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.