Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weekend Update

The goats are doing well, all of them, including kids, go up the mountain in the mornings and then back to the goat lot in the afternoon. The kids are starting to take interest in the goat feed, but they are a long way off from chowing down. We've had both friends and relatives visit this week and the kids did show off for them. Since we don't have that big of a crop of kids this year, all eight babies tend to stay together as a group. Very entertaining to watch them. I believe they are about three weeks old in these photos taken earlier this week.

Weather was cool this week. Down to freezing several mornings, but mostly pleasant days

We had about a dozen turkeys cross the road in front of us today. I guess they won't be Christmas dinner for anyone this year. The finches are more active this week. They went through the six bird feeders in a hurry. We have our almost annual group of ladybugs. They have been in and around the house for a few weeks now and they are everywhere. They aren't a problem, just interesting to see so many.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sunshine Update

Today has been the first day with sun for a while. We've had scattered showers and clouds for about a week. Almost 3" accumulation of rain. Fortunately no ice as that has been all north of us. In fact it has been 32º twice, but we have not had a 'hard freeze'. We still have blooming begonias and other flowers. Rye grass has emerged with this rain.

All mothers and kids are well. Opened the big pasture gate today so I'm sure they will go exploring soon. Hope no babies get left behind. It happens, they fall asleep and lose track of the big goats. Almost two weeks old in this photo. Open the photo, all eight are there.

Deer have been active this week.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weekend Update

All I had to do was leave the ranch and of course everything happens. The goats kidded this week. Eight babies, seven females. The kids look very good. Terry had to separate donkeys, pen goats with moma's, get food & water, and everything else. All this and she was working in town all week decorating for Christmas and the Norwegian weekend.

The only bad news: We did loose another goat who happened to be the mother of the previous one we lost. They may have had a toxicity issue with birthing. Sometimes that happens.

Photos: Babies not quite 3 days old. Baby MoMo on the right (named for a friend)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weekend Update

No kids yet. Should be any day though. Two goats can barely walk they are so big. Unfortunately we did lose a goat. She was a younger one who had never been exposed and I guess just could not handle pregnancy. The others seem fine although two are uncomfortable. I'll be away for a few days, looks like the Mrs. will have to handle any problems.

The great weather turned cooler at Thanksgiving. It's been much cooler, but staying just above freezing. We have had some rain for a couple days. We really needed it. Over 2+ inches total and it put some water back in the tank.

We are still getting tomatoes and the grass turned green again following the rain. The live oak trees look great, no stress this time of year as in past two dry years. We don't have has much fall color this year as last in the Spanish oaks. Dry weather causes more color and overall this was a good year for the trees.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Update

The weather has been beautiful; however, it is still very dry and now becoming dusty. We could really use some rain. The stock tank has dried up which I wouldn't have thought would happen this year, just getting our summer late. Good clearing weather so we have cleared cedar around the house and along the trails. The stump grinder is great for clearing stumps around the house. If it ever looks like rain I'll sow rye grass in the new areas we have cleared.

Had a small goat rodeo last weekend as my neighbor came over and we loaded up the big Billy Goat. His work here is done. He's about 75-80 pounds bigger than when I got him, we'll soon see what kind of kids he throws. I was wrong in the summer about the goats being with kid early. They were just very fat from the great grass from the summer rain. They are all going to have kids now though which is really the right time. I'm guessing by the next blog update we'll have goat kids running around. Annie has been spending time with the new donkeys, but last several days has gone back to the goats. She may know they are about to kid as well.

A big buck jumped the fence row just in front of me yesterday which reminds me that hunting season has started. We have one very large buck that I've seen a lot and several smaller ones. We'll see if the big one makes it through the season. I have not seen any more big cat signs at all so I'm not as on guard when taking Kenzie out.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Update

The weather has cooled and we are getting more typical fall weather finally. Very dry, only a small shower (.5) over past two weeks so it is starting to get dusty as well. We have done some clearing and dirt work, but nothing major. Very good tree clearing weather so it's time to get started on some projects.

The birds have not really been visiting the feeders for awhile. A few Cardinals in the fountain on occasion. We have real concern about a big cat. We have moved big rocks we were using as a border and cut the high grass along the front circle that we had intended to be natural. It's too close to the front where we let Kenzie go out in the evenings and to be safe we are clearing out that area. Of course the grass is higher than normal this year. I have heard something in there twice, which I had originally just thought were deer, but the last time I think it was a big cat. I started packing both pistol and spot light when letting the dog out, but since doing so, have seen nor heard other signs. They are so smart.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weekend Update

I was again traveling the past nine days so not a lot of doings around the ranch. The weather has been hot & dry and the amount of fall pollen, etc. is really high since we have all the new growth of grasses this year. I'm now paying for it with hay fever. Being away didn't help as it has hit me all at once. We may be looking forward to a freeze. At least grass has somewhat covered all the old road dirt I spread in the spring.

Terry did paint the kitchen and make repairs in the big house. Looks very good.

The three donkeys have kind of assimilated with the rest of the animals. Sometimes with them and sometimes still on their own. I guess I was very wrong about the goats getting ready to kid. They may have just been super fat from all the grass available. They haven't 'bagged up' like they should so only time will tell.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


We've been traveling and not spending as much time at the Ranch this month.

I did get the stump grinder tuned and serviced. That meant grinding stumps of course. We are extended the grassy area in the back further away from the house. This means cutting cedar trees, grinding stumps, etc.. Because of the good rains this year, the grass is doing well, so it is a great time to do it if we are going to do it.

I mentioned the fewer rabbits and squirrels in a previous blog and now I am not seeing as many raccoons. This is very unusual as they usually raid the feeders every night, but have been absent for a week. Either a neighbor has hunted and/or trapped a lot of them or I'm afraid we do have a BIG cat here again. That would not be good.

The new three amigas (donkeys) are doing great. They really put on a show running and chasing each other and just 'showing off' when we got back from a trip. They love the pasture. The goats are huge, thought they would be having kids soon, but not yet. I haven't seen any hummingbirds the past week so I guess they may be gone for the year.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend Update

We had a big rain overnight Monday and Tuesday. Over 5 inches. That's as much as the rain gauge holds. FM 182 was again closed as Gary Creek was over the bridge by a lot. With this rain we should have grass until we get a freeze. The new culverts both on the county road and our trail worked very well. Of course with 5" everything overflowed, but it did so where it is designed. Then the culverts controlled the run off. Repaired gullies in road later in the week.

