Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nice Week

It was a nice week on the Ranch. The weather was generally nice with high's about 78° and cooling at night. We did get an inch of rain on Friday night. We planted some more larger Asian Jasmine as a ground cover, but our order of two flats of small AJ didn't come in this week.

I did get the huge pile of brush burned this week before the rain. We had accumulated a lot from trimming and cleaning on the county road fence row and other places. I also did some stump burning as weather allowed.

The water temp of the pool reached 75° on Saturday so I had the first official dip in the pool. It was very nice. We will enjoy it this year.

Pepino painted the new pipe rail gate and entry. It looks very good. He will be in Mexico for three weeks so we'll miss his fine touches around the place. The wildflowers are looking good. They are everywhere for better or worse. We cleaned the wildlife tank and added two Water Lilies that we got from our neighbor. The deer are trimming the pads closest to the edge of the tank for us.

BTW--I also saw the first Painted Bunting of the year on the bedroom bird feeder.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some Rain

We got a lot of flower bed work done around the house this week. DW set more flowers and Pepino really prepared a wonderful bed in the large circle in between the Pavilion and new Patio. He dug out all the grass etc., dug out the rocks, and spread three loads of new top soil I had brought in with the tractor. It really looks good and is ready for new planting. We are planning on planting Asian Jasmine as a ground cover. It's a large area so we have ordered 40 small plants and 6 larger ones in order to cover it. Hopefully it will within two years. We also spread natural fertilizer on the front yard just in time for the weekend rains.

I did do some trimming and set fire to a brush pile in the mountain pasture. The weather seemed right for burning as it was looking to rain. The drizzle did start Friday evening and we had good rains on Saturday. Drizzle and light rain on Sunday. Probably 3 inches overall. A good result of the rain is that it seems to have knocked down the 'fuzzy' bits of the blooming Texas Live Oaks. We had just reached the stage that they turn everything green. The patio, tables, the tractor, the cars, everything. Hopefully most have been washed out of the trees, the ground and road is covered with the 'fuzzy' bits, but at least they won't be covering everything nearly as bad. Good.

I haven't seen a Hummingbird on the feeder, but one buzzed me on Saturday so they are arriving. The wildflowers are looking great.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April is nice! Patio is Ready!

The weather has been much better although we had two weeks of high winds. In one stretch of 36 hours the wind never dropped below 20 mph day or night, with gust up to 40 mph. It has helped getting the leaves off the trees though. Of late the weather is nice with day highs in the 70's and dropping to 50's at night. Good working weather although this is my busy time in the office.

We have cleaned all the flower beds set out all new flowers, mostly begonias. The deer did get the Mexican Heather in the pots out front, but everything in the beds are fine so far. This is the first time we have planted since the new rock borders were completed. The beds around the house look very good. We set three tomato plants and the Mint is coming along very well. I don't think we are going to get the big garden in this year.

The trees continue to look good. They are still in process of change. The Live Oaks are dropping old leaves as the new ones come out. Most of the Spanish Oak have budded and should be in leaves very soon. The lone Hackberry tree, usually the last to bud, has now done so. I have to double my inventory of Pecan trees. We have really cleaned the area where I knew I had the big pecan and now I know that there are two very large native pecan trees. When I looked before I just assumed there was one, but now that the brush and briars are cleaned I can see both at the same time. The wildflowers are coming now out. We have a lot of Prairie Verbena around the house as usual. Between the goats and the deer they have eaten most of the wildflowers on the ranch. There are a lot of Bluebonnets along the roads and highways.

The wild birds are not as active as last year yet. I think we are behind schedule this year. We had beautiful indigo buntings by mid-April last year. I did put out the first hummingbird feeder today. I haven't seen any hummers, but they are due anytime.

The deer have not been as active now that we have grass and they have lots of things to eat on the mountain and pastures. We still get the regulars that live here on the ranch, but I haven't seen the large groups of deer for a week or so. I did have a deer stand in the ranch road yesterday when I was going to feed the goats. He didn't move until I had to come to a stop in the Gator.

We have added pots to the new patio and the furniture has been painted so the patio is looking very good as well. I believe it is now officially open!! Still too cool to swim, but the water has been getting up to 70°. It's still cooling off at night so the water also stays cool. Won't be long though.