Monday, June 13, 2011

Hurricane Lawee: Art imitates life

I knew that aesthetics were calling for a circular mirror in our outdoor room, but it took Lawee to inform me that we actually needed five of them:
The new table is made of reclaimed teak and we got it at Home Source.
The saddle stools are from,
one of my favorite internet retailers.
You would not believe how difficult it is
to find 18" saddle stools.
99% of those for sale are bar-height (24" to 30").
The mirror arrangement represents a stylized hurricane:
Hurricane Ike, which changed everything around here.
This design pays homage to the fact that hurricanes have played such a prominent role in our lives here on the upper Texas coast, and in Galveston County in particular.

It's also a nod to the fact that we nicknamed Casa Caylawral "the hurricane house", because in order to get to it, one must make the first left turn followed by the first left turn followed by the first left turn followed by the first left turn - in other words, one must access the house by spiraling counterclockwise, just as its northern-hemisphere namesake does.

And of course, for good measure, I note that all good art is intensely cross-referencing.  In this case, the right-ascending diagonal on the exterior wall echoes the right-ascending diagonal formed by the house's main hallway:

Unfortunately the dynamic sense of movement that this art piece produces is totally lost to the camera.  Lawee did a wonderful job in designing this feature, but it just doesn't show well here.

As you walk by the array of mirrors, the scene accessed by each appears to evolve independently, giving a much more intricate sense of complexity and movement than a single mirror would provide.  Your eyes simply don't know what to settle upon first, which is essentially the same reaction you have when faced with the Real Thing.
Clear Lake waterfrontage near El Lago,
the day after landfall of Hurricane Ike
September 14, 2008.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Well, THAT was brilliant

Given that we are in our annual Mean Season of weather, and it's now too hot out to plant many vegetables, I figured maybe I'd try my hand at sunflowers - they don't mind the heat and they're yet another on the long list of things I've never tried to grow before.

So I scattered some seeds in the onion stock tank, and then culled the resulting sprouts down to three - one for each of us.  Little did I know that the tallest sunflower, the one we named Lawee, would grow to be nine feet two inches tall!  And it's in an elevated stock tank to start with, so here's where the bloom ends up:
Lacking proper skyhooks, I had to risk my damned life just to get this crummy shot of the bloom:
Juuuust starting to open...
WHAT IS UP (pun fully intended!) with a NINE FOOT sunflower??  I thought these things were supposed to grow to be about six feet tall?  I didn't see anything advertising "bionic sunflower" when I bought the seeds.  It was just an ordinary $1.99 organic seed packet from good ol' Walmart.

Note to self:  Next year, they go into the ground, not the tanks.  Or maybe I should first dig a partial hole to China for them.