Saturday, April 22, 2017

Central Texas Whipsnake

I got to add this to the list of critters seen on the ranch.  It's a Central Texas Whipsnake (Masticophis [Coluber] taeniatus girardi).  It's the longest snake I have ever seen.  I had a great view from the tractor as he quickly crossed my path on the bluff facing west from the house.

Monday, May 23, 2016


I saw this Centipede crossing in front of me this evening when I went out on the front walk.  Everything is bigger in Texas.  Probably 9-10 inches in length and moved pretty quick across the front lawn and into the flower bed.  Probably the right time to be out as I see a lot of Roadrunners this year, but they are usually out in the mornings.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Wildflowers

We have cleared cedar trees immediately east of the house over the course of the past 18 months.  This spring the entire area was covered with beautiful Bluebonnets...the most I have seen on the ranch.  As the bluebonnets faded the area was then covered with some yellow flowers.  Now the area is covered with blooming purple thistles.  Very interesting and a colorful spring just outside the front door.

I have also extended the clearing into a trail from the house to the mountain pasture gate.  I can actually Annie the donkey and the goats if they are by the gate.  Also how I'm able to hear and hopefully see critters going down the mountain on the wild animal trail.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Coyote Concert

I went outside about 11:00 pm to help DW unload some items (she had gone to the Cliftex and a movie with friends) from the car and we were able to catch an evening serenade by a pack of coyotes.  Sounds like the were in the goat pasture and with the trees we've recently cut between the house and that gate it was very loud and sounded like they were right on us.  That fence row basically completely crosses Rattlesnake Mt. and has always been a trail for critters going from Meridian Creek valley to Gary Creek valley.  Always find interesting tracks and a reason I could never have baby goats survive in that pasture.  It was a clear still night and a new moon as well, not sure if that played into the coyote concert.  Very interesting and somewhat scary if I had not been standing just feet from the front door.

This link will give you an idea: 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

January 2016

I don't keep this blog updated as I should.  I logged in tonight to add Eastern Meadowlark to the Birds Observed.  One crashed into the patio window and was stunned.  I put him outside the dog area...he should be fine.  Bigger bird than I thought.

I've been clearing due east of the house.  There was almost a straight line of dead cedar.  It's taken a year working on and off and I actually now have a new trail that goes directly from the circle in front of the house to the pasture gate between the homestead and the goat pasture.  There has been a lot of burning and rock hauling involved in that project.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gosh...haven't posted here in a year.  Facebook has pretty much replaced blogging although I haven't posted on the TOR FB page much either.

Traveled a lot in 2014, but spending the entire summer on the ranch.  Got a lot of to-do lists finished.  Cleaned cedars from fence rows, pushed and burned a lot of dead cedar trees, and burned some 1970's burn piles.  We were able to do more burning than normal as we had the wettest May in many years.  We had a good six weeks of perfect burn weather and took advantage of it.

Cleaned cedar from around the old Twisted Oak and it looks great, you can now see it from the ranch road.

Given up on goats...too many predators.  Sold all but two young Billies who will keep Annie company.  I can loan them out for breeding to neighbors.

Year of the rabbit...they are everywhere.  Lot's of Armadillo as well.

Friday, July 25, 2014

We have Grass

We have not had enough rain to break the drought, but we have received timely rains this year.  We have had nice grass since spring.  The goats and Annie all look healthy with mice slick coats.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Due to neighbors dogs and coyotes we have not had any new baby goat kids for several years.  This year we did borrow a billy and we have ten surviving kids this season.  I'm still not sure of the sex of them but they are all now weened and looking forward to feeding time just like the adult goats.

It has been a very cold winter this grass all season.  I have had two large bales of hay delivered and feeding goat feed as supplement.  Much different and more expensive than last year when we had grass all winter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

It’s been forever since I have made an update.  It’s been a busy fall and winter, I/we have done several Caribbean cruises, traveled Italy, and done a TransAtlantic cruise.
We are very fortunate to have a good friend that likes to stay at the house/ranch while we are away.

As a result of a lot of travel I decided to try the MVP protein goat food that is manufactured in Clifton.  I can purchase a 100lb. tub and it will supplement the goats while we are away.  That way they can forage and just get fed occasionally.  It really seems to work well.

It’s been an overall dry fall and winter.  We have had some rain, but most tanks in the area are very low or dry.   I think we have had enough for spring flowers.  We’ll see.

I have had cedar choppers who are cutting the cedar that died during the drought.  One began harvesting good cedar even cutting some oak to get to them, but I discovered it right away and made a call to the sheriff for theft. 

The goats did get into the new plants we planted last spring around the house.  I sure hope they come back this year or I’m in trouble.  I also need grass to cover the area just east of the house and drive where we cut a lot of cedar.  At least we will have a new good parking area.

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012

It's Hot!  What else could we expect but hot in July?  At least it's not as quite as bad as last year although it has been 106° a few days.  Only 17 days over 100° so far and we had over 80 last year.

We have had cedar choppers harvesting some cedar trees that died from last years drought.  These are just east of the house so we will eventually have some extra parking for when we have big events here at the ranch.  I was able to burn the cedar tops before the burn ban went into effect.  I've been burning stumps within the fire ring since.  It's been too hot to completely finish the area, but it will get done by fall.

It's been nice watching the young fawns come up to the house this summer.  There are three fawns with the does that come on a regular basis. 

We seems like we have even more Painted Buntings this year.  Fewer hummingbirds though.