Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012

It's Hot!  What else could we expect but hot in July?  At least it's not as quite as bad as last year although it has been 106° a few days.  Only 17 days over 100° so far and we had over 80 last year.

We have had cedar choppers harvesting some cedar trees that died from last years drought.  These are just east of the house so we will eventually have some extra parking for when we have big events here at the ranch.  I was able to burn the cedar tops before the burn ban went into effect.  I've been burning stumps within the fire ring since.  It's been too hot to completely finish the area, but it will get done by fall.

It's been nice watching the young fawns come up to the house this summer.  There are three fawns with the does that come on a regular basis. 

We seems like we have even more Painted Buntings this year.  Fewer hummingbirds though.

Friday, June 08, 2012


We had a nice rain this week, 2.8 inches, that has really helped.  It was starting to get dry although I believe we are having cooler weather so far this year.

The cactus has bloomed and now gone, the thistles have bloomed, and the Mountain Pinks are just coming out.  All right on schedule.  

A beautiful Painted Bunting has been taking a daily bath in the fountain.  Really seems to enjoy it.

The ranch looks good, we hosted a big cook out, and the weather and steaks were great.

All is well at Twisted Oak Ranch.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


This monster (about 6") was near the front door last night.  
I was bit by a larger purple one through my glove a few years hurts.

It's odd, our scorpions are small, but the centipedes are huge.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Life on the Ranch

This season has to be the best wildflower season in many years in this part of Texas.  Last year we were already into the drought, but this year the fall rain at germination time and the spring rains it really has produced a bumper crop.  Wildflowers everywhere.  Of course pollen is also high so those with allergies are effected. 

I did something I really don't like to do because of most times the end is not good, but I did bottle feed a little kid goat.  She was really sweet and thought she was one of the dogs.  Always stayed around the house and entertained us.  She progressed from bottle to grass and after two months it was time to introduce her to life as a goat in the goat pastures.  Unfortunately she has disappeared probably to a predator.  Without a mother the young ones tend to wander off and that is dangerous.

Speaking of predators I did see a rare 'black' coyote.  This was just before the kid disappeared too so I will be looking to eliminate this coyote if I can.  It will be luck to see it again and have a gun at the same time.  I will try some snares.

We have had some light rains this spring so the trees and grasses are looking very good.  We had perfect burning weather this week so I was able to burn a large brush pile in the goat pasture that had been needing it since the drought.  Also burned three very large old oak trees that had fallen.  Still a lot of clearing and cleaning to do.  Lot's of dead trees in the mountain pasture and lots of dead cedar due to the drought.  I'll try to harvest posts from the cedar, they are paying pretty good for good posts.  Maybe I'll get enough to pay for the new Stihl chain saw I recently purchased.  I haven't used it yet, but it will get a lot of use soon.

The Painted Buntings have arrived as have the Hummingbirds.  The goldfish in the wildlife tank survived another winter and are huge. 

The weather has been excellent.  Not really hot as of mid-May.  We really aren't using the pool yet other than a few days after working the burn piles.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring--Heavy Rains

We have had some good rains in March. Earlier in the month we got 2" and last night we received a good 4 ½ inches of rain. It was much needed and has filled all the stock tanks in the area. Hopefully this will break the drought we have had for over a year. Looks good so far. It's the first time that we have had run off for over two years. I had to go and inspect my dry creek that I built behind the cabin. (photo above) It worked great. I haven't seen water in it for a long time. Gary creek is running very strong.

The Jasmine is beginning to bud. Most of the Spanish Oaks are now fully budded. The Texas Live Oaks are in transition. The Prairie Verbina is blooming and more to bloom. It will be very thick this year. The other wildflowers are getting close to bloom. Grass is beginning to look good.

It looks we will have a nice spring this year!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mild Winter

It has been a mild beginning to 2012. The weather has been good. We have had a few days below freezing, but many more days of 70°+ temperature. We have also been blessed with over 5 inches of rain in January and February. It has been very good for the trees.

I've let the goats graze on the 'house side' as usual in the winter months. There is plenty of cedar and cedar grass over here and the mountain pasture is very dormant. They probably have culled a lot of the potential wildflowers, but that's OK they need the roughage.

The trees have just begun their transition. The largest Spanish Oak on the place is fully budded and a lot of the others are about to do it. The largest live oak is starting to loose its leaves now as well.

The deer are not as active. The fawns are now big enough to jump the fences so they are probably all up on the mountain.