Tuesday night was 7 night. There were seven deer in the back yard and then later after dark there were seven raccoons (counting the young triplets) in the back circle.

The three new donkeys still independent of the rest of the animals. Annie keeps them separated. There is room and grass so not a problem. All the goats will be having kids soon perhaps as soon as two weeks is my prediction.

The weather has been nice. Warm, but not too hot in afternoons. We did some trimming and cut some cedars as well. We've been gradually expanding the yard into the woods. The wet weather and growing yard grass has allowed us to do so.

I've noticed some new fall flowers. Still lots of hummingbirds and cardinals.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Weekly Update

We were out of town for a week so no real activities by us although the wildlife and animals look like they had a good week. All animals accounted for and healthy. In fact Annie looks too heavy. I think she is trying to eat all the grass in the pasture before the three new donkeys can. The rain gauge had .6 inches so it did rain during the week. Early this morning we got a good rain of 1.5 inches. The grass was starting to get stressed, but with this rain we will have grass all summer for the first time in many years. With just a little help we could have grass through November or longer.

I've noticed numerous ruby-throated hummingbirds. I guess they are finally here. They are really battling the other hummingbirds for the feeders.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I've been watching how the new donkeys are interacting with the animals. The new ones are doing fine, very happy in the grass and yesterday discovered the salt block which was something new to them. Annie hasn't been as accommodating, she won't allow the new donks near the goats. She lets the newbies know who is the biggest ass in the pasture and seems not as happy with the visitors. There's room for two groups, but I think they will be merged into one group of animals soon.

The big family group of deer seem to be back. There is a family of raccoons that visit every night. A mother and three babies. They are so fun to watch, the babies are climbing and exploring. They will climb the tree just outside the bedroom and stare into the house. They won't be as fun or cute when they get older and start overturning rocks and other mischief.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Weekend Update

The week continued the HOT weather. We did begin to see some relief from the heat when remnants of Tropical Storm Erin made its way here late in the week. Clouds and bits of showers helped. We only received 1/2 inch of rain total, but the cloud cover was great. Very humid though.

We do have some new guests on the ranch. I built a temporary pass gate from the neighbors place to our mountain pasture. They have no grass and I have plenty, so now three donkeys, Lucy, LittleBit, & Lucky can come over and graze. They love the grass and so far no problems with our animals. I watched them interact with each other and it is interesting to see how they get along. Annie, our spotted ass, is the biggest animal, but I think Zulu is still the boss of this outfit. I'm sure all of our goats are exposed, even the younger ones, so we'll be back in the goat business soon.

Something has been emptying one of the large bird feeders each night for about a week. I strung some barbed wire around the large limb of the big cedar tree that holds the feeder and at least the first night it seems to have worked. I really believe that feeding the birds has controlled the bugs especially well considering all the rain we have had this year.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Weekend Update--Hot, Hot, Hot!

Hot & Dry. We knew it would get here eventually, the 100º heat. Obviously on summer hours now if you want to do any work, outside very early and inside by 11:00 am or noon. The landscaping looks better than it ever has before, but the grass won't last much longer though in this weather. I bet we only have two weeks before everything begins to dry out. It's amazing that it lasted this long.

The JD dealer replaced the broken hose on my tractor, delay was waiting on special hose (it has unique fittings), but it's running fine now. Did some delayed tractor work especially on the road.

Watering the tomatoes every day now and they look good, not sure the watermelon will do well. They may now that I have started watering though. I planted them as an afterthought, but if I do them again I'll put them in a better area.

The tank is really drying up. It's at it's normal very low level for August. Also having to fill the wildlife stock tank every other day. There have been a lot of deer. One night early this week 5-6 in the back at once even before dusk. Oddly though, last two nights only one. May be a big cat around again. Lot's of cardinals and hummingbirds as usual. Another painted bunting as well.

There won't be much activity on the ranch with the heat so we'll work on other projects.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Weekend Update

I think summer is finally here. Although we did get .75 of rain early in the week it has been more typical summer weather, hot & humid. I think hot & dry is just around the corner. Time to begin watering the garden and filling water/stock tanks.

We do have new baby gold fish in the stock tank. Amazing, we have had the same two gold fish in there for two years. Not sure how many young ones there are as yet. I see three in the photo. The fish have learned to come to the surface when I go to feed the goats. That way I don't forget to feed them. I do keep fish food in the gator. The goldies do keep the tank clean so they are doing their job.

Still feeding token feed to animals as there is a lot of grass. They did get a new salt block to enjoy in the heat. The girls are bagging up so I guess Billy has done his job. I'm guessing six weeks until babies for two of them. A little later for two more and not sure about the rest.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Update

A good week. Did some brush clearing on Monday in a tight area as it again looked like rain and we did have a good 2.2 rain that afternoon. In fact the rain put out the fire. We did some trimming and cosmetic work around the cabin. Good friends came to visit and stayed in the cabin for a few days. We had a great time visiting and taking the Bosque county tour.

A tech from the John Deere tractor company showed up and checked the broken line on the tractor. It's a simple break but one end of the line is almost inaccessible. We'll see what he comes up with as a repair option.

Terry cut all the grass and trimmed as usual. The grass really looks good due to the rain and milder than normal summer. In fact we turned off the air conditioning a few times this week. All the trees are showing new growth. Tomatoes are producing regularly now. They taste great.

Grass still looking good in pasture. Only feeding token supplement to animals.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend Update

I took a trip to Fredricksburg last weekend so didn't update. Fredricksburg is a great place to visit. Also had to stop at Coopers BBQ in Llano of course. We did have rain (.6) while I was gone. I did get my first tomatoes last week. They are very good. The cherry tomatoes I planted last year have come up volunteer as well.

This past week was dry. You can see the stock tank losing water. I also had to turn on the water tank for the animals. It's really amazing that we are in mid-July and we still have grass and it is so green. The weather has been pleasant as well. I have been pushing up cedars near the stock tank with the tractor for a few weeks. Since it was supposed to rain on Friday I decided to burn the piles. I got seven burn piles burned over the day. I did have some barbed wire that was partially buried reach up and cut a line on the tractor. That will be a project for this next week. Only had a trace of rain as it turned out.

