Friday, November 21, 2008

From PC's to birdbaths;)

My photo PC has been in the shop all week. I just about maxed out the old 80 gigabyte hard drive in less than a year. It's getting an upgrade to a 500 gigabyte hard drive. That should give me some space for storing pictures (for a while anyway;).

These are some photos I had on a flash drive and decided to post. Mushrooms have nothing to do with my PC--just some interesting ones I found the other day while doing yard work. They like soil high in organic content, so if you have mushrooms (or any soil fungus), it's a pretty good sign your soil is healthy;)

Rambling disjointedly onto another topic.

I'm taking my concrete birdbath in for the winter. If it stays outside through many freezes and thaws, it will almost certainly crack. I'll replace it with a heated one so the birds can get water when everything is frozen and there is no snow cover.

I saw this photo on the Duncraft site. The cost is something like $30o. I love this birdbath! It looks like stone but is some kind of resin compound. Anyway, I thought maybe this winter I'd try making something similar from hypertufa. Anybody that works with tufa, please let me ask you some questions. Perhaps we can do a blog tutorial about tufa projects.


Darla said...

Glad you are back. I suppose my soil is decent then, have mushrooms scattered about. That cool you are going to try to make a birdbath. If you get a blog going about it I certainly would be interesting in learning.

tina said...

You are ambitious Marnie. I work with hypertufa but have not yet tried a birdbath. There is a famous birdbath maker somewhere here in Tennessee, as she was featured on the Volunteer Gardener (our state garden show on PBS). I will try to find her and the clip to see if we can get some tips on making the birdbaths.

Dog_geek said...

Hmmm, I don't even know what hypertufa is, so I'm no help at all. But good luck with it - I look forward to learning something new! Nice on the upgrade - I guess you ought to be able to keep us all in beautiful pics for a while with that one!

perennialgardener said...

Never worked with hypertula before Marnie, but it sounds like a great winter project. I have to bring my concrete birdbath in this winter too, it cracked last winter. I'm going to try to repair it next spring.

BeadedTail said...

I've never heard of hypertula but you have me intrigued! It rarely freezes here in the Pacific Northwest but we sure do have plenty of mushrooms as a result of all the winter rain!

Naturegirl said...

Love th mages of the fungi!
Yes to good organic soil in our gardens!!Good for our garden visitors too!
I usually invert my bird baths rather than bring them water can sit and freeze causing damage but they look like big white mushrooms in my winter garden!

Jamie and Randy said...

I've been thinking of doing a little hyper-toofing myself. But I think I'm going to wait until the sping, meanwhile, I have time to read up.-Randy

flydragon said...

My daughter gave me a small concrete birdbath one year, and I asked her if I should bring it in for the winter. She scoffed and said no, it wasn't necessary. Well of course it did crack, but frugal person that I am, I happened to have an old frying pan that fits in it perfectly if I removed the handle. Works for me. Looking forward to reading about tufa which I have never heard of either.

Frances said...

Hi Marnie, I love your mushroom photos, great clarity! I do know about the hypertufa and it can be left out all year without cracking.(Here) You would have to make it inside or wait until next year, the temp needs to be at least 60 degrees to set and cure properly. I would use some rebar for the base for strength. It will be heavy but not as heavy as concrete. Make a form for the base from boards cut at the proper angles and screwed together so you can unmold it without breaking it by unscrewing the screws, that is the trickiest part, unmolding without cracking it before it has cured. The top would be made like a trough and be sure and have it fit on the base somehow. It sounds like a fun project!

Roses and Lilacs said...

A few of you mentioned you hadn't used or maybe never heard of hypertufa (sometimes just called tufa). It's made partly from cement but instead of mixing cement with sand and gravel, you mix it with sphagnum and vermiculite. Very light weight when dry. It also has a very old or antique appearance because the sphagnum creates irregular pitting. Instant antique. You mostly see planters made from it in the style of old English stone troughs.

Rose said...

I'd forgotten about your computer problems, Marnie; no wonder I haven't seen a post from you in a week! I just got my computer back from the shop a couple weeks ago, so I finally have access to all the photos I took this summer. The good part about that is that I might have some new pictures of the garden to post this winter when there's not much else to show:)

I hope you do a tutorial on hypertufa! I know Frances has commented about making some containers before, so she must know how as well. (Well, now I see she's already commented on this...) I would love to learn how to make this.

