Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Word Has Finally Gotten Out

I understand that you and I are part of a subculture: the lovers of yard art and the artists who create or display it. The Highway is like a support group where we can take our shoes off and enjoy our guilty little pleasure.

People talk about us behind our backs. My neighbors point to my three gnome lurking in the hostas with suburbanite outrage. (Yes, three... one popped up last weekend. I am still investigating the culprit).

People roll their eyes in disgust as we drive and interrupt a conversation with the blurt "oh oh oh, 3 tier seahorse birdbath!!!".

Carolyn of Carolyn's Shade Garden has discovered that we have been vidicated:

yes, yes we have.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Lone Star State is Rarely Lonely on Stars or Armadillos

Cynthia of On a Hayes County Hill comments and submits:

We were road-tripping last week (my daughter and I), and this gem caught my eye. There are no saw blades, but there are two cars in the driveway. Also, next door there was a small girl (real) waving eerily at us - it reminded me of trailers for horror movies where people stare at you as you move by in slow motion (i.e. Shutter Island). (If said eerie girl had gotten her parents, that would have been gold star material)

Anyway, this yard boasts a mismatched conglomeration of animals, that would under normal circumstances turn on each other, but seem to co-exist peacefully here - at least in the daytime. I see geese, rabbits, an armadillo and - yes, do you see it? - a skunk coming up on the left. There might be a duck under the sign. Under the birdbath appears to be a tethered butterfly, a prairie dog or groundhog, and perhaps chipmunks cavorting. And, of course, there are two squirrels on the tree trunk.

The yard also celebrates the spirit of Texas:  a longhorn skull, multiple stars (you know:  "Lone Star State"), and the aforementioned armadillo.

The leader of this pack is pictured in the bottom photo: a black/brown bear. Nothing says, "welcome, visitor!" like a bear. Here he appears a cuddly fellow, but at night, he undoubtedly looms larger and his eyes glitter. Scary.

 Ok, the armadillo is cute and I would be tempted to put one in my yard but I would never be tempted to decorate with the remains of a dead animal (and if I did I would at least mount it and not prop it against a stump)
At this time I would like to pose a question: If Texas is the Lone Star State, why do they put stars on every possible service. I see a star on a stick, stars on the shutters a big one on the house.  Really they should be the Multiple Star on Every Flat Service State.

  • Star on house: 1 point
  • 3 dangly things: 3 points
  • 2 geese: 2 points
  • 2 rabbits: 2 points
  • Armadillo(neat!): 1 point
  • Skunk (like it): 1 point
  • Duck under Pop sign: 1 point
  • Teetered butterfly: 1 point
  • Prairie dog: 1 point
  • Chipmunks: 2 points
  • 2 squirrels: 2 point
  • Cow skull: o points
  • Black bear hugging sign: 1 point
Subtotal: 18 points

Creativity Bonus

For being an equal opportunity woodland creature collection and because I love the armadillo: 2 points

Total: 20 points

The pink armadillo, an unknown menace and another reason why I love Japan

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Bedtime Story

An ancient legend foretells of a chosen one who will be selected and trained by the Lords of the Underworld to lead the gnome kingdom out of realm human garden entertainment and into their rightful place in the world - Supreme Rulers of the Earth and Master of Super Fudgie Brownies (with or without nuts).

 Diane of Loess is More comments and submits

A hand coming out of the earth and grabbing a naked baby disturbs me to say the least

Mothers do not let leave your babies lying on the open ground because the duck is not going to help you

"This one will do""

  • Defenseless infant being coaxed into the soil (and that's just wrong): 1 point
  • Useless duck: 1 point
  • Shell: 0 points (and it's broken, pfft)
Subtotal: 2 points

Creativity Bonus

3 points for the disturb-ability factor

Total: 5 points

I left out this part:
The harbinger of the Fudge Brownie Over Lord will return from the soil. I suggest you keep up with your weeding.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

King Kong is Alive and Well In Wisconsin

I'm really beginning to love Wisconsin. I know that as a southern I would probably curl up in a fetal position and cry until spring but as a producer of fine yard art, it is becoming a state of distinction.

Karen of Quarry Garden Stained Glass comments and submits:

We were just passing through this little town when we spied this lovely display

Once again, this was taken from the car window...I know I will never earn the Golden Balls of Bravery Award if I don't disembark from the vehicle and I promise to reform in the near future 

Score (Karen's comments are in blue)

cute house, kind of gingerbread-y. I have  taken many a picture from the safety of a get-away car

 Here we have a Gnome holding his hat in amazement of all the creatures he has to co-exist with; or maybe he has a migraine.  Or, he could be upset because it looks like there is a Gnome lying face down in the dirt very near him:
He looks stunned, as if he has lost his focus on life: 4 points

Alert!  Alert!  Gnome Down!! (this is when I have to trust my reports and not question their calling on a green blob): 4 points

The Burro turns his back in disgust.  Stupid Gnomes. 

 burro has an ample behind, she will not thank you for this butt-shot: 1 point

Not sure, but this looks like a bird bath with a ladder and a Lurking Cow....maybe all the Yard Art creatures come alive at midnight and take turns swimming in the Cement Pedestal Pond.  But they'd better behave or someone will give them...

