many men also attend.  Especially those who live in the community who want to see the inside of houses they drive by often.

“Get on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.”  unknown

Granbury, TX, Tour of Homes

Several decades ago, Granbury began to transform itself from a sleepy little town into a tourist destination.  Being about an hour from Ft. Worth makes it attractive to city folk for a day or a week-end jaunt.  Now, gift shops, restaurants, bed and breakfast homes, and special events like the Candlelight Tour of Homes this past weekend have provided a healthy economy for the area.

grandburytourMost of the homes on the tour were within walking distance of the courthouse square.  The first home we visited from the list provided with our ticket purchase was the above house built in the early ’60’s.  The most recent homeowner has decorated with as much retro furniture and accessories as she could find.

grandburytour1This nook is just off the main hallway leading to the two bedrooms.  It’s obviously Santa’s office.

grandburytour2There is a collection of angels inherited from the owner’s mother plus some that she has bought.

grandburytour3grandburytour4The dining room table placed to one side of the living room is set with dishes from her mother.

grandburytour5In the galley kitchen is a breakfast table also set with period pieces obtained from several different places.  For those of us who lived through that time, the orange and turquoise bring back memories.

I regretfully did not get an overall picture of any of the rooms.  In my defense, it was difficult with groups of people touring and the small size of the rooms.

grandburytour6The back porch had been enclosed.  Period chairs, a sofa, and small end tables make for a cozy retreat.  The angel wings were made by a local artist.

grandburytour7I tend to focus on small decorative items.

grandburytour8The next house was built in the late 1880’s.

grandburytour9To the right of the main house and set back is a new addition which had a large master bedroom and bath upstairs and a den living area downstairs.

The kitchen had also been renovated.  The homeowner answered my questions how many changes could be allowed and still have a state historical site designation.  Her answer:  inside renovations are not a major concern but outside changes are carefully monitored.  The original house must be evident from the outside.  So even if the addition was constructed to match, there must be enough different details to show it to be new.  Also, any additions must follow the original roof line.  Each step of the process required copious paperwork and approvals.

grandburytouraCute santa decoration.

grandburytourbDocents were dressed in period costumes.

grandburytourcThe next house was built in the 1880’s by the town pharmacist on 100 acres purchased at that time.

I did not take pictures inside.   Only the downstairs was open and the rooms were too small and dark.

grandburytourlOn the square across from the courthouse is Granbury Live, which is a theater where musicals are performed.  The building has served different functions in the past:  stores, offices, etc.

Several years ago we attended many productions at Granbury Live, but never noticed a separate entrance to an upstairs apartment.  In fact, the man who started the theater lived there with his wife.

grandburytourdIt is a 5,000 sq. feet home that was totally renovated by him.  He did the iron work throughout the place.

grandburytoureThe metal ladder led to a cozy sleeping area for their grandchildren.

The corrugated tin ceilings are not the underside of the actual roof, but an aesthetic western touch.

grandburytourgThe theater owner constructed the shiny metal kitchen island.

grandburytourfStars are welded on top in several places.

The kitchen was a mirror image with two of everything.  Starting at the center sink of the cabinets, each side of the kitchen were the same with dual appliances ending with a refrigerator on each side of the kitchen.  No explanation was given for this.

grandburytourhAll of the bathrooms except the master one had the same decor.  In some of them. the floors were raised because the baths had been added and needed plumbing space.

grandburytouriThe man who created all this died in a motorcycle accident around 2007.  His widow no longer lives here.  Currently, offices for a company occupy the space.

grandburytourjOne side of the large master bathroom.

grandburytourkArt decor lights along the hallways.

grandburytourmAs we left the apartment, I noticed these clever snowmen just outside a shop.  This store and many others all around the square are just examples of why tourists flood this town each weekend.

grandburytournOne wispy Gregg’s Blue Mist Flower hanging on.  I think the darker reddish plant is a potato vine.

On my next blog, I’ll finish the tour.

“If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need.” Cicero

Autumn at Dallas Arboretum

From the front entrance to every nook and cranny of the Dallas Arboretum, pumpkins and gourds were stacked high for the fall season.  It made me wonder how many thousands of dollars they spent for fall plantings and decorations.  But the crowds were evidence that the cost paid off.

