Monday, December 30, 2013

Bring on the New Year!

Bliss Haven Sunrise

2014 full of promise

The first day of the new year is also a new moon this year, how wonderful!

Moon phases don't mean much unless you are an astronomer, an astrologer, or use a calendar that is calculated on both solar and lunar cycles. In the Gregorian calendar we use, only Easter is calculated based on the lunar cycle.

The new moon is when the Moon lies between the Sun and Earth (the Sun and Moon are in conjunction relative to the Earth). We cannot see it at night, because our planet is faced away from the sun at night. The full moon is when the Earth lies between the Sun and the Moon, and the Sun's light is reflected from Moon, back to Earth's night time dark side.

Wild Grapes - tiny but packed with flavor!
Some people like to plant crops based on the moon phase. Underground crops like carrots and potatoes are planted under a new moon. Leafy and fruiting crops are planted during a full moon. The Farmer's Almanac is a good resource for planting schedules using lunar cycles.

Welcome to the New Year 2014, the year of the Wood Horse!

Farewell to 2013

It's only in retrospect that I can appreciate how much has occurred since the last post. We've settled in and started gardening a little.

There were two terrible storms in October that poured 7 inches or more of water on us, and caused significant flooding. The sleepless night of Halloween Eve is one I'll never forget- it was my first experience of genuine terror as the creeks flooded and rose close to the home site during a flash flood at 4 in the morning.

But on happier notes, plans came together and Clay Sand Straw broke ground for the guest house on December 23rd.

Here are some photos to recap the year in brief:
Self planted except for rosemary, it's all volunteers.

Dear Deer

coffee and crystal gazing - unlimited specimens just lying on the ground

10 yards of soil for the raised beds.   

THAT's how you eat an elephant!

One shovel full at a time.

Morning sun

Kept a few things alive in summer heat...

Elio and Tu during construction of the entrance

Rainbow Days
Dangerous weather - 2 floods in October

7+ inches in a few hours - Oct 14 and Oct 31

Road scrubbed off by the water - but no water seen, only a few hours after!
The satellite image above was taken the afternoon of Halloween, presumably because the area south of Austin was flooded so severely. The previous Earth image was August 2012, so this was the first image of Bliss Haven since we started developing it.

Josh got it assembled just hours before the first freeze

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