Photo-grass covering goat pasture (note one of the burn piles)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Goat Rodeo

Sunday night brought big rains to northern Bosque County, but we only had a trace. The lightning show lasted for hours though. It is now dry enough that I was able to do some cosmetic dirt work at the new culvert and the meadow in front of the cabin. I also worked on the ranch road and trails. When finished I cut a big cedar and used it to sweep them and they look very good especially considering the amount of rain we have had.

This evening the neighbors got together to worm goats. I usually use DE (diatomaceous earth) as a supplement for my goats, but DE doesn't work as well in wet conditions so I wanted to use liquids this time. It went very well and three herds were wormed in a short time. Of course I only have 6 goats + billy now so mine went fast. Another reason the goat pasture looks so good is that we sold most of the herd last spring because of drought conditions and the pasture was over grazed. That's not a problem this year with fewer goats and plenty of rain. Lots of grass covering the area where we cut and cleared all the cedar.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Weekend Update

The rain continued since last post, another 4" over several days. Really losing track of all the rain. It cleared some on the evening of the 4th so we did some fireworks since we have cousins visiting from Oklahoma. They have had a great time, between rains, driving the gator around the ranch and swimming at the neighbors house each day. At least it has been cool and overcast most of the time. The neighbors had a neighborhood gathering on Friday night so some more Fireworks and country hospitality.

We only had a light rain on Friday so it has begun to dry out somewhat. We are very behind on ranch work. At least the grass in the pasture is doing great. I have not had to water the tomatoes or watermelon at all. Of course we have high grass, unwanted grass, and weeds around the house. We did get a new trimmer to work on the shrubs as they have really grown in this wet weather. They are certainly well established now. It was hard to find something that would grow in this soil and the deer would not eat. Wax Myrtles are the answer and they look very good now. I did get some road and trail repair work done as well as trimming some trees.

It dried enough that on Sunday I was able to finish the new culvert at the usually dry creek behind the cabin. I think it will work very well. It looks good and I'm glad I installed it. Hopefully it won't be fully tested again for a while.

The rain really beat down the mountain pinks, but everything looks so green and all the trees look great. I have noticed a few more Hummingbirds and have seen Painted Buntings several times. The Painted Buntings seem to love the rain, that's when I would usually see them and we've had plenty of rain opportunities. The deer are really coming in for corn in the evenings, I think the does are sticking close to the new fawns. I did see twin fawns run when I went up on Ray's bluff to get some rocks for the culverts. They took off and really enjoyed using those little legs.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

BIG Rain again

Overcast with two small showers in the morning, but this afternoon we got a big rain. About 2" in 30 minutes. That's fast and with everything soaked no place for the water to go. We could see the runoff down the hill collecting and it was crossing our ranch road. When it slacked enough to check everything it was amazing. The new culvert worked great. No water reached the cabin, it was all still in the new creek bed. I was amazed and very pleased. Of course it was wet and run off everywhere. Our culverts on our ranch road were at maximum load, one being underwater. The new culverts on the county road were again also completely full. One almost underwater. The water crossed the county road in numerous places. Once the new road is installed it will be about 6" higher and should take care of that problem. We went down to see the water at the Gary Creek crossing of 4195 and it was completely under water about 40+ feet either side of the creek bed. It is amazing to sit and listen to all the water and waterfalls. Certainly not a sound we are used to around here.

Monday, July 02, 2007

More New Culvert

Off to town early to get a 12" x 16' steel culvert pipe. This was a project in itself as just as they dropped the pipe onto my trailer it began to rain. I guess they thought they would melt because off they go for cover. I secured the load myself and headed off. Of course I left the window down and the seat was wet, the culvert was much longer than the trailer, and it was raining; this made an exciting drive back to Norse. This rain was just the squall line of the approaching front so it stopped raining by the time I got to the ranch. I knew the big rain was yet to come so I got the culvert installed and started moving dirt as fast as I could in the wet conditions. There was a mound of dirt fairly close which helped. I got the culvert set and covered before the rain began again. I'll have to leave the finish and detail work for later.

Soon we were experiencing a big rain. 1.5" total. When the rain slacked I went to check the new culvert and it worked perfectly. As the pipe is higher I will have to build up the road more, but this will act as a berm to protect the cabin. Should work great. When it drys I can build an overflow and allow for drainage off the trail.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Weekend Update

Friday - Sunday has been overcast with only scattered showers. We have a forecast for heavier rains early in week so, if possible, I'll try to get a culvert for the new creek early on Monday morning. I'll try to get some prep work done as it has dried out a little. The small pipe is handling the run off now.

We have two cousins (ages 9 & 10) visiting from Oklahoma for a week. They made a fire pit in order to make smores, but it will have to dry out before we can get a fire going. DD was in the melodrama "Went With the Wind" over the weekend so a nice trip to town on Saturday.

We obviously set all kinds of records for rain in June. Hard to believe it's cool weather into July.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A little more!

Started to rain at 7:00 am and rained for two + hours. Then cloudy rest of day with occasional showers. Looks like another 1.4 to 1.5 inches of rain.

I got a weather notice that the Bosque river will crest above Clifton this afternoon and be above flood stage. Highest river level since 1958. Then I got a notice that the Bosque will be way above flood stage at Valley Mills highest since 1936. (photo of Bosque River from old bridge)

I'm glad I'm on top of this mountain.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


It's been an interesting spring and summer with all the rain. We've been getting additional rain this week around Texas sometimes very heavy with flooding but we have missed it until yesterday. I'll admit I wanted some rain just to test the new creek & low water crossing I'd built. Yesterday late afternoon we had a deluge. We had 4" of rain in a short period of time and the run off was big. The new moved creek worked great, but just couldn't handle that amount of water and overflowed around both side of the cabin. In fact water crossed over our road at one point and it's elevated 6" above the ground. I checked the new culverts in the county road and the one at the 1400 gate was completely underwater. The larger culvert at the 1342 gate was completely full and almost under. I should have also had the larger 18" culvert at the main 1400 gate as well. Of course yesterday was probably a rare rain event with all that water run off coming so fast. Water was below the top of the culverts and back in the bar ditches after a few hour of drainage.

