The Home and Garden Show that was held at the Alamodome on 2-23-08
Be warned this will probably be a long post with many many many images.
I heard from my classmates that this was coming up on the weekend. They said that the one held at the alamodome is always better then the one that was held the week before. The previous home and garden show I didn't go to but heard many said it wasn't that great, mostly infomercial products. Since me and my husband had no other plans for Saturday I dragged him along.
Excuse the blurry bad photographs. My camera was not working with me and I didn't want to fiddle around with the settings to see what would work better. When I entered there were pianos that played themselves. I love that because who doesn't love piano music especially when you don't know how to play the piano. The first thing I saw were pitcher plants. Everyone was buying the pitcher plants. Now I'm not a fan they look weird to me, no thanks. There was a large sand sculpture at the entrance by the both selling pitcher plants. I was expecting something more but it looked like they didn't have enough to time to finish the piece. And it was a typical castle made out of sand with some weird spongy textured thing on one wall. But it wasn't very detailed. I'm picky can you tell. I'd rather have seen a sculpture of something else like an animal a plant something but a castle. Next I went straight to the landscape displays. These were also less then exciting. This waterfall was the best looking one that actually used different plants from others.
Another landscape waterfall display
Like I said the few landscape displays their were, were all very similar. They had a waterfall or water feature with the exact same plants with maybe a few new ones tossed in. And the plants looked like they hadn't been watered. There were pansies, bougainvillea, some purple thing, some grassy things. I guess I'm hard to please. I was looking for maybe some container displays, maybe a pergola with a bench underneath and different plant arrangements. But none of that.
I'm not sure why I go to these things because I'm not a fan of public crowded places. The people walk slow, aren't considerate of those around them, bunch of kids pushing me, booth people trying to give me their card when I have no interest in vinyl siding...etc. I get very overwhelmed and cranky at these indoor group gatherings. I couldn't look at anything without people shoving me out of the way or not moving or being taller then my 5'2" self therefore me not being able to see. Trust me I walked very fast through the building just glancing at things to see if anything caught my eye. None of the products really did because I didn't come for housing products and infomercial items I wanted to see gardening stuff. And there wasn't much of any gardening booths at all.
Orchids at Calloways Nursery Booth
A Bromeliad at Calloways Nursery Booth
I like Calloways nursery booth with all their great looking plants. The orchids were pretty as orchids always are. My husband pointed at them and smiled saying he really likes those why don't I grow them .Well when I gave him an orchid for him to care for...he didn't and it died. So next time I get an orchid I won't let him take care of it. Then I'll just tell him it's his but really it's mine because I'm keeping it alive. And that is assuming I can keep an orchid alive. There were other plants at this booth that I wanted to take pictures of. I encountered the same problem that I was having with every other booth. People stand in my way. A family of 5-6 when only 1 person wants to look at the thing but everyone and their kids follows behind them then stands there. They don't move when I tell them excuse me or try to reach over for a plant and of course their kid is under my feet and not anywhere by their parents. I love kids really I do I just wish they had more manners now a days and weren't in this dream world of being the only thing around and not being anywhere near their parents. If I had a kid, it would be next to me 24/7 at public places where it couldn't get kidnapped or cause trouble.
A flowering Azalea bonsai
A Ficus bonsai
Another bonsai that I don't know what kind of tree/bush it is
An extremely large bonsai.
I finally found a booth that I really liked with hardly anyone there. The bonsai booth was great. I don't remember who the organization or store was that had this booth because I was too busy looking at the bonsai. There was a cute little blooming azalea bonsai. The blooms matched the tablecloth which I thought was interesting. Then there was the funky ficus bonsai. My husband made fun of me when I said "Oh look a ficus bonsai". He told me "If it didn't have a tag on it would you know it was a ficus". He's mean and doesn't believe I know what a ficus bonsai looks like. Boo hoo. My favorite and my husbands favorite was the bonsai in the cresent pot. It had a nice shape and texture and well an interesting pot. Then there was a super large bonsai. I saw it and went OOOO. It had a wonderful large trunk that was awesomely shaped. I couldn't get a non blurry pic of it to save my life.
