Life, Continued

I get to show off two things at once!

This ankh didn’t break, hooray! It still came out with a matte finish, but you can see a little bit of shiny. I probably need to turn up the heat, or let it cook longer, next time. But I’m getting closer to cracking the recipe. It looks like sculpey with that brilliant blue color, but it’s not. It makes that satisfying tink noise when you click it with your fingernail.

Also, there’s my rock garden. Some of those are things I planted and some are weeds. I’m giving the weeds a chance to prove their worth before I pull them. The rest of the yard is bare dirt, so I’m a bit more lenient with anything that’s green as long as it doesn’t try to stab me in the foot.

There’s a bee in the lower right, and a baby fish and its shadow resting over one of the submerged pads on the left.

Life! The bees come and go constantly, happy to have a readily available source of water in our desert climate. Bees are sacred to Ra, who’s one of my divine daddies. The baby mosquito fish must have been born recently. I saw at least four of them out there earlier today. This is a good thing because I was worried about the grackles eating all of them. They’re smart birds who love to take advantage of free meals. My mom has seen them carefully turning over the lily pads in her pond, looking for snails stuck to the bottom of them.

When I go to the water’s edge, whether in my back yard or out in nature, I love to see tiny things going about their business.

The pond has grown up a bit since the first picture.

You can see a couple lily blossoms in there. The “papyrus” is actually umbrella plant. I went with the substitute because regular dwarf papyrus is not winter hardy. Yes, there’s some grass in there too. I haven’t decided yet whether to weed or not. See comments about weeding above. The trickle fountain uses water recycled from our swamp coolers, in fact, all the plants there do, using tiny drip lines. You can see that I wasn’t kidding about the bare dirt back there. My green is mostly concentrated in one carefully managed area.

The birds love the pond too. I intentionally made a shallow area with submerged rocks so they could get closer to the water without falling in, or could climb out if they did. I’ve seen sparrows, finches, doves and grackles drinking and sometimes bathing there. They also like my yard because I’ve been feeding them. I get yelled at a lot when I go outside and disturb their lunch. There’s also one squirrel who likes to visit for food and water. Squirrels have a hard life out here with few large trees around. It’s rare to see them, and when you do, they’re scampering nervously along the ground. I have lizards in the back yard too. They probably don’t care about the pond one way or the other, but they do sometimes sun themselves on the rocks, when there are no grackles around.

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5 thoughts on “Life, Continued

  1. Shine says:

    What a wonderful little pond! It’s like an oasis, surrounded by bare ground like that. Do you have any oasis Netjeru visiting you there? 😉

    Your ankh looks cool, too. You’re trying for faience? Have you seen this brief blog post: http://paste.blogspot.com/2005/08/tried-and-true-recipe.html? Or this one (where it’s called Egyptian Paste): http://www.potters.org/subject13698.htm/?

    • shezep says:

      The pond is dedicated to Sobek. There’s even a small gator figurine buried under the lining. He’s also claimed the blue beta fish we put in there since it’s the resident aquatic carnivore. The beta doesn’t come out often, but occasionally I see a flash of bright blue fin.

      And yes, I am trying for faience. I’m working off of this: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/9cs9x41z#page-2

      There is no clay used in that recipe at all. It’s the same thing they make glass out of, plus a little added binder. My goal is a brightly colored glossy finish that can be used in molds. One of my pieces almost got there last time. It had extra baking soda on the outside because I was trying to keep it from sticking to the texture mat. Part of it came out as a beautiful glossy blue, and part of it scorched badly. I’m getting closer, but it may take a few more tries.

  2. The pond looks really good especially with all the rock and greenery around it. It’s great how water brings wildlife to the garden.

    -River

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