Anna said...

Fungus is our friend when it's a mushroom--my neighbor across the street is trying to get rid of his mushrooms. He puts down wood mulch every spring and fall--do you think he's fighting an uphill battle?

Glad you got more space! I'm filling up my puter with pics too....but won't winter be more fun cause we did.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Photos certainly do take up space, especially if you are storing in RAW format. Your photos look professional.

Some folks on GardenWeb had posts about tufa. I've not done it, but I considering making a cast of one of the large colocasia leaves. As with many craft ideas -- I never got around to it.

There are mushrooms in our garden, but (my DH said) they look like something that I can't post on the web!


Q said...

I have read about hyperturf.
It would be an very interesting way to make pots and birdbaths.
I back my photos up each month.
It does take me awhile to do so but it is worth it!
I have an external hard drive too just in case I need it!
Glad you are back with lots of gigs!!

Sherri said...

Marnie, I just love that birdbath of yours!! I hope you will be able to make one out of hypertufa. What is hypertufa by the way, I never heard of it? Good luck!

Darla said...

Can hardly wait for you to post on how to do this!

walk2write said...

Glad you're back to posting, Marnie. Is the hypertufa stable enough to set out in an area exposed to a lot of wind, or is it best situated close to the house? It sounds like a more attractive alternative to the unwieldy concrete baths.

joey said...

I hear your heartfelt 'maxed out' heart! A huge issue for those of us who love living behind a lens. Files are HUGE!

beckie said...

We missed you! Wow that's a lot of storage. I'm sure you will be happy with it. I'd like to learn as well so hope you get some good advice. Have a great Thanksgiving...and take lots of pictures.

Patsi said...

Wow! The mushrooms look like a work of art...amazing. I never look at them the same again.
Don't know what hypertufa is. The bath looks like it was done with the resin material they use to make pots now a days.
I guessing it's sculping cement/stone and fiberglass fibers. Now that could be FUN !

Gail said...


Glad to see you back~~I do hope you have a tufa tutorial! I would love to make one! Sherri Warner Hunter has written a fantastic book...Making Concrete Garden Ornaments that has ideas on working with concrete and winterizing it. I took a weekend mosaic class from her but haven't made it to this workshop, yet.

The resin birdbath is good looking...but the appeal of making one's own is exciting! This is the one time of year I wish for a heated garage and a basement!

Mushrooms are incredible...your photo is wonderful. On my computer it has a bluish/purplish gray tint!


Beth said...

Marnie - that's a very nice birdbath - love the bluejays on there too. I'd be interested to read on how to create one hypertufa (which I've never heard of).

Rambling Woods said...

Glad you are back Marnie. My photos are filling my hard drive too...I love that birdbath, but it is too much money for me. I have my two heated baths up. One is on the deck railing and one on the ground...

New Rambling Woods Site

Kathleen said...

ooh, I love the birdbath Marnie but wouldn't want to pay that much for it! I have no experience with hypertufa but I'm enjoying reading your comments about it. Sounds like an interesting project. I leave my concrete birdbath out all winter with the heater in it. I've not had any problems using that system.

Lythrum said...

I love the mushroom pictures, I have always had a fondness for them. :)

TC said...

Glad to hear you're getting an upgrade. I remember you mentioning something about being without your "photo PC" in a post or comment you made here or there. My recent upgrade included a 500 gig hard drive, I might also recommend extra RAM, especially if you use Adobe Photo Shop CS2 or CS3 (or other photo editing software) with other programs running. I added another gig of RAM for a total of 2 and now things speed right along when I have three or four programs running at the same time.

I too must bring in my concrete birdbath over the winter. It's a small one, kinda like the Duncraft one you have pictured. I won it at a Garden Writers Association meeting several years ago. I had to carry it back to the motel after the meeting; about a block away through downtown Philly. Boy did I look silly.

RainbowMom said...

I've never heard of tufa but I would love to learn more. Off to look it up.. that bird bath is beautiful. I just put up a bird feeder at our new place and they found it so quickly.. I'm very happy. We also have tons of quails running around.. so scared of me still, they run at a moments creak but I'll win them over with FOOD! hehehe

Nan and =^..^= said...

