Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Last Tuesday, a resident was approached at her door by a young man with skateboard who was 'selling' subscriptions to magazines to be used at women's shelters, etc., for $55 apiece. He claimed to the the son of a resident and dropped some names. Upon investigation, it turned out he wasn't who he claimed, was not the son of a resident, and we must assume he was scamming anyone who'd fall for his spiel.

Apparently he hiked into S.O. somehow. So we are not quite as secure as we might think.

If you are approached at the door - call the guard shack and they'll let you know if THEY know and if they don't, will send security.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


(Prompted by today's weekly E mail to owners)

Speaking as a builder and not as a resident in Spanish Oaks I think there may be some over reaction. Generally the builders have a good relationship with the DRC and do not violate the rules. I know from my own experience that I have had 2 violations during all the construction I have done here and those were for particular reasons which were beyond my control. There are also situations where early or late access is needed such as gunite a pool or pouring a slab. Also do not forget that there are emergencies that require workers to have access into the property on a Sunday or late at night and we have homes that are not part of the Spanish Oaks guidelines but have access through our subdivision ( such as the Preserve). My general opinion about the gate and the DRC is that it works well, and as with many organizations has some problems but they are addressed in a timely manner and with fairness.The guards are extremely good at chasing out the workers at 6pm and not letting them in until around 7am, just go to the gate at 6-45am and you will see the line of trucks outside.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Teresa Duncan asks we post this:


I am looking for cedar limbs/branches to make some "Bentwood" trellises and an arbor. Mostly, 1 inch in diameter and smaller, with a few larger pieces. The book I have recommends green wood but dry is better then nothing. I can offer a few bucks or trade some work (how about a trellis?) and I won't leave a mess. Maybe you need some lower limbs trimmed off?

Thank you!
Parent of 6th grader Autumn


We used to cry "FAKE OUT!" in school. At this minute I can see 3 controlled burns from the top of Mucket Rim. The closest, pictured here, looked like it was threatening homes, but Paul Streeter told me that there are those signs all up and down Bee Caves Road saying it's Prescribed.

I am very happy to report we are not burning.

Monday, February 19, 2007


It was a pretty windy day today. Hard to believe anyone would choose today for a controlled/prescribed burn. When I spotted smoke on the horizon I thought it was on S.O. property but a quick drive proved that wrong - it was behind and to the west of the development. I believe it was a 100 acre fire on a ranch. Certainly was a bad day for fire!


10:30AM, Feb.19, 2007
Final tow of what appeared to be at least a three car accident. Late
model Tarus being towed from the scene with major front end damage.

Driver of this vehicle not injured.

Two sets of skid marks in westbound lane indicates some unknowing
soul(s) was unaware of impending danger approaching from the rear.

It has been suggested there was a crate or box in the roadway which was a contributing factor.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I need a thumbtack. The nose of my Air Hog (real name) needs just a touch more weight to keep it from porpoising.

Today we had a pretty calm morning and so I took the advantage to learn the R/C controls as I could actually fly for minutes at a time before hitting a tree, or crashing.

Turning downwind, even with a whisper of a breeze, speeds the plane up dramatically, and it's not yet intuitive to me how to get out of a turn cleanly (or even which way the stick moves the plane, since the tiny motors don't have much power, and in any wind, the turn is relatively unresponsive!)

My last flight was exciting... at full throttle it climbed and climbed and climbed. I kept it in tight circles over my field on our property. Then the wind turned it and as I 'corrected' I found it had passed the boundary of my R/C control. Leaving our property, passing over the barbed-wire-encircled very private community behind us.

When last seen, it was maybe 100 feet or more up and going away,as they say, "thataway."

I walked the fenceline but couldn't see it over in what's called The Preserve.

But I know of a place where the barbed wire is just stretched enough that you can crawl between two strands of it to access the forbidden zone. You can't miss it, it's almost behind the sign that says residents only. Carefully, thinking tetanus thoughts, I snuck.

Busted! One of the residents waved me an "I see you and we'll fix that gap right away" friendly wave. I hoped he'd see my R/C antenna and realize what I was doing.

So I trespassed. Forgive me my trespasses. As we forgive those who.... well, you know how that works out. I roamed the neighbor's field and there was no sign of flying machine. I searched the ground, the trees, but nothing. Then I tried turning on the motors by R/C as maybe I could hear them and locate it. No luck. More no luck (I was like the "Can You Hear Me Now" guy on TV, except the answer was NO. But then I did finally faintly hear a whine off in the distance. Somewhere over THERE and UP.