We walked around the area some more trying to see if I missed anything. I saw a booth that was advertising a pet fence that had a huge mastiff dog there. Then there was the Animal Defense League that had some puppies running around in a pen. After looking at dogs we went down the isle of food and random stuff mixed it. There was a bunch of jams and jellies, jerky, natural spaghetti, BBQ sauces, and dips. I didn't try any of that just wanted to go home by that time. That was when on my way walking out my husband heard that there was going to be a birds of prey show. So he stopped me to tell me since I clearly didn't hear. He knows I like birds of prey and so does he. I don't know the names of them or how to identify them. I love seeing them and am always looking around when we go outside to see if I spot anything. I took a class in highschool about birds and we had a project on a bird of prey we were given. We would go outside and looking for our bird of prey or any others. I had the Osprey and know how to spot that one. Ospreys I believe are not down in Texas. My Osprey sighting skills are no use down here.
First the demonstration started with the speaker saying how we should all be more aware of nature and our surroundings.How many people can't name 3 types of bird of prey, grass, plants, tress or whatever else but can name many man made things. He continued with how we should educate ourselves about nature because we are animals too. Then he went on to talk about hunters. We are hunters and hunting is okay if we hunt to eat and use what we can and give back what we don't use. There is a difference between hunting and murdering. This presentation was held by Last Chance Forever a Bird Of Prey Conservatory. It's a non profit service that takes in hurt birds of prey and nurtures them back to health. The speaker showed us how to identify different birds of prey. Which is basically by their features. Their most different feature are their wings.
Hawk Number 1
Two different hawks were brought out to show the difference and the similarities. The first hawk flew over the audience a few times. There were two assistants that were standing on either side of the audience and the hawk would fly over us. It was wonderful to see and they fly very low to our heads. One women almost got hit in the face with the hawks wing and so did I.
Hawk Number 2
I really hope I remember right and that these were both hawks. I could be wrong I wasn't paying attention too much because I was getting ADD. The second hawk came out and was larger then the first. I don't think they had this one fly over the audience. This hawk clearly wanted to get away. He kept on trying to escape and opening it's wings and trying to get it's foot out of the handlers grip. The speaker talked their eyesight and their hunting ability. He went on to show how the when he lifts his finger the darker hawk will see him as being threatening. The darker hawk started to squawk and look at the finger like get away. The speaker said how these birds that are trained still are wild. That if he tries to touch them they still don't want to be touched. So he tried to touch the darker hawk and of course the hawk dodged him. The speaker then went on to say that he'd let the hawk get it's guard down then try to touch it again. The hawk looked away and the speaker poked him on the back. The hawk looked clearly annoyed it had been touched and surprised.
The Falcon with a cap on
Falcon with no cap on.
The falcon then came out. The speaker talked about the history of the falconer and about the falcon. He said how falcons are easily spooked.
Next came out the owls. The speaker stated that many people can't name 3 owls and they are the hardest for people to identify. He said this because they are nocturnal so no one really sees them. I find that to be the opposite for me and I can name quite a few owls. To me they are the easiest to identify because they look very different or similar but different. I have a harder time with the hawks then with owls. First came out the barred owl. Very pretty with a barred pattern and very dark eyes. The speaker was able to get the owl to hoot and it was very cute.
The barred owl on the left and the horned owl on the right
Then the horned owl was brought out. Now the moment it came out it was looking straight up. It had apparently noticed some pigeons on the rafters and had it's eye on them. It took a while for it to get uninterested and look straight. The horned owl has yellow eyes and feather horns.
After the owls left the black vulture came out. I wasn't able to get a picture because after the owls tall people sat in front of me and I could no longer take pictures. After the vulture went away the speaker wanted to show how a bird of prey catches it's food. He spoke about how he normally does the demonstration with a rabbit but doesn't want to do that hear because the rabbit has no chance of escape and that is not fair. The dark hawk was then brought out and a lure with some food was used. The hawk was perched on the projector and the speaker teased him by dragging and flinging the lure but not letting the hawk catch it. Then he dragged it and let the hawk catch it. Next he did an air grab. He flung up a piece of food and the hawk flew and caught it in mid air. That was the end and it was great. Then they had the dark hawk and the horned owl out for those to see them up close, take photos and there was a donation box up front. Of course my husband donated like a good animal lover he is. I went and took photos like the animal lover I am.
All in all the event I didn't like but I did like the Birds of Prey presentation very much. I wasn't even aware that there was an organization to save birds of prey existed here. As you can tell I'm cranky around large crowds of people and sorry for those that have to read my rants.