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June 2016

Tree farm: summer migration

According to our resident green thumb guy, Bryan, the office redbuds were finally big enough to be transplanted into bigger pots a couple of weeks ago. The only thing was, though lush and luxuriant, they were also pitiably weak and floppy from spending their whole lives indoors, protected from wind and temperature spikes and enjoying thrice-weekly watering.

 Lush beauties

There they are to the right, sharing the window and the beautiful Dumpster view with another coworker's large-scale jade propagation experiment. 


Lush beauties

To compare: I planted these from seed from the same tree the same week as the giants up above, but they've been outside on the back patio this whole time. They've endured frost, heat, neglect, and not-terribly-regular watering. As a result, they are tiny but tough--the stems are rigid and the leaves are like leather. 

Bryan gave me some metro shelves and recommended I take the floppy indoor guys home to my patio for a few weeks so they'd harden off a bit before transplanting. They do indeed seem to have a little more backbone than before. 


Lush beauties

(I have better pictures of the shelf setup, but I really wanted to show off the 1.75 inches of rain we got yesterday afternoon. The temperature dropped from 100 to 75 in about 20 minutes after the sky opened up. It was great.) 


Lush beauties

Bryan had become so dedicated to the cause he even came over to the house yesterday to transplant the seedlings into gallon pots so they'll have more soil and therefore moisture to grow in. In exchange we let him hang out with √úter.

Eric and I also cooked him Tandoori chicken and homemade naan on my new gas grill, which I am sure you will read all about in due time; I am deeply in love with it.

Gallon repot

So now we just water, and wait. As soon as it cools off this fall it'll be time to put them in the ground. 

IMG_2034

In the meantime, I just put some Texas mountain laurel seeds in some pots in the front office, and I notice the redbud seeds from this spring are also about ready to pick and plant. Maybe I'll just keep doing this every year until my entire yard is choked with redbuds and becomes a vast cloud of pink for two weeks every March. 


All the pools in Austin! Pool six: Deep Eddy.

 It's summer again, and time to go swimming! Deep Eddy is a good pool to restart this series with, so let's dive (hawhawhawsnort) right in!

Eddy and lake austin

The pool: Deep Eddy is big, cool, and fed by unchlorinated well water.

The water is a little chilly but not as cold as Barton Springs; personally I find the water temperature delightful.

I like this pool because there's something for everyone: a zero-depth entry portion for people with babies and toddlers, a large expanse of three-foot water to float and play in, dedicated lap lanes, a deep end for those who need a little extra space beneath their feet, and acres of grass shaded by oaks and pecans for those who just want to stretch out, read, and doze. 

Eddy and lake austin

Public art: Deep Eddy boasts the finest public art of any pool in Austin in the form of an exceptionally cool mosaic mural that was installed a few years ago. It should probably get its own post, but hey, we're already here.

It was completed before I started doing mosaics, which is too bad because I would have loved to work on it. 

Eddy and lake austin

The mosaic uses water and river imagery to carry along the story of the pool, the land it sits on, and the river that feeds it. 

 I like pie

Schoolchildren participated in the project by creating tiles to be incorporated in the design. 


I like pie

"Winners never quit, and quiters never, but those who never win and never quit are stupid." I need to work that into my personal philosophy somewhere. 

 Rules

Lap lanes: They have a lot of lap lanes at Deep Eddy, but while I'm a fan of pool etiquette in general I have to say I'm intimidated by the lap culture at this particular pool. Nine seems like a lot of rules, and you can just tell someone's going to make it a point to let you know if you inadvertently break one. I stick to the shallow end here. 

The vibe: Lap-lane anxiety aside, I like the scene. A couple visits ago I walked past a guy sunning himself on the low wall on the back of the pool. "This is so great," he said to no one in particular. 

"It's awesome," I agreed, and he sat up, grinning, and said, "Fucking awesome!" 

Also there is plenty of good people watching and gangs of awkward teenagers and hordes of adults like me and my friends in addition to the usual families and anyway, it's just fun to go there. 

Bathhouse

Amenities: The WPA-era bathhouse there in the background was renovated recently. I can't speak to the men's side, but the women's open-air changing and shower area is now clean, modern, spacious, and pleasantly shaded. 


Rules

I guess there are some rules for non-lap swimmers here too, but they're easy enough to follow.

And oh! I forgot to mention that Jim-Jim's Water Ice runs a stand here during peak times, and their flavors are really good.

Deep Eddy is an Austin classic for a reason; you should totally go as often as possible.


Details: 401 Deep Eddy Drive. Adults $3, teens $2, kids and seniors $1; really old people and babies, free. Open for general swim March-October; I think the lap lanes are open longer but I've never really been clear on that.