Monday, October 25, 2010

Beautiful October Weather

October is my favorite month and this has been a very beautiful month for weather. Really making up for last years October weather. The weather actually got very warm with highs around 88° and only cooling down to 70's. Today it is 87° at lunch time and supposed to reach 91°, that will be a new record high for this date. We did have a cold front come through on Saturday and it was only 68° with cloudy skies. They had rain, thunderstorms, and a few tornados in the surrounding counties, but only had a few sprinkles. So it is very dry. We really could use some rain, but the grass still looks pretty good.

We really did a lot of clearing and cleaning of cedars the past ten days. This time we are working behind the house expanding towards the bluff and north fence line. I had already cleared the bluff itself over the past few years as it has a nice view to the west and at this time of year the sun sets directly on the fence row and property line (due east/west) so at sunset you can see rays of sun go through the woods and up the mountain. What we are trying to do is clear the area between the bluff and the cleared area behind the house. We can now walk from the house to the bluff without having to take a trail. We had two good burn fires going and I did scorch a few more cedars than I originally intended, but they will probably go out in the next stage of clearing anyway. The area does look good and you can now see the house from the bluff. It still has a lot of cedar, but we have burned all the 1930's CCC debris on the ground and cut as many dead branches as I can reach. We leave the larger cedar and take out the crooked and damaged trees. We have a lot more to do, but it will look good and it is much safer in case of a fire. It will also be a lot harder for a mountain lion to sneak up on us as well. The area that we just cleared is where I lost a big bob cat about five years ago. I know I shot him as went three feet into the air when I hit him, but he got into the brush and escaped.

I mentioned that we need a new name for what we called the lower pasture, it's really not big enough anyway. It's also been improved so much it's really not a pasture even though it is basically native pasture grass. We have removed the stumps, the cactus, and now cut the grass so it's really a landscaped area now. Last night a herd of deer were enjoying it. Some possible names: lower yard, lower lawn, or lower park. I like lower park, but I have to think on that for a while.

The goats are well. The kids are getting big and they are at the stage that they are getting hung up the the field fencing. When their horns get bigger they just can't get into the places they used to be able to so they get hung up. I took two out last night. If I don't find them, the coyotes will get them for sure.

Hummingbirds are gone. Not a lot of birds on the feeders right now. There are a lot more doves than I usually see though.

Love the weather so the usual Ranch chores are getting done: equipment repairs, trimming and maintaining trails and the road, fence repairs, etc. Pepino has returned from Mexico so he was able to work a couple of days too.

Don't usually mention personal stuff, but I will say that have really enjoyed following the Texas Rangers this year. I have watched every game on TV from opening day (except when away) and the two playoff series were very good. I will enjoy the World Series. Good Luck Rangers.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Clearing Again!

It has been beautiful weather all week. Warm in the day, but cool at night. I guess it's considered warm for this time of year, but we'll take it as long as it cools of at night. It has gone from 88° to 55° during the day.

We did some work in the lower pasture this week. (we really need to get better name for this area). We have been working on it off and on for over a year. We cut cedar, burned stumps, cleared briars, and general clearing. We had two fires going to burn debris so we were making good progress. This area is viewed from the big house directly below where the ranch road goes up the mountain. It does look good from the house. The deer have already been there and seem to approve.

The water temperature in the pool is 74-75° very tempting after working outside and used it to cool off, but didn't really swim.

Goats are happy, still lots of grass and I took them some good tree tops including some shumate and live oak tops. Those are their favorites.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Great Fall Weather

The weather is wonderful. Cooling off at night into the 60's and the highs are now in the 80's. The A/C will be off soon.

DW hopefully cut the grass today for the last time this season, but we thought that the last two times. The rains have been very good for the grass. The new area planted has covered so we only have one more area to establish next spring and we will have grass planted all around the house. This year we had a lot of pasture grass that invaded the planted bermuda areas. I'm not sure of the variety, but it is really growing well and fast. Good for the pasture but not so much in the lawn areas we are trying to establish. The goats are very happy.

I worked on removing stumps down in the lower pasture. So we had our first small fire of the season. When we were clearing we had 3-4 big fires a day going, but now that's probably only going to be a weekly thing this fall.

Did the pool thing for probably the last time this past weekend. Water temp was 77-78° I've been leaving the pool sweep in the pool so it's getting the frog eggs. Looks like that has now slowed down, haven't seen any for a few days. Hope so.

Deer should be happy. Cooler weather, lots of acorns, lots of grass, and corn in the feeder. The group of four rarely leave the area around the house. I've seen a lot of fawns in the mountain pasture.

All is well on Rattlesnake Mountain.