This morning the new drainage pipe at the new crossing is handling the runoff, but we are expecting more rain today. I need to install a larger steel culvert at the trail crossing and not just the plastic pipe I have now. There are main road repairs to be made, but considering the amount of rain we had it's not bad. Amazingly the tank overflow is not completely full. It may be before the day is over though. It has just started to rain again.

I don't feel so bad about my little wash out as I found out that I was cut off from civilization for a while. It seems Gary Creek really overflowed at FM 182. It had flowed over once before, but they never had to close the road. That's a state Farm to Market road so they are already cleaning out the bridge and roadway this afternoon. Looks like a lot of brush and some whole trees were washed down. The rain hasn't really come down hard today so hopefully we will dry out soon.

Photo--notice it is now handling the creek runoff, but note were it was washed out last evening.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mountain Pink

The mountain pinks are beginning to bloom. To my relatives north of the river, the mountain pink is a native wildflower which only blooms in the Texas Hill country and only on outcroppings of caliche. They will not grow anywhere else. For better or worse I am blessed with caliche so these bloom every year about the 4th of July. Very pretty especially when you see a big grouping of them.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Weekend Update

We didn't get any more rain this week although it was overcast for most of the week. It did start drying out. The weather has been pleasant for the end of spring and beginning of summer.

I did work around the cabin this week. I wanted to move a dry creek further away from the rear of the cabin as I was able. The creek has been wet most of the past few months. As it dried I was able to do more work so it was completed this week. I made a low water crossing of the trail over the creek as well. I moved the picnic table to the top of the mountain as it wasn't getting much use at the cabin. With the new crossing and table moved, visitors will be able to park on the pea gravel next to the cabin when they visit. There's a small table inside the cabin which could be put up under the trees if guests wish to dine alfresco.

I've noticed more fawns. The does are really after the corn we set out. I guess they need the nourishment for feeding. We are going through twice as much deer corn as we usually set out for them. The young bucks are active as well. The new ones just out on their own are fun to watch. Now they are grouping together and playing and prancing, but that will change soon. The rabbits have taken to the ferns planted around the fountain. Very little ferns left. I've also noted much fewer hummingbirds this year. Maybe because of the odd weather in early spring. I miss them as the mosquitoes are more numerous because of the wet weather.

The tomatoes and watermelon are coming along. I really haven't had to water them at all. Really more worried about them having enough sun. Should have tomatoes in about two more weeks.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Weekend Update

I thought we were beginning the "summer routine" of working in the morning hours and breaking before the heat about noon each day. However it has been fairly nice so far this June. We are still getting cloudy days and rain. We had another 2.5 inches of rain this week.

We did trim cedar and clean up around the 1342 gate this week. It is amazing how fast cedar will grow. I did reroute a dry creek around a big live oak and the 1342 gate as well. Too much water coming down this year and washing away around the gate. This tree was very late in coming out this year, I'll need to keep an eye on it.

Later this weekend (after initial post) we received another 3+ inches of rain. Unbelievable!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We are all back at the ranch following the Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington this past weekend. Looks like the animals did fine without us. They have plenty of grass. The rain gauge tells me we had 2.5 inches of rain. Several gullies in the road so it must have come down fast. Time to repair rain damage on the road and get on some projects that we have been putting off for awhile.

After a few days in the big city you are reminded why you moved to the country.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Still Raining!

We've continued to get rain through the weekend. As of tonight about 6.3" accumulation. It's come down gradually for the most part so only minor water damage to ranch roads. The tank was flowing over the spillway today. First time I have actually seen it and only second time since it was built in the 1970's. Good thing that the culverts were installed on the road last week, they are moving a lot of water. All my water diverters did very well, but I see a few more area which could use some work before the next big rains. All the dry creeks are running wet and probably will for a while.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend Update

Very busy with festival work so not a lot of ranch work getting done. I did get a few burn piles burned and moved several loads of material on our road going up the mountain. It had dried out from previous rains and although it has been cool and cloudy many days we didn't get any real rain until Thursday. Last night and today it poured. We've had 3.7 inches total. Very soft getting up my road from the new material I put out, BUT the real mess is the county road. They just finished scraping off all the road material in preparation for the new road material they have been digging out of the mountain. This heavy rain has just made the road a muddy bog. Hopefully they will get this cleaned up and start the new road base soon.

It is almost June and we have only had one day that the temperature has reached 90º and just barely then. Very cool and wet spring.

I have also seen a large number of rabbits this year, Maybe we culled too many fox and bobcat last year. I wouldn't be surprised to see a big cat back this fall. I've also seen a lot of snakes out and about. I think that is because of the wetter than normal weather though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Culvert Day

They installed all three of my new culverts at my gates today. I switched a 15" x 30' for a 18" x 30' at one gate per the counties request yesterday. The other two are 15" x 30'. Thanks to the neighbors who switched sizes with me. The new culverts look great. They will look even better when they build up the road. At one neighbors place they have cut away a lot of the mountain and have been stocking up gravel to use as road base. They've done this for a few weeks. When they finish installing the culverts I guess they will start the road base. We will have a paved road sometime this year I'm sure. Seeing this photo reminds me I better go reset my mailbox before tomorrows mail.

I have to do some road work of my own from the Sunday rain so I better get on with that.....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weekend Update

Countdown to TSF&HG so that's keeping me busy. Terry or Caitlin bring mail from town when they go so we can keep updated on Festival mail fairly well. It is amazing that with modern technology that one can 'run' an operation such as the Scottish Festival from the country. Isn't it wonderful? Doesn't allow a lot of time working on the Ranch though this time of year.

Weather has continued to be great. Cool evenings and occasional showers. We had 1" of rain earlier in the week and a very sudden downpour of 1.3 inches about 2:00 pm Sunday. New wildflowers blooming this week would be the Thistle and the Prickly Pear Cactus (photo). The cactus will only bloom a week or so, so I've already taken some photos. We enjoy the thistle as it always blooms just before the Scottish Festival. Very appropriate as the National flower of Scotland. Most of the Bluebonnets are gone, but the Indian Paint Brush, Black-Eyed Susan, and others are looking good.