 (I think there is a kitty in the pool): 3 points
The Boot. 1 point
This butterfly sculpture seems to have a belly-spinner attached, gives a whole new meaning to having butterflies in your stomach: ( 1 point)
Hmmm.......maybe the Gnome was waiting for the Cows to come home, and is that the Sun on a Stick?
 (unless we are talking red dwarf sun, I believe that is a reflector... but great try!) 1 point
All of this pales in comparison to this, though:
KING KONG!  Alive and well and eating a banana.  I wonder if he fell off the Empire State Pedestal behind him?  Just look at the expression on Poor Kong's face...maybe the animals on the totem pole climbed up there and knocked him off him off his pedestal.  Poor Gorilla.  
Somehow I thought he would be taller. They can do so much with angles in Hollywood: 1 point

knock off band for the Bremen Town Musicians - I bet the sheep lost to coin toss to get the pig on top on him: 1 point
Subtotal: 17 points

Creativity Bonus

Not a spectacular collection, I do like the Kong, he looks a little a few bananas short of a bunch and I like the knock off animal musicians: 2 points
Total: 19 points

The Bremen Town Musicians:
Allison wanted the Cat to be her breakout role, but Herbert was an Ass and stole the show.

The Bremen Town Musicians

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

I hope everyone spends time with family and/or friends and that your Easter Holiday is filled with love and flingos.

Diane  of Loess is More shares Easter joy:

Hahhahahhahaha bunny flingo

I'll be spending Easter with The Higher Power: you know I love ya'

sorry about the sock monkey nightmares

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guarded By Lions - Easter Eggs and Bottle Poles

MorningGlory has a story to tell and I will score as we go along:

This house is right up the street from me; I’ve had my eye on it for a while now:

The entrance to the driveway is guarded by two lions.  They made no attempt to stop me. (2 points)
A friendly Dalmatian sits at the end of the drive.  He’s not much of a guard dog. (2 points)
The front door is decorated with an Easter egg wreath.  This picture doesn’t do it justice; it’s really rather pretty. (I LOVE the Easter Egg Wreath!!!!)
To the right of the door, a small dog keeps an eye on things.  A Christmas tree flanks the door. (6 points)

No front porch is complete without wind chimes and dangly things. (Words to live by - and no Southern house is complete without a seashell jangly thing: 2 points)
To keep things balanced, another dog guards another Christmas tree to the left of the door.  A fairy looks on approvingly. (good dodge MorningGlory but I am calling Angel - 1 point)
Again for balance, more wind chimes and dangly things adorn the left side of the porch. ( 3 points)
 A monstrous snail and a life-sized rabbit sit on the wall. ( 2 points)
A lonely blue gazing ball to the right of the front porch. ( 1 point)
The first of several garden areas in the front yard.  Left-to-right:
A fairy, three geese, three eggs (I hope the geese are not responsible for
the eggs – that would be painful), and a fairy.  I’m also thinking the chair
is non-functional and intended as yard art.
(also a birdbath, I'll give you the chair: 7 points)
At the center of the yard, another garden is set up with an angel and a fairy.
Two rabbits guard more eggs; again, I hope they aren’t the producers
(3 points)
The same garden boasts a fountain, a cherub, and a tri-color bottle-tree sapling. (I like the mini bottle tree - 5 points - I counted the fleur de lis)
Finally, at the far end, we have a frog, a rabbit, another cherub, and a lighthouse. (3 points)
As we move around to the side yard, we have a deer, an angel, and three more eggs. ( 1 point)

The eggs are watch over by a turtle.  He’s not fast, but I hear he’s ferocious. (looks like a mean one - 1 point)
A yellow bottle tree, and a Texas-star-on-a-stick.  We’re not even in Texas! (In Texas everything is covered in stars - amazing - first time I have seen a yellow bottle tree 2 points)
 Another deer on the other side of the house, looking toward the road.  (OK, MorningGlory this has gone on long enough, did you walk the entire grounds! - 1 point)
A resting deer watches over things in the shade of a dogwood tree. ( 1 point)
A blue bottle tree in front of the garage. (these are more like bottle towers - 1 point)
A metal farmer figurine rusts under an evergreen tree, lonely and forgotten. (and beheaded... 1 point)

Subtotal: 45 points

Creativity Bonus

I love the Egg Wreath although it is holiday related so I can't count it, the monochromatic bottle towers are interesting especially the yellow one: 2 points

Total: 47 points

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail

Hippity Hoppity ... Easter's on its way

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yard Games

I know everyone is waiting on pins and needles for the story on the Austin Yard Art Trip of a Lifetime Extravaganza. Ok, so I haven't written it up as I wanted to get yards on the score board. Perhaps I should give you a taste:

Introducing Punchinella:
After she steals your soul, she puts them in little tiny cages. I suggest you do not make eye contact.