That's great you have your computer back with so much more room for storing your photos. My computer doesn't have much room for storing the 1,000's of photos I take so I end up burning them on cd's. Also, I now have an external hardrive that has lots of space so after I burn them I can drag them over to the external HD and then delete from from the computer so I have room to process more!
It would be wonderful if the computer had more room on it though!
Enjoy the extra space!
best wishes,

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

It's good to know about mushrooms--I have healthy soil! Yay! All that work HAS been worth it! I absolutely love the look of the birdbath, and will be very interested in hearing how making your own evolves because that will be the only way I could afford one too. I had a metal one in the backyard that rusted through this fall and I am needing to replace it.

pat said...

I have that same birdbath and it is made out of stone....I got it in a little side of the road shop in North Carolina a year or 2 ago...One of my favorite things!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
Good to see you back in action! I, too, was running short on HD space recently, and the best (i.e. most economical) solution I found was getting a 750 GB external "My Book" drive from Amazon ... a mere $100 and only takes up one USB port, powers on/off with the computer. I love it so far ... next time you go wanting on space, well worth considering!

I've been fascinated by hypertufa stuff but we've not had the time (or motivation) to get into it yet, but here's a site that might give you more pointers... a guy up in BC who makes all sorts of things out of it. His posts are worth reading (if a bit sporadic).

If you get into it, definitely do some "how to" posts, as others have suggested!

Judy said...

I got here from Q's, and I am so happy I came!! I love your photos, and your writing style. It took a long time to get to the bottom of the page, but it was a joy!
I will be coming back again!!
Thank you!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Marnie, I had to buy a backup drive for all the photos. I moved them to it, so that I have more room on the computer. I wouldn't have done this, but my other computer fried.

sweet bay said...

I've seen photos of hyperfufa stepping stones in a garden in Sanford that were beautifully done. Let us know how you make out on your birdbath.

sweet bay said...

PS I love the mushroom picture.

kd said...

I've been wanting to try a hypertufa project for years but somehow have not gotten around to it. I'll look forward to hearing about your experiences.

Photos can really eat into one's hard-drive. I think you can now get small external terabyte (1000 Gb) drives to use for backups -- I wonder if I'd feel comfortable deleting the backed up photos from my laptop if I moved them to an external drive? Possibly not but with no good reason.


raccoonlover1963 said...

Hi Marnie. This is the first time that we have put the birdbath away. Only because we just moved and there was no sense in setting it up. It is a cement one, but we simply turn the "bowl" of it upside down so that it can't collect water. It looks more like a cement umbrella! Hope you get your computer back in order soon.
Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving.

Skeeter said...

If you make one of those, can you make me one too??? :)

I am running around wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving today so Happy Thanksgiving!

The Birdlady said...

500 should keep you Ok for a while - that;s what I have, but after losing my hard drive in 05, I'm so paranoid about having my files on one drive, that I still have a stack of externals....I love the mushrooms!

Connie said...

Those are some really cool looking mushrooms!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I keep thinking that hypertufa would look so good in my garden, but I've been afraid to try it. I would definitely be interested in a tutorial or 2.
I've decided I have to get the photos off the pc. I don't really need garden photos from 2006 on there. I've started putting everything on USB devices. They're small & easy to store. I do worry about having a backup if something goes wrong with them.

Frances said...

Hi Marnie, Happy Thanksgiving to you. I linked to this post of yours in my recycled trought post that can be seen here.

Tina said...

What a beauriful blog. Just found it and will go back in time to see more! Will definietlyadd ist to my bloglist!

Blossom said...

Oooh yes Marnie, that birdbath is gorgeous! I wonder if you would build some sort of wire mesh frame and then fill it in? That would be a fun project.


oldcrow61 said...

A beautiful picture of the mushrooms. Love the bird bath.

Meems @HoeandShovel said...

Hi Marnie, We seem to get many varieties of mushrooms around here... more when it rains a lot. I like photographing them, too. So many intricate details.

That birdbath is just what I've been looking for ... and there aren't too many I like. The price isn't exactly what I've been looking for though. :-)It always works that way for me somehow.
I like the hypertufa idea... enjoyed Frances' post off of this one. Some interesting ideas for sure.
Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

Patsi said...

Since your post I've learned about hypertufa.
With your help and Frances...I plan on trying it next spring/summer.
You're my December "Summer 2008 Inspiration".
Come visit to see.


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