We did go to Clifton and the Tin Building Theater production of Nunsense. Caitlin was stage manager and also played a nun. Then to Waco and dinner. A big trip to the big city for Mothers Day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More Rain

We had more rain last night and this evening. A 3.5 accumulation before this evenings big rain. I did a little tractor work during the day to move or change the water runoff. They worked well in this evenings rain.

I also had to do a little fence repair today. We had goats in the county road previous two evenings when we went down to feed. I think they were curious about that new 30' culvert pipe setting just outside their fence on the county road and found a weak spot in the fence. I set some new posts and it should be good now.

I saw that turkey hen again that I previously mentioned. She was at the top of the mountain this time, not frantic, but still looking.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

1st Painted Bunting

Just saw my first Painted Bunting of the year. This is my favorite bird and many think one of the most unique in Texas. It was on the back feeder. Very colorful. I believe this is the earliest I have seen one. I thought I may have seen a Golden Cheeked Warbler the other day, but won't say so for sure. It could have been. I have some special seed for the Painted Buntings so I guess I'll put some out.

It was cloudy all of yesterday and today we did get a very good rain. Looks like 2" of rain over the past 24 hours or so. Great for the grass seed and new garden. Has to help the yard and trees as well. The drought over the past two years has been hard on a lot of the plants and trees.

I had three 30' sections of culvert delivered yesterday. Looks like they may ready to add gravel to the county road soon. I'll be ready for them when they do.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Update

We were able to get away from office work enough to finish clearing an area around a big Spanish Oak on the road up to the house. It sure opens up the view when you come from the county road. We don't want any visitors to accidentally take the trail up the mountain and not the road. Another nice tree saved from the intrusive cedar. We had to knock down a large mound from when they scraped some of this area in the 1970's. Good top soil in it. Hard to work down since cedar had grown up in the mound, but we did spread most of the top soil and seeded it with some bermuda grass seed. Thank goodness the tractor is back. Also cleared some shumate (a local type of sumac tree) from around the cabin. It really looks much better. We did get about .25 of rain this week, but everything is starting to dry out. Supposed to rain next week so that will be needed.

I did prepare a small garden behind the pavilion. I set some tomato plants and some watermelon. I think the tomatoes will be fine, but not sure the watermelon will survive the wildlife. Last year we had tomatoes until mid-November. Hoping for same success this year.

Felt very sorry for a wild turkey hen. She must have just lost her nest or babies to something. She was going around madly looking for her brood. Ignored us and went from place to place searching and calling. She carried on for several days.

I was also able to start taking photographs of various wildflowers this week. Some only bloom a few hours a day and it has been interesting reading about them in the Texas wildflowers books. I'll start posting them soon.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekend Update

With the Texas Scottish Festival approaching it's still office work as a priority. The Tractor and Gator were delivered Wednesday afternoon. Both are in great shape now. I did have time to push up the brush I had hauled with the pickup the week before into a burn pile. Also burn a few small fires. We did get .30 of rain this week.

The wildflowers look great. I have always wanted to inventory the variety of wildflowers and this looks like a good year for it. This blog will be perfect for posting and categorizing them. I'll start this weekend so look for photos soon. I'd like to post the flowers within a week of when they appear so I'm behind with many already.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weekend Update

Several beautiful days and some cool/windy days this week. A lot of office work for me this week anyway so not a lot of Ranch work. The Tractor and Gator are still at the JD Dealer. I did use the truck to haul cedar I had cleared along the road to the house. Shouldn't do that, ruined a tire, but two needed replacing anyway. Some days are too nice not to get some work done, but I will wait for the equipment to get back before doing any more. Here's a photo of the new Billy Goat. He's settled in very well.

We did get another 1/2 inch of rain. The wildflowers are looking very good both here on the place and in Bosque county. Drove by the Bosque County courthouse and saw the new restored clock tower. It looks great. There are some great bluebonnets along Hwy-6 between Clifton and Meridian.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Snow in April

Who would have ever believed it? We saw the light snow on Saturday morning and thought, "oh, some flurries" how nice. When the snow continued all day it was very unusual and amazing. We rarely get snow even in the winter, but with the temperature staying right around 32º all day it did snow most of the day. It came down in large wet flakes and soon covered everything. It was very beautiful and not an everyday sight here on the ranch at any time of year.

We brought in some plants from outside, lit the fireplace, and had a nice cozy day indoors. We added HBO to the DirecTV package and watched the winter scenery outside and movies inside. I did lose the internet connection in the early afternoon. Snow accumulation on the satellite dish, but the TV satellite was fine.

We did see five deer down by the cabin not long after I took this photo. It would have made a great Christmas card scene. The hummingbirds seemed to enjoy the snow as did the squirrels. Alas the snow had all melted by noon Sunday. We drove to Gatesville on Sunday afternoon and the Bluebonnets really look good this year. There were a lot on the roadway and pastures along FM-182 south of Norse all the way to SH-36 in Gatesville.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wildflower time

I have a lot of office work this week so not a lot of time for the Ranch. I did finish clearing the cedar around the pasture gate. You now have a good view approaching from either the cabin trail or house trail towards the mountain pasture.

I had both the JD Tractor and JD Gator picked up this week for repairs and maintenance. Also sent the smaller JD chain saw. Good time to get it done. It will be a little harder to get around without the Gator, but walking will be good. The weather is great.

