Saturday, August 19, 2006

Check this out, please - and let me know what you think:

This site seems better for photo album management. I'm updating it regularly with new photos.

If you are having difficulty viewing the photos on the site, you might want to try it. Go to and download this free browser.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nautical Artifacts

I love the beach and I love being in, near or around water. On our last trip to Port Aransas, I also discovered a love of treasure hunting. At local gift shops and restaurants I tried on several occasions to purchase decorative items that had actually been recovered from the sea. No one was willing to sell, but I did learn that what the sea offers up is considered public domain. I went so far as to talk to the harbor-master and he confirmed that we could just comb the beach without regard to property lines or ownership. Here are some of our finds.

We hauled this enormous net with our jetski. I'm still amazed we did not do harm to man or machine during our adventures. I hung this net out hoping that someday I'll understand how the heck it works. I welcome all to study the picture or come visit in person, to help. I'm not certain that I'll ever figure out this riddle on my own.

The 2 palm trees are supposed to max out at 80 feet. They're planted in a sand bed, as recommended. With all that sand, our beach-finds seem quite at home. A couple of buoys, some driftwood and a couple of coconuts, mixed with shells and a few washed-up bottles hopefully create a castaway feel.

Port Aransas - early June

We stayed in the upstairs of this 2-story duplex beach house. The bare wood is accented with some very bright colors - part of the inspiration for the oasis. You can see the jet ski at the right in the driveway. The jet ski was our vessel for recovering nautical treasures, now found in the oasis. The beach house was quite old and "grandfathered" in its location - construction is no longer allowed so close to the beach.

From the porch, we could see the ocean across the dune. You could also sit and listen to the lulling sound of waves breaking, and the accompanying caw of seagulls.

I got up at sunrise on our last morning and took some pictures on the beach. The beaches were clean and uncrowded and we had a wonderful experience. Maybe that's why I've tried to capture so much of it in our backyard.

And...the backyard came to fruition by sacrificing the family trip to Hawaii. So... we created our own oasis.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Changed the web page address

One comment on chagrin - in searching for a better address for the blog (it was "backyardoasislady" but since the site is about the oasis and not about the lady I wanted an address that focused appropriately) I ran into some difficulty. "Backyardoasis" was taken, no problem. "Backyardparadise" also taken, but here - chagrin: The blog was created 2 years ago and has only one post (the original post) that is only one line long . . . "day 1: wow! - where do i start". Hardly seems fair. So in the absence of recourse, I settled for "ourownoasis" because that, in fact, is what it is all about. :)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Maybe some day I'll come back and sort things out so the story plays out better. I spend most of my spare time actually in the oasis, not on-line. The view from my office (overlooking the pond) is always present, tempting me to go out and be a part of the glorious celebration of nature. Beautiful flowers, butterflies, birds . . . and a bit of yard art for supplemental entertainment. Keep your eyes open, because there's visual candy from any angle.

I'll also need to come back with at least a short video (which can be looped for extended pleasure) to provide some idea of the symphony which accompanies these views. Birds, windchimes, the babbling brook and waterfalls to further delight the senses. An occasional waft of jasmine on the summer breeze adds to the stimulation.

If you've noticed - I'm a fan of my own backyard. I hope to find you a member of the club by the time you finish perusing this page. Enjoy!
Start of a 360 tour of the pool. When walking out of the west side of the sunroom, the lucky visitor is greeted with this view. Unfortunately, because of the order I loaded the pictures, as you drop from the top of this page, references are inverted. When you see a comment like "closer", this is in reference to an image poster lower on this page. Posted by Picasa
A nestled bed of portulaca seen from the far side of the pool. In the background, you can see the far side of the pond (upper left corner) and our new patio furniture. The hot tub speaks for itself. Posted by Picasa
Further around and closer up: Posted by Picasa
And from further around on the side.... The palm trees are going to grow to 80'. At the base, you can see some of the nautical artifacts collected from our last trip to Port Aransas. The aqua colored rope around the sand flower bed was a major coup! I'm sure those who witnessed our recovery of this item will be telling folks about the idiot tourists for years to come. What you can't appreciate from this picture is that the rope is 20' long and about 4" in diameter. Wet, it weighed more than I care to think about. We transported this from St. Jo's island to our truck via the jet ski. Posted by Picasa
A close-up of the side view. This is actually the back of the waterfall that feeds the river. I took this picture with the palm trees immediately to my left. A lighthouse sits on top of the waterfall. Portulaca and a variety of cacti and succulents cover the side of the rocky slope. At the base, to the right of the turtle, are purple pepper plants. At the center of the left edge, you can see one of the plethora of birdhouses.Posted by Picasa
A birdhouse village - miniatures. There are 7 small birdhouses visible in this shot (although only the roof is showing for one so maybe I shouldn't count it). There are at least 30 birdhouses of various shapes and sizes located around the yard. The idea is to help create the sense of beach houses, which (at least in the Port Aransas area) are often brightly colored and artful in nature. Posted by Picasa
From the back and side..... You can just see the palm leaves on the right. The trees are just out of view. Posted by Picasa
A close-up of another hybiscus. The rope you see looped in the lower right corner was a "find" from St. Joseph's island. The plant on the right is a Frangipani which produces the flower used to create leis. This one is not flowering yet, but I have my hopes up. I mention this flower explicitly because of the self-gratuity I find in the name. I love this hybiscus because it is producing flowers that are as big as the whole plant. Posted by Picasa
Perspective from behind the hill.  Posted by Picasa
A view from the bridge. Butterfly bushes on the left, a variety of tropicals on the right. See the birdhouse? Posted by Picasa
Hybiscus in front of the waterfall and river. Posted by Picasa

The photo doesn't do it justice. This image is a northern view of the pool/river as you approach the bridge. Along the bank of the river, there is a row of day lilies which have recovered from the transplanting and are back in bloom. Posted by Picasa

The next image is a view to the east, showing the pond at the base of the river (not seen is a small waterfall on the left that feeds the pond). There is still a bit of work to be done to finish up the pond area. By nightfall, I'll have added mulch to the flower beds. The area in front of the pond (not shown) is under construction. We're adding a bog pit to help with filtration (as you can see, the pond water appears murky).

A bed of portulaca nestled between the pool, hot tub and deck. Posted by Picasa

Maybe a little crazy

This is a picture of the moonflower, which opens around dusk and is gone by around 10 a.m. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pictures of the Oasis

The pictures in this particular entry were all taken with an XPS M1210 notebook computer. Really cool camera.