Monday, December 15, 2008

Moon and Water

Here's the Moon on the morning of 12th December, just as it was setting.


It's frigging cold today. Been hovering around 32-34F (0-2C) all day, after the temperature totally plummeted during the night. It dropped 30F in three hours here; some places in Texas dropped 60 degrees.

Meanwhile, the water company has declared a critical drought for only the second time in 20 years or so. Normal rainfall for the Austin area is 32-34 inches a year. So far we have had only 14.91 inches and the aquifer is running dry. So no more sprinklers or car washing; they want each house to use no more than 100 gallons per person, per day. That's 3000-odd gallons a month. Alan and I use about 2200 gallons a month in total, so I guess we're OK.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Warmer out than in

Never thought we would need this in Texas, but we lit our fire for the first time today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Texas gets cold too

This is our roof this morning. We had freezing rain and hail last night. Snow is forecast today. And it was 25C 80F yesterday!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A few bits

I finally managed to photograph a Roadrunner the other day. One has been taking the same route past our house on a few occasions, and this time Alan was about to keep an eye on it while I ran for the camera. They don't hang about, these birds, which is why I've never captured one before.



Meanwhile, we have been waging war on a squirrel, which found a tiny hole in our roof (where the roofline meets another part of the roof and a joist ends there). Hearing the pitter patter of a herd of elephants in your ceiling isn't the most joyous of things, so we had to evict him. I managed to encourage him to leave after a barrage of loud rock music and thumping the ceiling with a rolled-up car sunshade... I got the ladders out, jammed some junk into the hole and watched with delight when the squirrel came back and was most bemused. Chased him away again. Alan came home early that night; I'd gone out to get some wire mesh and a staple gun. These items have been duly employed to cover the hole, much to the squirrel's disgust. He hasn't come back in yet (touch wood!).

Mind you he has been prowling around the house this morning. Look what I snagged on my webcam, right at the window!:

And here he is perched on the end of the roof, near the hole:
Little git

Finally, I hope you all saw the fabulous conjunction of the Moon with Venus and Jupiter the other night.
Here's a couple of views:

Venus is the brighter planet on the left.