Monthly Archives: May 2015


Fangs and a furry tummy sure, but how bout that climbing harness? It wraps four legs, and the center loop will secure the climbing rope.


A view of all four shoes, and his spinnerets- where the rope will emerge and run to the loop on his harness.


The extended right forward leg will manage the rope while the other limbs anchor to the wall or lift for a new hold.


The spider will anchor to the wall by five legs and the base of the abdomen.

IMG_0003 IMG_0008The Itsy Bitsy Spider is geared out and looking for a climbing gym.


Tarantulas get big out here in the mountain desert.

IMG_0026 IMG_0027 IMG_0028I have a little commission to create the “Itsy bitsy spider” for a children’s playground at a private school in Kansas. The spider is about 3x life-size, and next will be outfitted in rock climbing gear. Tarantulas are delicate spiders, and can’t take a fall or it breaks them like an egg- so precautions are necessary.

It was a rainy drab day, so E and I drove down to Springville through washes of blusterstorms to see my bronze ladies that were juried into the big annual state art show. The museum was closed to prep for their art ball tonight, but they let us in for a quick walk-through to document the sculptures in-situ. The bronze ladies may not be the Belle’s of the Ball, but at least they get to attend without worrying about shoes and makeup.


Captain of the board room table- whoever reaches out to spin her either gets promoted or demoted; all depending on the angle.


Not the plinth one would expect a work to be displayed upon in a fine arts museum, but I get it. Plus, she likes all that mahogany and leather.


To see her in the round hit the hotlink below.


She might be on a short plinth, but she gets her own French Doors for lovely natural lighting.


This is a nice angle to see the natural light through the doors. She likes having new art to look at.


Hibakusha detail. HIt the hotlink in the text below to see her in the round.


down the Iris path


Ohio Iris from the farm of E’s grandmother.


Their biggest year yet.


It has a moody scent.


E’s grandmother’s Iris offset my grandmother’s poppies.


The poppies are going Jurassic.






The weeping wall of roses over the stream outlet.


The wheels keep Stanley from cutting the corner through the flowers.


I expanded the trellis this year- and the clematis is wending its way up.


Roses overhang the drive gate.


Bridal Veil and old-school Iris.


A hybrid from Long’s Flower Garden in my home town of Boulder, CO. It came to my original house here in SLC, to Kansas, and now here. There are a few others that made the same trip.


More hybrids from Long’s.


Another bit of Boulder.


These were Allison’s Iris from her Grandmother’s farm. It came to us when Allison & Peter moved into their new loft- no yard.


Snow Bells.


I changed out the old sprinkler head for this patch of roses today (one of three bushes) to drip line. I hope that helps with the “rust”.


Orange and yellow rose that smells like soap in the guest bath at my step-grandparents home in Estes Park, back when I was a kid. The soap company must have had the same variety when they made the scent…


Last of the Tulips.


Globe Mallow in its second year on the sun-torturous central hill.


Quail at the base of the quail sculpture.


Lantana has moved from in the sunroom, where it goes dormant and drops most of its leaves through the winter. It has 5 blooms, but hardly any leaves yet.


The new outlet spills into the middle of the top pool. Under the rocks is a wooden frame that sleeves the piping and provides a platform for the stones.


The water spills out in two directions and adds a new pitch to the waterfalls.


The second pool’s Iris have bloomed nicely.


The main pool is filling out with water lilies- and all the goldfish are down at the bottom as they are convinced I am an Osprey.


Yesterday was a 10 hour day, setting the new pond filter into an enlarged hole inside a galvanized garbage can for protection. This shiny beast is hidden under a big fake rock, and a few slabs of thin shale.


Anything that tidy must have hurt. All my connections are water tight, the wet sand is from a tiny leak at the central seal of the brand new pump. That is where the UV light will go in another 3 weeks after the filter media has established micro organisms, and I hope that ends the leak. Around the pump is sand, as well as outside the garbage can- helping the unit to handle the internal pressure. It should also ease lifting the can out come winter. I rigged an attachment for a garden hose for flushing the filter, we’ll see if a garden hose can handle the pressure.

The xeriscape and pond are almost ready for summer after another course of days spent fixing and futzing and running to the hardware store. All waterlines from the house are ship shape, and all main xeriscape lines are laid in. I snapped off a sprinkler head in the rose bed near the driveway with the snow-shovel this winter, so today I switched out that whole area from sprinklers to dripline. Just a few more days of tweaking, but all the big projects are resolved. Unless I start in on my idea of partially xeriscaping the front yard…


Benji the Ragdoll rescue kitty spent a few weeks at the Gerhart CatSpaw. He claimed the sun room as his private retreat.


He allowed photos if taken from across the house at full zoom, it was still annoying to him but he allowed it. He was through with paparazzi.


Xandar and Voices stand vigilant window watch, as tabloid cat-tographers roiled in the yard and leapt and clung to the screens in frenzied Benjeeber hysteria.

We humans don’t always recognize the celebrities of the cat world until other cats alert us to their magnificence. We thought we were taking in a rescue kitty for a few weeks, turns out he was taking a rest after a rigorous street-verite project while his new house was purchased and his new human staff prepped his quarters. His method acting had required letting his hair mat and a partial spay in a dramatic mad doctor scene; he was exhausted and just wanted some alone time where he could have his meals anonymously with a dog and some cats, and elect for a spa-treatment or two.


Mansfield 6″ (9 inches in actual length) Stem. Protean plumbing bit that you might try to fix, which doesn’t make it worse about 20% of the time- so the plumbing shop pro told me. I was in the 80%.

This little wand of black magic set a tour of plumbing shops in motion. All shops have been out for 10 weeks, always just having soldĀ their last one- but offering that I try this little parts replacement kit that we don’t have, but that the shop all the way across town does show having two. The old plumber-pro tells me that 80% of the time the new parts will just make the leak worse (the little gods of home plumbing are hungry and needful)- and though I did stop the leak at the vacuum manifold the plumber-pro’s advise proved out with a worse leak. Today I made my weekly (bi-weekly?) call-around for the part again; the nearest shop has quit carrying this brand and paid the manufacturer to ship all their stock back, and the shop across town has two left. By the time I get there they have one left. Upon switching it out I take care to make the incantation and blood sacrifice before closing the water off, and again after installation, and again prior to turning the water back on: the magics governing water were pleased at last.


One side sheared away, and the other is splitting. Must be time for a break brake.


The handle comes off the mower and enters the shop for welding.


Welded back together and ready to mow again!

This little mower is 12 years old and still starts on the first pull. I bought it to mow the yard of my first house, a little 1912 Sister-Wife house, here in SLC. It has travelled all over, mowing the big yard of the Montana ranch all the way to Kansas where E and I had a rental in the “country” with a yard so vast it took hours to mow. Now it has a 10 minute job, as most of our SLC yard is xeriscape. On minute 9 the handle sheared, making for another Danger-Day (starting a job that creates an unexpected job that is much more intensive than the original job). The handle is made from 18 gauge tubing (thin & cheap) that was riddled with stress shearing. There was a bit of evaporating steel with the weld, but it all came back together, and I reinforced it with long weld beads rather than trying to weld thicker support-metal to it. It held together for minute 10 as I finished up the back patch of wild grasses, and looks like it will hold together.