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.