Wildflowers really starting to bloom. The Prairie Verbena has looked good for a few weeks. The Texas Bluebonnets are also starting to come out following this big rain. The Jasmine, Asian ground cover, and Honeysuckle we planted in previous years also looks like they will finally take off this year. Terry also set some Begonias, Ferns, and Mexican Heather last week that seems to have enjoyed the rain as well. Time to think about setting out some tomatoes.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Weekend Guests

We had friends, Mo & Jerry, from SAT visit over the weekend. They got to drive in the heavy rain from Hamilton on Friday night. Between the Gap & the Ranch was an experience, but they made it. We visited and I made mojitos using the fresh mint from the herb garden. Saturday was a beautiful day so we did the Norse & Clifton tours stopping at the 'Bunkhouse' for bbq. Unfortunately the Bosque Museum was closed due to flooding. This caused concern with Terry who had just finished the new Horn Shelter improvements on Thursday just an hour before the big rain. The Bosque river was really flowing and bank full. Jerry brought steaks so we cooked and ate outside Saturday evening. We also had our biscuits and eggs outside Sunday morning before our friends left for home. Great weather and a fun weekend.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lot's of Rain

Thursday began the extensive rain period. We received 3.5 inches in the first 24 hour period and another 1.5 inches on Friday and Friday night. The tank did fill and ran over the spillway for only the second time ever. All the dirt work I did after the big rain in the spring of 2003 worked very well. I built berms to divert the water to go behind the cabin and they did their job. First really big rain and first time they were tested since then. Other berms built to divert or direct water also worked. The road to the house did pretty good, a few gullies formed, but they can be repaired. All the neighbors tanks filled including several new ones. They all look real good, much better than the old TOR tank, but it's the only one we have. It's amazing how green everything is this year compared to last.

A much needed good rain.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Some Rain

We had some good rain on Monday. More than an inch. Good timing for the fertilizer just set out. We had this guy staring in our bedroom window Monday morning. (photo) I guess he wanted to make sure we were back. The critters seemed to enjoy all the feeders being filled. More rain perhaps during the week so that is much needed.

As to the dirt just spread, well I hope we haven't created a parking lot. It's a little crusty, maybe more road material in it than originally thought, but I think it will be fine.

I saw my first hummingbird of the season today. I put out two hummingbird feeders yesterday and will get out a couple more this week. They've probably been around a week or so.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Good Crop....o' Weeds

We have been away for a week on a cruise and it was interesting to see the changes for this time of year on the Ranch: 1) We have a bumper crop of broad leaf weeds all around the house 2) the Texas live oaks are in their transitional stage 3) the Spanish oaks are in full bud. Good news is the mint I planted last year is coming up. We can have mojitos this week.

The wildlife doesn't like it when we leave, two bird feeders on the ground. I guess when they are empty someone gets upset. Raccoons I suspect, or one tough squirrel. Filled all. I should say that we do believe in feeding the birds. We have seven good feeders. The benefits are the variety of birds you see and mosquito & pest control.

Working around the house has first priority. Terry cut the yard with the yard tractor, mostly weeds, and then we went to town for fertilizer and some new plants. I cleaned the John Deere spreader to use spreading the fertilizer. I'm going to store the spreader inside the barn from now on.

We are fortunate that only natural products have been used here. Because we are on a rocky crag the ranch has never been farmed or synthetic fertilizer used.

We set the new plants around the fountain & pots in front of house and then spread the natural/organic fertilizer on the grass. I also cleared some cedar and started a burn pile on the bluff to the west of the house. From the Mt. we can see heavy rain to the west, but doesn't look like we'll get any today, heading north, what a shame.

It's nice to get back to work on the place after a break. Perhaps hard to understand for some as you have to have a love for the land. And we do.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


It's been foggy in the mornings and cloudy the past several days with traces of rain. Good days to catch up on office work. No dust-that's great. Today looks like it will be beautiful. Usual Wednesday trip to town. Got a new rain gauge for mountain pasture. I suspect that Annie may have broke the other one. She saw me checking it one day and she can reach it over a fence post if she really tries. I'll see if this one lasts.

The dirt that I spread looks pretty good. (photo) The rain and wet weather have settled it very well. If we get another forecast of rain, I'll consider seeding it soon.

I've noticed that the Gold Finches seem to have moved on now. About time to put out the Hummingbird feeders then. Deer have come back and been active past several days as well.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rain & a Beautiful Day

Nice slow rain overnight. About 1.4 inches. No run off as it soaked very well. Washed all the dust from the cedar along the road. Maybe we'll get wild flowers this year after all. I've noticed the prairie verbena is about to bloom.

And wasn't today a beautiful day? The rain just improves everything. I watched Wally's deer cross the pasture of Gary Creek Ranch this evening. That was great. I'm not seeing as many deer on my feeders this past week. I guess as the grass starts growing they have many more places to feed other than over my septic lateral lines.

The new billy goat seems to be doing fine. He was all over the feed this evening. Didn't take him long to learn the system.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

little 'Rocky'

We began the day again clearing and burning cedar. Today working on north side behind the house. I needed to clean up from some cedars I just cut here to use as a rake on the new road dirt just spread. While working here I drug out a large hollow live oak which fell in the recent ice/wind. Evidently there was a squirrel nest in it. A baby squirrel was lost and adopted Terry as her new momma. The baby squirrel followed Terry every where she went for more than an hour. Terry was finally able to 'shake' it and it went up a tree. The baby really started whistling so hopefully it eventually found it's real momma.

This afternoon I went to a good friends to 'borrow' a billy goat for the season. He's a good looking Boer Billy, tall with nice large horns and good beard. I think the 'girls' will take to him.

Late this evening we again cleared cedar starting a new burn location near the west bluff to burn before the hopeful forecast rain. We were able to join the two areas we have been clearing. Successful in all counts. We began getting a good rain this evening and we really really need the rain.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Local Tour

My cousin, Steve, from Oklahoma came to visit this weekend. We gave him the local grand tour. In Norse we went to: the Norse Church, Quested Place, the Rock Church, and Ole Pierson Place. In Clifton we went to the Bosque Museum, whipple truss bridge, and other places. In Meridian we ate at Poppa Doc’s and saw the courthouse. A very nice day and it’s always fun to see your ‘home/local sites’ in the eyes of visitors. We do live in a beautiful place.

While at the Bosque Museum I was able to carry in the final buckets of Horn shelter dirt we had dug out earlier in the week. They had sifted the dirt for artifacts and was spreading it in the actual exhibit. Glad that all worked out and I can say I assisted in improving the exhibit.

