Views of the Neighborhood – A Gloomy Day

Views of the Neighborhood

Well, today is certainly gloomy. Here’s a shot of the fog in front of the house. Today’s trip is to see if we can find any trace of spring after our 144 hours of freezing temperatures. It looks like we will need to amp up the food, so we have hired The French Laundry in Yountville, California, to cater to our trip today. Thomas Keller has prepared a Chef’s tasting menu for your enjoyment.
“OYSTERS AND PEARLS”
“Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Regiis Ova Caviar
GOLDEN BEET “GAZPACHO”
Tomato Water “Gelée” and Fragrant Basil.
“BREAD AND BUTTER”
Bitter Cocoa Laminated Brioche and Diane St. Clair’s Animal Farm Butter.
CHILLED DUNGENESS CRAB
Brokaw Avocado Mousse, Cilantro Infused Olive Oil, “Salsa Cruda,” and Toasted Brioche.
SAUTÉED FILLET OF “LOUP DE MER”
Garden Broccoli “Ravioli” and Spanish Caper “Velouté.”
APPLEWOOD SMOKED LIBERTY FARMS PEKIN DUCK
Wilted Arrowleaf Spinach and “Sauce Diable.”
or
HAND ROLLED RICOTTA “AGNOLOTTI”
Cheese Rind “Consommé” and Shaved Périgord Black Winter Truffles.
ALL DAY BRAISED ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM LAMB
Rancho Gordo Pinquito Beans, Kettle Garlic “Béchamel,” San Marzano Tomato Marmalade and English Thyme Jus. or
“STEAK AND POTATOES”
Charcoal Grilled Japanese Wagyu, Russet Potato “Darphin,” La Ratte Potato Purée and Caramelized Onion “au Jus.”
“GOUGÈRE”
Andante Dairy “Etude” and Preserved Périgord Black Winter Truffle “Fondue.”
ASSORTMENT OF DESSERTS
Fruit, Ice Cream, Chocolate, and Candies.

For the red wine, we have a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon Araujo, “Eisele Vineyard” 2009, and the white also from Napa Valley Kongsgaard, “The Judge” 2018.  Today’s entertainment is Bob Seger.

Hop on, and let’s get going.

The agaves took a real hit in the freezing weather. If you squeeze these points and they are solid, then your agave will survive. All the dead leaves need to be cut off.

This is new grass that was planted last month. Looks like it is doing well.

We need to go to the greenbelt to see the effects of the storm.

Ah ha. Some gladiolas are pushing up.

Here are some daffodil plants making an appearance. The deer have no doubt eaten the other blooms.

A broken juniper.

Here is one of my favorite places to contemplate.

I thought you would like to see and hear the water.

A cut juniper.

The origin of the cut.

Some lovely green moss on an oak tree

The lily pads are still there.

I never noticed this accommodation of the tree by the fence before.

Spillways look fine.

Looks like the bluebonnets have come up.

The poor cactus community was hard hit.

Here is an example of how the agaves need to be cut.

Here is a palm that has been given a haircut for survival.

A couple of trimmed sago palms.

That is the tour for today. Stay, eat and drink and listen to Bob. I hope you have a great week.

72 comments

  1. Some things are clearly not up to serious winter weather, are they, John?
    We’re still getting up to frosty mornings here. Yesterday was so nice that I got Robbie, our robot lawnmower, out and set him to work. When I saw what it was like this morning, I knew I’d have to put him back into his winter quarters for another few weeks. Don’t want him catching a chill, do we?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, poor Robbie needs to be protected.😁 I have some envy regarding a robot lawnmower.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    Lovely walk, John, and the pause by the creek was particularly nice. Running water can be magical, which is what I hope for you and yours, plenty of magic today. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Magic is a good thing for sure. Thank you, Gwen. Here’s hoping you can find some too. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Despite the damage, some of the colors are beautiful — like the trimmed sago palm. It’s always good to see bluebonnets, too. They’re tough, and meant to wait through winter until time to start growing in spring. Those poor Ashe juniper, though. Their thick branches made them an easy target for that ice.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The junipers took the brunt of the damage. So many broken. Thanks, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heartbreaking to see how hard some of the beautiful plants in your neighborhood were hit, John. I must confess, however, that I had trouble tearing myself away from that amazing repast…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The food was terrific wasn’t it. That was the menu from the French Laundry for Saturday. Yum. Thank you, Lori. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A gloomy day, but as I nosh and sip, I tend to get philosophical. I’m admiring the resilience of nature. I suspect she will Boyce back quicker and fuller than the works of man. See, I told you. How ’bout another splash…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bounce back. (Boyce back? iPhone, what were you thinking?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahah. I wrote a message about that before I saw this. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree that humankind cannot keep up when it comes to reconstruction. I think we are getting better but need to take lessons on resilience from Ma. Thanks, Dan. Yes I know Boyce is bounce. I’m fluent in typo. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Your foggy morning looks exactly like ours right now. Thanks for the lovely walk, John. It’s nice to see signs of spring around the neighborhood. By the way, the Bob Seger song is one of my top favorite songs. It’s a great song!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is. When it first came out I wondered how come the two didn’t stay together. Then with like experience I figured it out. Thanks, Jill. 😁

      Like

  7. Despite the storm damage, it looks like spring is well on the way in your neighborhood. Hopefully, none of your neighbors are having to deal with damage from broken water pipes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We had a few but not like in Austin proper. Thanks, Liz.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hope those folks will be able to get their homes put right soon.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes some still don’t have water.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I was afraid of that.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Will the sago alms come back? They really don’t look very well.
    I’m going to be needing a bit more time to ponder the menu – there’s too many of my favorites on it!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When trimmed I have read the segos will come back. The agave are iffy at best. Take your time on the menu. There is a lot to consider. Since it is a tasting menu go ahead and tell ’em you’ll take one of everything. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, you know me so well!!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad I dressed for this. The agaves pic was interesting – yet spring has sprung for you! Well done securing Bob Seger!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Frank. He is one of my favorites. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It looks like things are shaping up nicely where you live, John. Spring is bound to bring about, even more, change for the better. That was a lot more food. I was impressed. It reached banquet proportions. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My azaleas took a hit. A master gardener says to hold off on trimming for a while to see if new foliage appears. The Live Oak trees in our area were also affected as well as several pine trees. Hopefully, they are just in shock and will recover.