Another tree magnet. Happily I could shake the branches enough to free the Air Hog and beat feet, retrace my steps, my fence squeeze, and declare the day's flying over.

I could grow up to own Jet Blue.


I learned that some residents of the Preserve took my exclusivity joke at their expense to be, well, too expensive. Honestly, they all seem like nice people - I have met a few, and like them all, and apologize for any bad feelings I may have created.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


We meet at Bohl's Cabins

Naturalist and Historian Don Bosse addresses us.

Peewee Peers into History

...learned on today's nature walk...

The pasture to the right as you enter at the east entrance was once a rancher's landing strip for his Cessna.

When it rains and you see the sprinklers on, across from that pasture, it's on purpose with storm water, not LCRA water, and is part of a several stage carefully designed system.

The green balls of growth in various leafless trees are mistletoe.

There's a plan to eventually make the bridge at the east entrance into TWIN bridges, each one way. And there's a bat colony under the bridge (in Mexico today.)

And the surface of our bridge at its current level is... (ready?) FOUR FEET BELOW the 100 year flood level.

By the way - it was a great breakfast post-hike!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007




On behalf of your HOA, Steve Yetts (President), Donald Abrams (Homeowner rep), Mayor Murphy of the City of Bee Cave (and lot owner in Spanish Oaks) and Richard Finlayson of the Preserve HOA met with Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Valinda Bolton regarding traffic and safety issues along the highway 71 corridor and in particular the aged bridge over Little Barton Creek. Each are freshmen in the legislature, but Sen. Watson is the Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee. Each was very attentive to our articulated issues and was particularly agreeable to bring our concerns to the appropriate parties. Sen. Watson agreed to construct the correspondence that Rep. Bolton will sign as well to advance our issues. When a copy is made available to me, distribution will follow.

I have no doubt that they will work to serve our interests so if you can please drop them an e-mail or a note and thank them for their concerns. Remember that the first rule of being a freshman legislator is to become a sophomore legislator. Having constituents sending mail, phone calls etc. make them respond. As a HOA we can become a force with our voices and our votes. Remember to vote every chance you get and let them know that we are watching.

Donald A. Abrams
Homeowner Rep


Email to Valinda Bolton

Email to Kirk Watson

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This is from Teresa Duncan

My friend has a 9 yr old Arabian gelding 15 1/4 hands for sale.

The horse is:
a.. "sweet, gentle, communicative, fun"
b.. TTeam trained (visit TTeam.com and TTouch.com
c.. sound, easy keeper, great hooves
d.. $2200 to the right owner (he's worth more)
Also available: "Cayenne" 25 yr old "Cassole" Arabian

Email peachpatch@earthlink.net She will email or call according to your preference.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


If you have any, e mail them to me and I'll get answers and then put them into the weekly E mails. Thanks. rwood24@Austin.rr.com

Monday, February 05, 2007


What we saw and you can't in the picture: Two dogs playing in the water. A boy fishing. A fish near the surface (maybe 4-5 inches - a bluegill?)

Word reaches us that Discovery doesn't want people to use the fish camp till after March 17th - they just aren't ready. Read the right Stephen King novel and you won't go anywhere near that water anyway!


Here it is - the last little bit... you can almost pick out the part that's done at the top right. This picture is taken from the other completed part, so you can see they are close to finishing the back road (scheduled to open March 17th).


Hey Bob,

I live in Spanish Oaks and my most recent gas bill from Sharp Community Energy was a whopping $496.80. We’ve lived in Austin for over 10 years and I’ve never seen a gas bill over $150 in any home I’ve ever lived. I called Sharp and inquired about the high bill. Donna, who was very nice, gave the following reasons:

1. Spanish Oaks is on Propane and Propane is much more expensive than natural gas.

2. Due to the ice storm and Sharp office closure, there was an extended billing period for 37 days vs. the normal 30 days.

3. Of course, the colder weather caused everyone to run their heat more than normal.

When we bought in Spanish Oaks, we were told that the community would switch from Propane to Natural gas at some point. Is this still the plan? Do anyone know if this switch to natural gas would save us money on our gas bills?

Michael Reilly


I can't find anything yet on the KXAN website but Tim Sabo, ace correspondent, sent this screen capture.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


This is from a home under construction on lower Musket Rim - love how they covered a naked cut, if that's the term. It's nice to see a different approach. Most of these slopes to the road are bare or covered with plants. I note they left some holes, presumably for plants.