The Texas live oaks are really starting to lose their leaves and the Spanish oaks are beginning to bud. Grass is beginning to green. Spring is almost here. BTW-the new day light savings time begins tonight. I think that will work just fine.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the Horn Shelter

Terry has been working at the Bosque Museum on the new Horn Shelter exhibit for a few weeks. This exhibit is a real coup for Bosque County as it has the history of one of the oldest Paleo-American burial sites in the United States. Needing material for the display, we went to the actual Horn Shelter site this morning which is located in southeastern Bosque County. The great surprise was that we were met by Al Redder, the archaeologist who discovered and worked this site since the 1960's. After the work of gathering soil, shells, etc. for the display, Mr. Redder gave us a detailed history of his work. To have him point out the actual location he found the burial site compared to the shelter location was amazing. I asked the time differential from the people who lived in the cliff dwelling shelter compared to the burial site below which is 8000 years. Sam (photo) is carbon dated at over 10,000 years old. Mr. Redder also took us on a tour down the Brazos of other sites and caves. The Horn Shelter site is a fantastic location high above the Brazos river and some of the other sites had even more stunning terrain and views. One huge cave site had a running creek and pool of water which was absolutely beautiful. The walk was not easy through the brambles, boulders, and river bank, but what a wonderful opportunity to see sites so few people have ever seen.

Milky Way

Even after working at the Horn shelter site much of the day, there is always work to do at the ranch. Still pushing dirt with the tractor and they delivered several more loads of dirt while we were gone. I took several gator load trips of cedar stumps/limbs/branches from the dirt I was spreading this evening to add to the always growing burn pile I keep at the gravel pit. I decided to light it as it was getting big and the wind was calm. It burned fine; however, later we smelled smoke so we made a late trip down to check the fire. We turned off the lights to the gator in order to see any flames. Well in addition to the fire we could see the milky way in the beautiful night sky. I have noticed that even in the time we have been out here in the country it is getting more difficult to see the milky way at night. At least it was great tonight.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tractor Work

See all the dirt from the previous post photo? Well, the county needed a place to dump the dirt they graded while widening the road and we let them dump it on the mountain just west of the house. I originally was going to use it just to cover the construction road which we used while building the house. It ended up being a lot more dirt than I anticipated. It was about ten truck loads. I have more than enough for covering the road so now I will spread it over some rocky areas along the bluff just southwest of the house. It takes a lot of work on my tractor as it's only a small/midsize John Deere 4310 tractor. It does have a good box blade though so I'll try to get it all moved during the week.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

County Road

Looks like work has begun on the county road. The neighbors have been meeting for over a year about getting improvement on the road. An agreement was made with the county that they would supply the labor if the neighbors would pay the expense of the asphalt for paving the road. I was indifferent really. I liked the county road as is; however, the drought of the past two years has made the dust especially bad. So I'm glad that we all agreed to share the expense. For the past several days they have now been working on widening the road especially the curves. Looks great so far. Maybe by the end of the year we'll have a paved road.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Always Clearing Cedar

Working in various places past few days again cleaning up branches this time broken by the high winds. The combination of the ice and now winds has been hard on a lot of trees, but luckily mostly all cedars. At least the weather has been very nice. I started cleaning out in the draw behind the cabin and pulled out some big broken cedars. It does look great in the areas in which you have cleared. Still lots of the old 50-60 year old cedar brush to clean and burn when you get into a new area.

I've seen more rabbits the past few days and Kenzie found her first skunk of the year a few days ago. I think culling the foxes has helped. We've also gone through 50 lbs of bird seed in the past two weeks. The birds are getting very active.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


It is very windy. We've had high winds before especially being on top of this mountain, but it is exceptionally windy today. From National Weather Service Red Flag Warning for Bosque County...WEST AND SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 35 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE LATE AFTERNOON HOURS... We've lost some limbs and a few trees, but the biggest loss is the wax myrtle that we had trimmed into a tree next to the house.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Cabin

Since we let the kin folk know about this blog and invited them to visit, thought we should put up a photo of the cabin. You won't have to sleep in the barn unless you can't fit everyone in one bed. It's small, but self contained and built as a weekend cabin. I stayed in it over a year while the house was being built. (The girls stayed in the old house in town). We are about four miles from the closest paved road so you are out in the country. Don't expect to call for pizza delivery.

As you can see there is a large spanish oak and Texas live oaks around the cabin. Those are mostly cedars (juniper ash) in the background. We got a little grass to cover the caliche here so the deer do like to graze here in the evenings.

the UFO

Our first UFO? Terry saw it first driving back from Clifton about 8:15 p.m. and when she got home asked me to come out to look at the strange lights. They were relatively low and we had to move away from the trees to see. At this time it was west of us. It would move up and down in the same place and my first thought was that it had to be a helicopter. Only problem, no noise whatsoever. You can hear a helicopter from miles away. My first comment was that it was triangular in shape. I went back to the house and called our neighbor Vicki as I knew she would have a good view of it and it would be nice to have another eye witness. I asked her if it looked like a triangle. After talking to Vicki we got in the truck and drove west on 4195 for a better view. But the object came back over us to the east and was now over Gary mountain. We had to turn around and head back towards our place to see it. It was directly south of us from our house. No noise, just lights. This was now about 8:30 and our neighbor to the south heard the coyotes going wild.

I’m not saying I believe in UFO’s per se, but this was definitely an unidentified flying object to me. I couldn’t identify it.

When Caitlin got home we told her about it and the first thing she said was, “was it triangular?” “Must be the Texas Triangle UFO” Well I’ve never heard of such a thing so I googled it and sure enough there are numerous similar sightings. Even here in Bosque county.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Great Weather--end of Winter?

Hopefully the cold is behind us as it has been very nice of late. Breezy, but much warmer with high temps in 75-80º past three days. It was so windy on Monday we had to check the fire pits from previous burnings just to make sure they were out.

It's getting close to Texas Scottish Festival time so I've been very busy with that and not doing a lot on the ranch. I did do some more trimming of broken cedars and push more brush into piles. Unable to burn though.

I've seen no more foxes since Sunday. Last night a small deer walked right up to the window in my office. Startled Kenzie when she noticed her. I was on computer and never saw her until the barking began. Deer just walked away. Monday I was late feeding the animals and walked out back just before sundown and a young buck was standing there looking at me. We both just stood there for a while and he may have let me go on if it hadn't noticed Kenzie. It 'sprang' away only as a buck can do. Very impressive.

