Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good Week

Very busy in the office again this week. The weather is warming up somewhat, but it's still cooling off at night. It has warmed up enough that most of the spring wildflowers are gone. We did get 1.2 inches of rain this week and looks like we are going to have a lot of Mountain Pinks. They will bloom in mid June. The trees are really looking good we are getting plenty of rain for them this year. DW cut most of the grass this week so everywhere has been cut at least once now. It's very nice and green everywhere. Hopefully it will be that way through June.

We haven't seen Petey all week so I guess he/she has moved on. Still seeing a LOT of Painted Buntings though. I've seen a lot of lizards this week too.

I'll be glad to get back to a routine on the ranch. I have a lot of maintenance work to do on the chain saws and tractor before getting back to work.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Weekend

We were able to take a break from the office because of Memorial Day weekend so we were able to get in some ranch work. We finished cleaning the lower part of the 'goat lot' as it was threatening rain and good burning weather. We cleaned and cleared a lot of new and old cedar. There's still almost a full canopy of trees over the area. It looks very clean down there, at least the area next to the county road. Hope the goats appreciate it.

Usually don't mention things of a personal nature, but we did eat at a fantastic 'country' eatin' place on Saturday night. We had a 1.5 hour wait to be seated but the food was fantastic. The Loco Coyote Grill about 40 miles from the ranch located west of Glen Rose.

We also did some work on the cabin. On our fortnightly trip to Gatesville on Friday I purchased a new air conditioner and a small HDTV. With the help of a neighbor we installed and trimmed the new AC unit. It looks great and will really cool the cabin. I was also very impressed with the new TV. The digital signal works very well for out in the country much better than the old analog signal. The cabin is ready for summer visitors.

We had a nice rain this morning and then a heavy rain this afternoon. 2 1/2" of rain total. Also a lot of run off with this rain. We were in the cabin for the heavy rain that sounded good on thet metal roof. I could also see the culvert I installed take the run off around the cabin. It worked great.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've very busy in the office so no ranch updates. We did get 2" of rain during the week and we had family come visit for three days so that has also kept us busy. We like to get visitors as it breaks the routine in the country. They wanted to see a Painted Bunting and with the light rain on Saturday that was perfect Painted Bunting weather. Almost every time I looked outside I would see one. Of course I was looking for them. There was a Painted bunting on 6-7 different feeders during the weekend.

Petey is now competing with the squirrels, cardinals, and doves for seed. Interesting to watch them all on the ground under the feeders. In the evening add in rabbits and deer and it gets busy.

Weather has been great. Warming up in the day, but cooling off at night. A few nights was chilly.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We ended up doing more work in the goat pen or the 'feed lot' as the neighbors call it. It really cleans up very well. There is a very large and old stand of Texas Live Oaks that really stand out now that we have cleaned a lot of the old cedar from around them. They may be the tallest on the ranch as a group. Since we used all the goat panels along the county road fence we no longer have any fenced nursing pens. I'll probably just use the entire area as a big nursing pen when that time comes again. Now that its cleaned out it will be harder for a critter to sneak up on the goats without Annie seeing them.

I saw a fox today, first one in a while. Also the swallow who has nested on the back porch is pleased her eggs have hatched. She's flying all around the courtyard, but still watching the nest. Petey is still hanging around too. I'm not sure how big the territory is for a Painted Bunting, but I think I saw two different ones today. I thought I saw two a few days ago as well. I'll watch close for a while.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Goat Panels

The weather was partly cloudy most of the week, but we didn't get more than a trace of rain a few times. The birds have again been very active. Petey is still around. The Painted Buntings are spotted almost every day.

This is my very busy time with the Festival so I don't get to a lot of chores on the ranch. However we did get goat panels installed all across the fence row at the county road and goat pasture this week. This should keep any goats from getting out into the road. So far so good. It took several days to get them installed and cut limbs and cedar trees as needed along the fence row in order to get the panels in a straight line along the fence row. It took more time to then clean up and burn the debris, but it was finished today. The panels look good and we will now just leave them up as the primary fence.

I purchased new tires for the old farm truck. They cost a lot more than I spent on my first car many moons ago, $600, but now that the county road is paved I will invest in better tires. Supposedly they will last 45K miles. We'll see. Odometer reading at installation is 79,600 so these should be the last tires I buy for this truck. Also installed new battery on the lawn tractor this week and got it ready for the season.

Still very green, more wildflowers, and the trees look great. A good spring so far, no real heat as yet and cools off in the evenings.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May weather

We had a big thunderstorm come through during the early morning hours overnight. Not a lot of rain, .45 inches, but a lot of lightning and some light hail. That always gets your attention. The dogs were up in the bed looking for cover. The power was on and off a few times, but never lost. Still cloudy but looks like the rains are over for a while.

Yesterday DW trimmed a few shrubs in the front of the house. Thank you, one was obstructing my view. I have a sweet spot on the couch with a perfect view through the window of Gary Creek valley and Sugarloaf Mountain. I cleaned out the culverts on our road. The 1400 gate on the county road was really blocked from the previous rains. Same goat in the county road yesterday. I brought down some goat panels and put one up in the spot I suspect she's going through. I'll have to wait until it's dry and I can cut some cedars before I can put up the rest of the panels. I already have panels up over half that stretch so I might as well do the whole fence line that borders the county road from that pasture. It's only about 250 feet.

It is very green. Lots of wildflowers. The morning glories are really coming out now. The Prairie Vebena is everywhere and high. I even saw a few more Bluebonnets.

The birds are still very active. I did see a Painted Bunting on the ground with an Indigo Bunting yesterday. I soon as I say I've never seen something it seems to happen. Petey loves the pavillion. Tessie chased it and it flew to the top at one time, but usually just hangs around under the open area, sometimes between the cars or on the patio. I've seen several female Goldfinches, I think we may have some that have decided to just stay this year.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Birds, Birds, Birds

It's still overcast and humid, but no rain. We cut the grass for the first time today. The wildflowers and weeds, especially the thistles, were very high. This is the latest we have ever done the first cutting.

The birds are very active. Usually there are no American Goldfinches here this time of year, but there was a beautiful (all yellow) one on the feeder today. I also saw the Painted Bunting a lot, as well as the usual Cardinals, Blue Jays, and others, so there was a lot of color today. The Rock Pigeon is hanging around so we decided to name him Petey. One is fine not sure I'd want too many though. We also have the usual swallow nest on one of the porch outdoor speakers. She is setting on eggs. Lot's of birds, hopefully that means no mosquitoes this year