Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finally, the sun.

We finally had a nice day on Saturday. The sun was out all day for the first time in February. We did get some work done over the weekend. I found some dry caliche to spread and cover the pad area of the new pool construction where it meets the gravel road. When we get the new gravel it will just show stone on the back wall. While on the tractor doing that I did some work on the road and trails. We also set some large rocks as a transition between the gravel and new grass at the pool, cleaned flower beds, worked on the pool, moved a rock pile, and some other chores. It was just nice to get outside. The forecast is for more cold and wet weather so the nice weather will unfortunately not continue, but nice for a while.

Birds are very active as are the deer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heavy Snow

This continues to be the wettest and coldest winter in Texas in many years. We again had one nice day with 60°+ weather, but most days continue to be cloudy and cool. We actually had a very heavy snow in central Texas on Tuesday. We had 4-5 inches on the ground here at the ranch. It only lasted 36 hours, but that was a unique snow. Again it was nice watching the birds and deer in the snow. The birds are very active as I'm filling the feeders every other day. Of course I'm not getting any work done outside due to the weather. We really need to get a few pretty days so I can get some cedars removed for the new garden location.

Friday, February 12, 2010


The cold rainy weather continues. We had one good work day and took advantage cleaning the culverts at two of the gates on the county road from the debris accumulated from rain run off. I also built a water divertor where a trail meets the ranch road in front of the house. Water would run down the trail then wash out the road. Barely had it finished when the rains began again. The DFW area had really big record snow, over a foot. We are just far enough south that we only got 1-2 inches or so. The snow is pretty, but the ground is already so wet that it's messy. Pretty wildlife scenes watching the deer and birds in the snow though. The photo is looking down the mountain at the cabin, ranch road, and Gary Creek valley in distance. Notice how the snow weighs down the cedar trees. I haven't been out to see if we have lost any trees, but we did lose power overnight so trees have come down somewhere in our rural system.

Today is a unique day in U.S. history, the first day that there is snow on the ground in all 50 states.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Groundhog Day

I can't believe that it's already February. The weather still remains colder than usual. We have had a few nice days, but it's really been cool, cloudy, and rainy. We've had 5-7 inches of rain in the past few weeks. The trees look good and when we get sun again I bet we get grass right away. More rye grass has come up with this recent batch of rain. I will plant bermuda grass over it later.

We are getting big groups of deer. A group of 8-9 does and a group of young bucks come almost every night. Also a few single bucks and does at various times. The grass over the septic remains green and the corn I put out attracts them to the back of the house. They also seem to like the new rye grass too.

We lost a goat who had climbed a cedar tree and got hung up. Unfortunately it was the very cold nights we had and although we freed her she really couldn't survive. I had Pepino trim all the remaining brushy multi-trunk cedars in the goat pasture. If it's not predators or dogs, it's the weather or something unusual that gets your goats.

We have used a lot of propane due to the cold weather. I bought two electric heaters to supplement heating the house and liked the one that looked like a small fireplace so much that I ordered an electric insert for the fireplace. It looks like a real fire and I can use it to heat or just turn on the flames. I like it.

The pool is basically finished and we had the pool school so it is now our responsibility to maintain it. They still need to change the gauge on the filter, but that's about it. The pool equipment has run a lot this month as it has a freeze guard that runs the waterfall automatically when it gets close to 32 degrees. We had the wooden pavilion built over the patio portion of the deck. It looks very good. We will add some small utility tables and planters to the patio this spring. We are now ready for new gravel on the road as soon as the weather cooperates.

The ranch looks good even though it is winter. We have trimmed more cedar trees in front of the house and at the entry. We really need to consider a new entry and gate. We just have a simple cedar post entry and stock gate. An automatic gate will help keep people out and a pipe fence entry will look much better,