    I think everything will be late in blooming this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah a gloomy day. They can be good or bad. It all depends on who you glue me to.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, I made it for today’s tour, at least. (The rest of the week was gone before I knew what hit me.) I do love seeing all the sights in your neighborhood, and today was especially inspiring. Life will prevail in spite of the onslaught wrought by nature from time to time. The signs of spring are definitely there and the tour was most interesting. Thanks for the stop by the little waterfall. No wonder you like to “contemplate” there. Even the video was a peaceful moment in an already bus morning.

    Here’s hoping you’ve truly seen the last of winter and full-on spring is heading your way! Great post, John! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “busy morning” … Doh!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Seems like grass is fairly hardy. Fares better with freezing than it does with drought. The rest looks a bit rough.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ohmygosh! What a feast! You could have showed us dried up grass and we would have been content… That said, lots of damage but lots of hope, too. Excellent music to get us a-going.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You had me at Dungeness crab 🙂

    I liked seeing all those signs of spring, and the pause by the waterfall was lovely. The poor cacti though…they’re probably still in shock.

    It’s dumping buckets here today, gray and gloomy. After I help myself to a bit more of that crab, I think it will be time to write!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hope the weather is back to normal there.

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  19. Wow, what a menu today, John! And a caterer, no less. The fog here yesterday was so thick I could hardly see past my balcony. I called it creepy fog. It’s the kind of stuff that fosters horror stories. 🙂 Thank you for sharing the photos. The cacti are hardy and hopefully, most will return. The Palms, I don’t know about them. Time will tell, but it is encouraging to see Bluebonnets poking through!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. There are hints, John. I saw a dandelion yesterday but everything around here is mud and construction. No flowers, maybe next year when the construction has moved on. We have fog. too!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m glad to see that people know how to save their damaged plants, John. It would be such a shame to lose them. And all those signs of spring must be a relief. Loved the menu, by the way. That made me hungry. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That outbreak of severe winter really was something, wasn’t it?
    Have a wonderful Sunday,
    Pit

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I have scenes similar to these to look forward to soon. Today is our first day of Autumn, I love the early change of season. Perfect sleeping weather. Great post, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There you go. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Boy, am I glad I just finished lunch, or I’d have taken a chomp out of my computer for this feast of yours, John! Sorry to see so much destruction from the storm, but Nature is a survivor, and I expect more things will come through than at first glance. The dreariness of your day mirrors ours — we had bucketloads of rain overnight.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’ re getting rain tonight. Stay dry, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A real misty Sunday, dear John. Some pictures are perfect inspiration for a good thriller. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you for the party!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cin-cin! Happy spring, my dear John!

        Like

      2. Cin-Cin Dear Maria.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 🌸🌺🌷

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ☕️🥐🌷🌷

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Your tour made the day less gloomy. Yes, it is spring if the bluebonnets are coming up. I am always amazed at how hearty they are.Thanks for food from The French Laundry.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. petespringerauthor · ·

    Whatever happens, life goes on. Sometimes when I’d be in the middle of a family crisis, I’d think how the rest of the world is unaware. Nature has a way of bouncing back. Life continues with us or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true, Pete. On a seperate note, thank you so much for the lovely review of Eternal Road. I am so pleased you enjoyed the book. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. petespringerauthor · ·

        My pleasure, John. It was a great read. I’m starting to write much later in life, and I appreciate learning from those who have navigated a similar path.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I published my first book when I was 71 so welcome to the boat.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Now that was a fabulous meal. I was in the mood for some dungesness crab. That video was beautiful and peaceful, I love your place to contemplate. Nice to see the renewal of flowers pushing through. Thanks, for the tour 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a little rough on the edges but looks like spring is headed this way. Thanks, Denise 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I’m drooling over the menu this week! Those poor plants – hope they survive. The weather hasn’t been kind to spring buds here over the past few years – especially Bradford pear trees. We’ll see what this year holds, but with all this weird weather, I’m expecting to see brown trees again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We are having an early drop of the live oak leaves due to the freeze. I think it will be fine though. Thanks, Teri.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. What a feast and great song, John! And it’s sad to see the suffering plants, but nice to see the greenery. And the sound of water is always soothing. I hope you find some soothing moments, too. 🌴🌴🌴

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks you, Lauren. There is a bench there so, yes, I do find soothing moments. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I loved everything about this post. Texas has so many beautiful places. Your thinking spot is amazing. Signs of spring warm my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is coming. Thanks, Audrey.

      Like

  32. I loved the video and the fence with space for the branch of the tree, and the lily pads. Good tour, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Deborah.

      Like

  33. The moss on the tree, the running water, and of course the food… lovely!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Jennie. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 2 people

  34. It was nice of the fence people to make it work for that tree! Sorry to see some of the plants were hard hit, but it’s nice to see some flowers coming up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. Thank you, Barbara. It is nice.

      Liked by 2 people

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