Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Time

It's almost been two weeks since our busy time with the annual Texas Scottish Festival and we are just getting back into life on the ranch. The weather has continued to be hot so we are on summer hours. Up early for chores, afternoon inside, and feed in the evening. The great change this year is the swimming pool. We can actually get some more work done knowing we will get that refreshing dip in the pool to cool off after some chores.

The goats have just been put back in to the pasture. I had been closing them off at night so that the babies would not be left alone while the rest were away feeding. There are nine babies and they follow the group up to the mountain then back down in the evening. The last baby was born while we were at the Festival, but he is doing well. We were very lucky that Pepino (BTW-not his real name) was able to work here while we were away so he was able to watch & feed the goats. He had just returned from Mexico so the timing was very good. He has been working extra days this week as well.

The foxes left some time while we were gone. We did get a heavy rain the night before I left and that probably washed them out of their den in the drainage pipe. I haven't seen them for two weeks.

The deer are used to our routine and the pool. They come up to the feeder as long as we stay on the new patio or in the pool. It's great to watch them and the other wildlife from the pool.

Other than the one heavy rain it has been very dry. We are missing the rain showers that have fallen in the area. I did some work on the ranch road and it's looking very good, but could use some rain on the new gravel. I may need to find a new gravel pit as I'm getting onto some solid rock where I'm at now. I'm digging just below the location of the old Norwegian quarry that was here 100+ years ago. I'm sure I just have to move a bit. Oddly the official USGS survey done here last in the 1970's shows that location as a gravel pit on the USGS map. It's small but that is what it is.

We are starting to catch up on the usual chores: cutting cedars, burning stumps, watering new grass, trimming trees, etc. I'd like to finish some work in the mountain pasture and cut cedar for a screen in front of the pool equipment.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Painted Bunting

We are lucky to have Painted Buntings on the ranch. I think they are one of the the prettiest birds in Texas. For about five weeks we have had a Painted Bunting tapping on our bedroom window early in the mornings. Not every morning, but 5 days a week on average. There is a bird feeder right outside the window and I thought he was seeing the reflection, but a few times it has been on a different window. Not sure what's up, but a least he is making it very easy to watch him. I do keep the better seed in that feeder just to attract the Buntings and it is their favorite bird feeder. I wasn't counting on the early wake up calls though.