Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

We finally got some relief from the August heat. We had had 25 consecutive days of over 100° weather, but yesterday we got a cold front that broke that string. We had very high winds in advance and it blew down some bird feeders, native vines growing on the back of the pavilion, and my rain gauge so I'm not sure exactly how much rain we had. We later had .5 inch so I'm guessing we had about an inch overall. Not enough rain to gully the road, but a welcome amount for sure. Pepino had cut a lot of dead tree branches with the pole saw just recently, but the winds helped bring down some more. Even with the heat we have received enough rain that the trees continue to look very good.

Thanks to the neighbors I had a mini round up and took some goats to market. All the males and an older nanny. The closest commission sale is now in Hamilton and the sale is on Mondays so Sunday is a good day to haul. It's 33 miles so that's not too bad. It seems two of the new little bucks may have gone missing. The count didn't seem right.

My newly planted grass is looking good. So are the front yards. I also had one of my highest water bills since we have been here at 50,000 gallons. (20,000 is average)

Each year seems to be different as far as the number of critters we see. This year is the year of the Lizard. They are everywhere and the Roadrunners love it. We have only seen one fox this summer and I thought we would see more considering that we watched that one den grow up this spring. I have found it very unusual that I have not seen many raccoons. Usually they are a nuisance, but very few this year. The big buck deer is still making himself at home. The fawns are big now and they too are coming up to feed.

There seems to be a few fewer frogs. We put out some rubber snakes, but I'm not sure that was the cause, more likely a real snake got a few.

There are lots of butterflies and hummingbirds feeding on the blooming Lantana.

Hopefully fall is around the corner.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Screech Owl

Tonight we were entertained by a Screech Owl that landed in the courtyard fountain. It stayed on the edge of the top bowl then dropped down into the bowl itself. Most of the water drains down from the small top bowl so there was some to drink, but I think the owl enjoyed the cool spot. Since the back yard lights were turned on I was surprised it stayed as long as it did. I was able to get very close and watch. I bet he returns.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Buck on a Hot Day

Just shot this picture out the back window. This particular buck is around ALL the time. We don't seem to spook him either. He doesn't run even if we are on the patio or walking close to the house. He's very comfortable here and why shouldn't he? This is getting closer than usual as he stays back at the tree line most of the time.

Notice that the grass is still green. It is going dormant now though. We are watering the front, but not the back. Also I see a hummingbird on the feeder. It's the 13th consecutive day over 100°.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Hot, but Good Week

It has been hot, reaching 100° nine consecutive days now. Clouded up a few times and even very slight shower (.10) but generally just hot summer weather. Typical for this time of year though. Good news is that the grass has survived so far. I did start watering the front yard today. I'll let the rest go dormant and it usually already has by this time of year. I again over seeded the area along the bluff where I'm trying to establish new grass and did water it over the week. I also added some fescue seed to the bermuda just to get a mixture and something established. It is coming up. The small area between the pool and the established lawn that we started in the spring has completely filled with bermuda grass. It looks good.

Very productive week on the ranch. Pepino worked four days so we got a lot done. He applied a new coat of stain on the cabin, porch and railings. It looks great. I ordered new parts for the JD lawn tractor including a new front bumper. It's looking good as new and has new filters, etc.

The Lantana that we planted early in the year is now starting to look very good. The flowers really attract the hummingbirds too. Not pleased with the Begonias we planted. The asian jasmine we planted for ground cover is taking off in the two circle. We have kept the motion water alarms active in the two circle so that the deer would not eat the plants. It has worked well, seems to keep the rabbits away as well. As mentioned several times the trees look great. New growth on all the Texas Live Oaks. I measured one that we cleared cedar away from when we built the house and it has grown at least seven feet in about six years.

We are very pleased with the pool and new deck. We have had two frogs all year, but more have arrived and tonight we had nine around the pool. I don't mind a few, but that's too many so I'll have to deal with that.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Swimmin' Hole

Starting to get more typical late July-August weather--HOT. The new Swimmin' Hole is getting very good use. We did have a rain shower early this week though. Another half inch. That's very good for this time of year. The grass is still green and it has usually gone dormant by now. The trees all look great. I've decide to try and establish some bermuda grass on the new bluff area. This is the new area built out with the dirt, rock and debris from the pool construction. I've run a water hose to the area and have seeded it three times so hopefully we will have that area in grass soon. I have finished the cedar screen in front of the pool equipment and it really blends well with the view. All is well on the ranch.