Glorious Autumn

I interrupt my sharing from the conference I attended to share what a lovely afternoon my spouse, dogs and I had at the Hermits’ Rest yesterday.

buttefly back
This is the back of a red admiral butterfly. I just love how this photo came out.

I came home from work, and just felt like taking a long walk. I gathered a few dogs and started my usual route around the property. As I went down toward where the arroyo stream meets the woods, something smelled wonderful. I realized it was a large bed of fall asters. The little valley had trapped the aroma.

monarch
Asters and small bees.

The aroma had attracted more than just me, too. The flowers were literally abuzz and aflutter with bees of all sizes and at least six types of butterflies. I was really happy to see Lee come down to see me, so he could enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds with me.

not_bee
The monarch was in flower heaven.

I really didn’t take all that many photos, because we were just observing. Still, I have to share that we got at least one migrating monarch in the bunch! There were also Gulf fritilaries, a red admiral, fiery skippers (lots), and some painted ladies.

crow
I really enjoy our crows. They are loud and adventurous.

We reluctantly drug ourselves away and went around the rest of the front pasture. A murder of crows met us there, and one was kind enough to post. I was also delighted to discover lots of evidence of the presence of a loggerhead shrike amidst us. I took some pictures, but every one of my pix of bugs impaled on the barbed wire ended up as nice photos of grass with a big blur in front. I’ll try again. I swear I know how to focus the phone camera! I took a class!

dead_tree
It was such a lovely day that even the dead tree was pretty (Brody says it smelled good).

Into the Woods

Since it was the perfect day for it, I kept going once we got back to the house and took the dogs into the woods. It was very damp from yet another heavy rain, so the dogs had a blast splashing through the creek bottom area. I mainly looked around to see how many more dead trees where down. I am happy to note that we still have plenty of standing ones for the woodpeckers and other fans of dead wood.

pond2
You’d never know it from the road that it could be so pretty here.

The, led by the intrepid Alfred, we went to check out the big pond in the meadow. It was at its absolute best, all full of water, with the cedar elms changing color all round it. It is impossible to choose which of the pictures I took is the best, so I had to just pick one to share.

alfred_pond
A very happy guardian dog.

As we checked out all the delicious smells at the wet end of the pond, I got this really pretty picture of Alfred in the pond. He’s feeling better, because he is on some new medication for his hips and arthritis. This is one of the few moments he wasn’t silently guarding me the whole time.

The two other dogs that came along ran and ran and sniffed and sniffed like the luck ranch dogs they are! When the cattle started mooing away and coming up towards us, I got the dogs back before they got any ideas about chasing mama cows. The cows were focused on the fact that it was about time the Vrazels came and fed them their supplements, but the dogs didn’t know that!

bonus
Just couldn’t resist one more picture. You can see water under the tree at right. It’s still really damp.

So, while travel is fun, there’s no place like home. It was good to see Fiona, Apache, the remaining chickens and the two little sheep, too. More on them in a later post!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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