Is Everything Dead Yet?

This time of year, it’s usually looking pretty bleak out here in central Texas. By now, the grass is usually very brown and crunchy, and there are good-sized cracks in the soil. But this year it’s rained a lot more than usual, so how’s it doing?

Checking out the territory. Some green, some not.

It hasn’t rained in a couple of weeks, and that’s about all it takes to turn things back to their typical summer state. Sure enough, the grass is crunchy and the cracks are out. But the tanks (ponds) have lots more water in them than usual and the creek has plenty of water in it.

The Vrazels have made another bunch of hay out of our front pasture, which is also unusual. They are out there baling it right now, making round bales. The dogs enjoyed having a couple of days to look for vermin in the piles of grass as it was drying out. Both Vlassic and Penney like to pounce.

Future hay, full o’ vermin.

I took Penney on her first walk around the front perimeter of our “home” area, and she enjoyed running with Carlton and Vlassic. She even ran straight to the front pond and got in the water, amid all the floating plants. Carlton was saying, “What the heck”? in this picture.

Oh my, Penney is in the pond plants.

Vlassic waited until we got back to the house to jump in the little dog pool. That’s two days in a row for pictures of him in one of his pools!

It may be ugly, but it cools a little black dog off!

As I looked around the property, the signs of summer were obvious. There aren’t many flowers left at all, and while the ragweed is as tall as I am, some of it has been completely eaten by this year’s crop of grasshoppers (which I haven’t gotten a photo of, because they keep hopping). Thankfully, it’s not one of those years for horrible grasshopper invasions, and it’s smaller ones, but there is still the weird effect of setting off lots of flight with every step you take around here.

New Life

One good piece of news is that the fig cuttings we took from Lee’s dad’s tree in Yorktown are not dead, even though they lost all their leaves. It turns out they have grown a nice bunch of roots, and now new leaves are coming out. We will plant them in some nice soil soon and keep them in large pots for a while.

Baby fig leaves make me very happy.

I also think some green herons are nesting somewhere around here. That would be cool! They sure make a funny little sounds as they fly, so it would be good to have more! We still have plenty of egrets and great blue herons to enjoy, which makes the ponds so much fun.

Dog Update

Well, Harvey is being his usual annoying self and snapping away at Penney, who doesn’t like it one bit. She even went upstairs a while to get away from him. On the other hand, I just watched Carlton very gently encouraging her to share a chew toy and engaging in gentle, friendly mouthing. I can tell HE likes Penney very much!

Vlassic and Penney are fine together unless they each want the same lap. I guess we’ll have to let them sort it all out, as long as no one gets hurt. Pack management is hard.

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!

2 thoughts on “Is Everything Dead Yet?”

  1. It’s certainly an interesting year. Our sheep are still on grass taller than they are. This is not normal for us in July in Central Texas. We haven’t had to refill any of our rain collection tanks from the house either which is a first for us. We’re getting our hay baled this weekend with a high in the low 90’s!

    Liked by 1 person

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