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.