The pictures were taken on a mid October visit.

arboretumfallStrong sunlight on that afternoon played havoc with my pictures.  So please excuse the glare in several shots.

arboretumfall2I can’t identify all the plants.  If they were labeled, I’ll give that information.

arboretumfall5Notice the waterlily and frogs at this girl’s feet.

arboretumfall6Preparations for December, like this small building, were already dotting the gardens.  Signs by the buildings indicated these would be used for each one of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

arboretumfall7This lovely Phillipine Violet (Barleria cristata) is a large bush.  It was mostly in the shade.

arboretumfall8African Daisies (Osteospermum x hybrid ‘Soprano Light Purple’) received some sun, but probably not strong afternoon sun.

arboretumfallaSounds of water cascading over these rocks and some available shade provided some relief from the heat.

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arboretumfallcGuess the white pumpkins were to accent the white house.

arboretumfalldarboretumfalleMade we want to buy some pumpkins and gourds.

arboretumfallfOne whole area was dedicated to the season.

arboretumfallgA crowd of parents were posing their children among the pumpkins and houses for pictures.

arboretumfallhSo I tried to not interfere with their photo taking.  I definitely did not take pictures of their children.  It’s crazy to upset protective parents.

arboretumfalliClever structure of houses.

arboretumfalljInside the houses were fairy tale pictures to match the book for that house.

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arboretumfalllMaybe Linus’ Great Pumpkin appeared in this pumpkin patch.

arboretumfallmWas it sincere enough?  Okay.  I’m showing my age with these references.

arboretumfallpCute pumpkin flowers  all in a row.

arboretumfallnA horse drawn wrought iron, pumpkin-shaped carriage was a popular spot for photos.  I decided not to stand in the line and just get pictures of these unique horses.

arboretumfalloSomeone spent a great deal of time constructing these.

The Dallas Arboretum is always an interesting place to visit.  Usually we try to time our visits on a school day without all the crowds.  But evidently, we hit a school holiday because it was full of families.

Maybe our next visit will be at a better time – without the crowds, heat, and humidity.

“There is only one way to avoid criticism:  do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”  Aristotle

San Angelo

This past week we did a whirlwind trip to San Angelo for a Master Gardener’s Landscaping Symposium.  So we had a half day to see some sights and then a full day for the symposium.

sanangelodIt may seem odd to spend most of this post on the Visitor Center only.  But it is impressive.

sanangeloThis picture was taken because I had never seen a Texas Sage or Purple Sage bush trimmed into a tree.  This one must be several years old because mine freeze each year and then reach a height of 3 feet before the next winter arrives.

sanangelo1This is the courtyard on the other side of the large stone arches in the first picture.  At the edge of the patio is a curved viewing area and steps leading down to the river.  To the right a door leads into the actual information area where there are brochures and volunteers to answer questions.

sanangelo2This is the view from that small lookout ledge.  The Concho River is spring fed, so it is not almost dry like other rivers in West and Central Texas during this drought.

sanangelo5This looks back up to the visitor’s center.  The two statues explain where the city’s name originated.  Note the Purple Heart vines tucked into the rocks.  There must be a little soil there.

Angela de Merici, (21 March 1474 – 27 January 1540) was an Italian religious leader and saint. She founded the Order of Ursulines in 1535 in Brescia.  Actually, I could not find any information to explain her importance to the city.

“Santa Angela,” was the settlement that sprang up across the Concho River from Fort Concho.  It was named in honor of Carolina Angela de la Garza DeWitt, deceased wife of the city’s founder Bart J. DeWitt,

sanangelo3Ten feet tall bronze statues of St. Angela Merici (Santa Angela) and Carolina Angela de la Garza Dewitt.

sanangelo4sanangelo9The volunteers said that all the rock work by the river was finished recently.  But obviously, enough time has passed for plants to grow.

sanangelo8The local limestone rocks were put to good use and created a very tranquil garden area.

sanangelo7I don’t know what type of grass this this, but the height and form blowing the in breeze was lovely.

sanangelo6Painted fiberglass animals is a trend in many West Texas towns.  We saw several in the downtown area.  Most of the towns hold contests and recognize the winners with prizes or just bragging rights.

