Under Reconstruction

Recovering from server crash

Dateline 2016-10-31

  1. Reinstall WordPress.
  2. Reinstall theme.
  3. Import posts.
  4. Delete spam comments.

Restore Missing Photos

Dateline: 2017-07-21
Our physical server crashed twice and we’ve decided to move the Zanthan Gardens site to the cloud.

Apparently the backup had become corrupted, because hundreds of photos went missing. I could never determine any pattern to what was missing: it wasn’t by date of the post, or folder, or name. In fact, frequently it was one or two photos in series of photos for a single post.

This meant I had to go through each post individually (all 482 published ones) and check. Then I had to get the filename of the missing photos and find them on my laptop. This took four days. And a handful are still missing.

Austin Pond Society Needs You

An announcement to my Austin readers: the Austin Pond Society needs volunteers to help with this year’s pond tour. The tour is July 19th and 20th.

You do not need to be a member of APS to volunteer. As the volunteer contact, Beth Zapata put it, “Volunteer duties are light and mainly involve greeting visitors and marking the visitor tally sheet, checking for wristbands and directing visitors to the pond. Everything you need will be waiting for you when you arrive at your volunteer station. A smile is all we ask you to bring. Volunteer shifts are either 8:30am-1:00pm or 12:30pm-5:00pm and are available for either Saturday, July 19th (our south day) or Sunday, July 20th (north).”

In return for your smile you receive free admission to the rest of the pond tour, a T-shirt, and invitation to the private Splash party on July 13th.

I enjoyed my first pond tour so much last year that I immediately joined the Austin Pond Society and am volunteering to help this year. As of today the APS needs ten more people. If you’re one of them, contact Beth Zapata at bzapata1 at sbcglobal dot net.

A Rose Even I Can’t Kill

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings recently sent me the perfect rose: it doesn’t require any water or fertilizer. I don’t have to worry about black spot or mildew or the flowers balling in Austin’s humid heat. I never have to contemplate spraying poison on it, or be wake up one morning to find that it has been eaten by caterpillars, beetles, or covered with aphids. I don’t have to dread rose dieback.

This perfect rose is a barite rose and it is the state rock of Oklahoma. Dee wrote how moved she was by Tom Spencer’s talk on gathered stones during Spring Fling. Our gardens become reliquaries for those objects (stones, shells, bones, and figures) which have personal meaning to us.

My little pot of everblooming barite roses will always remind me of meeting Dee and all the other wonderful garden bloggers who came to the first Spring Fling.

Barite rose

Pimpin’ My Hoe

Note: This post was written for today’s Hoe Down at May Dreams Gardens.

Like a faded wall-flower at the prom, my hoe is frequently overlooked and underappreciated. I prefer a garden fork and pruning shears for fighting my way through my root-laden clay. However, since Spring Fling, this hoe has been putting on airs. She had the thrill of a little one-on-one action with Carol, connoisseur of hoes, the hoe-stess with the mostest.

As I handed the hoe over to Carol’s capable hands, she eyed it critically. “Needs sharpening.” was her assessment.

“But how do you use it?” I asked, perplexed. “Do you dig with the pointy end? chop with the curved blade?” I want to pull it through the dirt like a plow blade but the angle of attack seems all wrong.

Carol slid her hand up and down the wooden handle, testing the center of balance. “Like this,” she demonstrated with a few smooth, easy strokes on the chipped bark path. My hoe’s finest moment. Carol looked around. “You don’t really have the right kind of garden for hoes. You need a vegetable garden. With rows.”

Unloved hoe. She knows her best days are behind her.

Hello world! Zanthan Gardens Has Moved to WordPress

This is my first WordPress post. We’ve been in the process of migrating the Zanthan Gardens site for some time now and I’m sure there will be some unexpected behavior and problems we need to work out.

If a link or photograph doesn’t work for you, or if you have trouble with comments, contact me via msinclairstevens at yahoo dot com and I’ll try to find a fix.

For those of you who subscribe to Zanthan Gardens via Bloglines, you might need to resubscribe. If you use another rss reader, would you let me know what happens.

Update: Sunday Evening

The blank individual entry pages (with comment form) and category pages should be working now even for those of you who use IE. I failed to close a tag in the html headers of those pages. I’ve run the W3C validator and discovered all sorts of little nasties I needed to fix. Thanks for all the feedback, from Pam/Digging and the rest of you listed below.

Update: Sunday Morning

Annie at The Transplantable Rose and Julie of the Human Flower Project both report a problem with getting a blank comment page. I don’t have a separate comment pop-up. The comment link should lead to the individual entry. After a little experimenting Annie discovered that this comment problem happens with Internet Explorer but not with Firefox. I don’t have IE–so I can’t test any fixes for it.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens reports trouble accessing Zanthan Gardens from Google Reader. The permalinks have changed. And although we went through all sorts of hoops to redirect the links, you might need to change them on your side as well. Or force your browser to refresh the page (rather than read the cache. In Firefox, that’s shift-refresh).

Old MT URL: http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/index.html
New WP URL: http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/

Old MT URL: http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/xml.html
New WP URL: http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/?feed=rss2

OLD MT URL: http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/002282.html
New WP URL: http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/?p=2282

I can’t believe we have 5 more blogs to migrate…grrrr.

Site Updates

April 4, 2006
A couple of people have reported problems accessing my RSS feed. I tried subscribing to this site via Bloglines and it seems to be working now. (Although I might have broken the subscriptions you’ve already set up.)

If you have tried to subscribe to Zanthan Gardens, can you let me know whether or not it worked for you?
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Thievery Afoot

Spring has sprung and apparently lots of people want to write about it. And some of those people used an image of Mexican plums in bloom that I published three years ago. Although it is not a very good image (since it was taken with the videocamera in the days before my Coolpix 4300), it does come up on the first page of Google Images for Spring.

Now I don’t mind people copying my photographs for their personal use. In fact, I’m flattered. But if you want to use them on your website, you should 1) ask my permission, and 2) give me credit. The photographs on Zanthan Gardens are copyrighted.

What is worse is that there is a net etiquette for using images: copy them to your computer. That is, do not reference my computer in your “img src=” tag. When you do that, you are stealing my bandwidth. If you don’t understand what that means, please read this article on Bandwidth Stealing.

I meant to write to each person individually, but there are a lot of you. All over the world! Again, I’m flattered that you liked my photo. And you probably didn’t mean to steal it. But it is stealing. So please stop.
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