On a lighter note, after a hard day of entertaining yard art enthusiasts, the little darlins like to play a rousing round of hide and seek.

Diane of Loess is More comments and submits:

I actually pulled in their driveway for this one LOL! - (seasoned field reporter)

1, 2, 3 .... is every one hiding?
  • World champion hide and seek player: 1 point
  • Bitter rival: 1 point
  • Pouting non-players on swing: 2 points
  • Lion (please, don't insult the lion): 1 point
  • Gnome on a stump (does not quite get the concept of the game): 4 points
  • Gnome hiding behind tiny birdbath: 4 points
  • Look out gnome and buddy hiding behind dead plant: 8 points
  • The "G" spot sign: 1 point
  • Turtle score keeper: 1 point
  • Getaway bicycle (no one likes the referee): 1 point
Subtotal: 24 points

Creativity Bonus

For the riveting competition even though I know the gnome will cheat: 3 points

Total: 27 points

I bet this was not intended to be as creepy as it is:
another victim of Punchinella

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birdhouse Railroad Ponyland

Lauren of Lend Me Some Sugar comments and submits (my comments are in red, when Lauren writes, I just let her take the reins.)

Okay I admit, I have been unmotivated but I'm making a comeback here, and for your entertainment I present Birdhouse Railroad Ponyland:

At first glance, a modest assortment of homes for teensy tiny birds. Seriously the only birds around here are gigantic fat robins and turkey vultures. Oh and the random turkey. Are the turkey vultures searching for turkeys? So the other day I turned up this street instead of taking my usual route home, and lo and behold. A pony.  And I vowed then and there to return this weekend. So I did. I know the people were home because three vehicles were parked in front of the house, and the house lights were on in the windows, so I made my teenage son walk in front of me and pretended to take photos of him, then I would peer into the screen of the camera and pretend to be looking at his picture, while in reality I was shooting the photo of the collection! So slick. (very slick, a seasoned reporter)


Huge cement heavily fortified birdbath probably for turkey vultures to bathe in. No water: 1 point
Rusty American Flag doo-hickey sticking in ground: 1 point
Gigantic 4x4 Fortress on which to hang teensy birdfeeder(that is hilarious, maybe they feed bears): 0 points
Pony Shoe Flower hanging on wall: 1 point
two  birdhouses with teensy holes (definitely decorative): 2 points

light up American Flag (July 4th decor!!) in window (ah Lauren, it is in the house): 0 points
some kind of cow on a stick, below light up flag: 1 point
8 more bird houses with teensy holes: 8 points
wagon wheel: 1 point
another bird bath: 1 point
family on a stick thingy on green pole by bird bath: 1 point
horsie weathervane (in front of wheel, somewhat disguised by dark brick to lower right of window): 1 point

on wall:
moon: 1 point
sun: 1 point
frog: 1 point
cudgel? (Great! our first cudgel, I hope you were not too close to the house): 1 point
pony-shoe butterfly (beginning to suspect a theme): 1 point
bench?: functional if you can sit on it: 0 points
bad view of pony head hitching post: 1 point

better photo of pony head hitching post
two pony shoe shamrocks sticking in ground: 2 points
chess piece (why?) (why not): 1 point
magnificent red and white chevron (I LOVE IT): 1 point
another bench: 0 points

pony shoe wreath: 1 point
pony shoe cross: 1 point
pony shoe flower: 1 point
eagle hanging above door: 1 point
whirligig with pony face in middle (yeah see, I think there is a theme): 1 point
grapevine wreath above garage with WHITE ICE SKATE in center!!!! awesome!! ( I agree): 1 point
Nebraska Corn Shuckers sign: 1 point
two pony shoe flowers: 2 points
authentic stolen-from-a-railroad-crossing Railroad Crossing sign (wow, that like yard art larceny): 1 point
bathtub??? how does that fit in to this display? Is this where we used to bathe the ponies before they all died?: (ponies got to drink and bathe their feet): 1 point

better composition of tub and railroad sign,
AND lovely green and red something or other diamond shaped thingy (it truly is lovely): 1 point

stone thing with heart shape: 1 point
Pony Face round metal thing (in front of tree): 1 point
Is this where they bury their dead ponies???
Demonic White Pony Statue with red Christmas garland around his neck (an evil dead eyed pony with festive garland): 1 point + 1 for dressed + 4 holiday bonus
pony shoe flower (are all the pony shoe ornaments made with mementos of their dead ponies????): or they have a pony with a shoe fetish: 1 point

Subtotal: 49 points

Creativity Bonus

For the pony shoe land, the demonic pony and the ice skate wreath: 4 points

Total: 53 points

Manatee welcomes Lauren back and is more than a little afraid of the pony