I halfway kidding tell people that Terry only lets me go to town once a week. You know that's pretty much it. Today was the run to: bank, hardware store, station for tractor fuel, post office, BBQ, and grocery.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Fox Hunt

I got a little warmer begining Saturday and today is very nice. From a low below freezing to 65º. I don't care for the cold weather. The fountain finally lost the ice yesterday. I've seen fox several times so I was glad the hunters made it out on Saturday for their contest. They got one pretty quick and were gone in less than 30 minutes as they are in a timed 24 hour contest. I sent them to the neighbors to try their luck there. I should have told them to come back Sunday morning. I got some good photos of a male. (photo on right) This photo was taken out my front window. I usually see them in the back of the house. Great day for some tractor work and brush pulling. I need the exercise after being couped up due to cold weather.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Freezing cold today. Enjoyed watching the ice form on the fountain. I really enjoy the gas fireplace in this kind of weather. As you can see from the photo it looks as though the jasmine will survive. It didn't previous two winters even though it was not nearly as cold. In fact it was below freezing only a couple of days last year. This year we have had many days below freezing.

Usual Wednesday trip to town. The BBQ was very good today and Kenzie got her prize. Too cold for ranch work this week.

There were two foxes in the back tonight. They hung around for awhile until Kenzie's barking ran them away.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cutting Firewood

It's turning much cooler again. Worked clearing more cedar behind the house on Thursday and worked in the office on a cold Friday. The fox hunt has been postponed until next Saturday (we'll see) so some friends came out to cut firewood. Since I was out showing them good places I ended up spending the day working on the mountain pasture. Trimmed broken limbs, pushed old cedar tops into burn piles, and pulled large stumps & whole trees with the tractor. Had three nice fires going and made some progress, but still a lot of work to do. Hopefully we'll have more rain and the grass will take off this year. Sunday I had a TSF&HG meeting in Granbury so no ranch work other than the every day feeding of the animals.

I did see a new young buck deer last night. He was with one who comes by a lot. He stood back and watched the other graze close to the house, but wouldn't come close. Also the birds are really going after the feeders this week. I've filled them three times this past week.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kenzie goes to Town

It was too windy yesterday to burn so we only cut a few cedars. Spent time working on the tractor and got it running well. Did a little road work on the road to the house and some busy work in order to charge the tractor battery. Called the John Deere dealer to speak with my sales rep and as it turns out there is a fox hunt this weekend. He's coming out Saturday to hunt some fox for the hunting contest. Helps me, helps him.

Wednesday is 'town' day. Kenzie loves to ride into town in the truck and I swear she knows when Wednesday comes around and is waiting at the door. The usual stops are: Feed Store, Hardware Store, Post Office, and Grocery Store. Made all today. The important stop is lunch and Wednesday is 'rib' day at Bunkhouse BBQ. Kenzie gets her doggie bag and we are both happy campers. It is a beautiful day today 78-80º and light breeze. Tractor started fine so pushed some stumps with the tractor and got them into the burn pile. Still hot from Mondays fire so they burned this evening.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hey Fox

The last two days have been very nice so I've been clearing cedar and burning primarily behind the house. I'm working a fire about 300 feet from the house. Today about 4:00 pm I just stopped to drink some water from the back of the Gator and was looking towards the house and here comes a fox from the woods walking just perpendicular to my front. It keeps coming and gets to within 30-40 feet of me and then turns towards the house. It stops, sniffs, then marks the ground just about the exact spot I shot the fox the other night. It then goes under a bird feeder and eats seed that has fallen on the ground. The fox is between me and the house. It's 50 feet from the house and I'm 250 feet further. No way I can get a gun. Nothing I could do, so I sat down in the Gator and watched the fox for 10-15 minutes. It was about 20% larger than than the other one so I'm assuming this was a male. Very pretty. It never saw me. It was looking primarily towards the house and I was directly behind it. It looked at me once when I made a noise from the water bottle, but not sure if it knew I was there. I thought I would start the Gator and back away thinking perhaps I could work my way around to the front of the house. The fox heard me start the Gator and began walking away around the east of the house. Not sure why it never saw me and not sure why it would come by when a fire was burning, but I think it was making a 'run' of his usual paths and just didn't expect anyone or anything further away from the house. There must be plenty of foxes in the area. More should be culled.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lots of Deer last night

I was up very late last night and looked out in the back towards the deer feeder about 3:00 a.m. when I went to bed. I saw five large deer, two raccoons, and a cottontail in back yard area. This was just after I went out in the front with Kenzie to let her do her business. There may have been more that had been spooked. That ties a record for most deer I have seen together around the house. I'm not sure if this is because of the fox now being gone or not, but it seems like it could be. It was an interesting site.

Earlier I saw a buck and two does about dusk, but they were not together. The buck is I believe one who was a yearling last year. He is getting a fair rack on him and he looks very good. He is usually alone and doesn't seem to spook as easily as the older does who were around before the house was built. He has grown up with us already here so he tolerates us and Kenzie.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Fox

Well it has become time to cull some foxes. I did shoot my first this evening. I had previous opportunities, but had never taken the shot. This time I did. Clean kill. A very pretty animal and healthy. I hated having to do so, but there are too many in the area and this one has been hanging too close to the house for quite a while. I used the shotgun as I had trouble with the scope of the .22 in the dark on the two previous times I attempted the shot.

I really miss the Roadrunner that used to come up to the house and peck on the window. It was scary at first as he was loud and we weren't used to it. It was comical after a while. I suspect the fox got him or scared him away. Hopefully he will return now.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Initial Post-Twisted Oak Ranch

I have created this blog to serve as a log or journal of activities, actions, and happenings at Twisted Oak Ranch. I wish I started several years ago when we moved here full time, but at least I'm getting this resolution started for 2007.

January has been cooler and wetter than previous years. The tank has water, but still just below normal. Rain has been about 6+ inches for the month. The county finally dropped the 'burn ban' which had been in effect most of 2006. Hopefully we'll be able to get back to clearing land. We did get to burn the cedar and oak branches we had to trim that had been broken by the freeze in mid January. Deer have been active and I have noticed a lot of foxes including pairs. We can no longer get fresh eggs from the neighbors as they have lost all their hens to foxes so they probably need to be culled. I have noticed fewer rabbits, but attribute that to the bobcats and jagurundi, not the foxes.