This one is appropriate for the town’s information center since it depicts places and events for San Angelo.

sanangeloaReally like all the stone work and especially the hefty stone benches.

Hardy plants like these Knockout Roses were used.  The small plant in the water looks like Papyrus.

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sanangelocEven the tiles in the bathroom show local critters.  From the top:  horned toad, armadillo, wild pigs or boars, jackrabbits, wild turkey, and scorpions.

sanangeloeThis was the only picture I took at Ft. Concho.  It was a frontier army post from 1867 to 1889 and played an important part in the settlement of this whole area.  When the fort deactivated, soldiers rode away leaving the buildings and furnishings intact.  Families moved in, so the buildings were occupied until 1920 when the Preservation Society stepped in and the city acquired the land.

Because of the limestone construction and the continuous care of the structures, they look relatively new.

See Ft. Concho to view a video showing furnishings inside the buildings, events, and history.

Even though San Angelo seems remote, it is a vibrant town with much to offer.

“By the time the Texas frontier had run its course, those who settled the land could point to a unique experience that had turned the largely Southern population into westerners.” unknown

Cowboy Culture

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City preserves and honors the life and culture of the cowboys of the American west.

cowboymuseumnThe western art displayed outside and inside the building are of excellent quality.

cowboymuseumPlus, the grounds surrounding the museum are filled with native flowers.

The flowers in the above picture were labeled Beard Tongue (Penstemon digitalis), “Prairie Dust”, an Oklahoma native.

cowboymuseum3The driveway into the museum property had this attractive center divider.

cowboymuseum4Looking back towards the street.

cowboymuseum5There was time to walk around the front and side of the building before it opened.  These massive relief murals are probably not even seen by most visitors, unless the front parking lots are full.

cowboymuseum6The shapes appeared to be layered concrete creating a bas relief.

cowboymuseum1Mexican Hats and Indian Blankets are natives commonly seen in several southwestern states.

oklaCoryopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), I think.

cowboymuseum2Rose Moss is so bright and cheery.

cowboymuseum7Many larger than life cowboy bronzes were scattered throughout the grounds.  The strong morning sun made photography difficult.

cowboymuseum8Just ignore the cars in the parking lot and focus on their faces.  A personal encounter captured for all to enjoy.

cowboymuseum9The sun totally washed out the front of this cowboy, but the back also makes a statement with the cactus and saddle being dragged.  Lost his horse, maybe.

cowboymuseumaThis huge “End of the Trail” marble statue greets visitors as they walk through the front door.

cowboymuseumiThere are many different halls at the museum that require several hours to visit them all.  Besides the cowboy theme, there is a strong sense of patriotism.

cowboymuseumjSome areas are dedicated to western art, both by well know artists like Remington and Russell, and some rooms devoted to newer artists.  Of course, photographing paintings was not allowed.

One large section features western culture as told by Hollywood.  Many movie posters advertising different shows and portraits of famous actors and actresses are displayed as well as some artifacts from the movies.

Then, there are rodeo rooms honoring winners and the art, itself.  A small western town with all the requisite buildings provides visitors a chance to peek in windows and stroll through streets.

There is so much more to this museum.  Wow.

cowboymuseumbOut in the back park-like area, more bronze horses seem to thunder through the land.

cowboymuseumcMature trees provided cool shaded areas and picturesque garden cameos.  Flowers, like these Daylilies, sparkled with color and interest.

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cowboymuseumfSmall water features brought cooling serenity.

cowboymuseumgThis statue was many time larger than life size.

cowboymuseumhI think this was Wild Bill Hickok, but I don’t remember for sure.

cowboymuseumkAlmost a neon color, these Astillble (Astillbe chimensis), made me halt and admire them.

cowboymuseumlFrom the back grounds, there is a good view of that well known statue.

cowboymuseumoSo worth a visit if you are interested in the old west and the lives of those who survived the hot, dusty, hostile environment and the dangers of wild animals and tough, ruthless men.

“In the Southwest, boots and pearls go with any attire.  Add a cowboy hat and you have an ensemble.” unknown