Sunrise, Sunset, and Fishies

Fer sure, yesterday was really hot, and so was the day before, but it was certainly not without beauty and the potential for fun. I’m so glad the dogs pestered the heck out of me to go outside Saturday night, or I’d have missed a spectacular sunset. The one below is my favorite image, which I shared on Facebook, but I didn’t want blog readers to miss out.

This is facing EAST at sunset. I wish I could get my hair those colors.

Last night’s sunset was also good, but I didn’t get out until after the exciting part, thanks to eating lovely food cooked by my sister. I was also still recovering from my late afternoon activity.

Fishies

Mandi is officially on vacation, so she wants to have some outdoor fun. I accompanied Mandi and her son, Matthew, over to the pond behind Ralph and Sara’s to do some fishing. Of course, it was 100 degrees out there. But, we persevered. The pond is stocked, so we know there are good fish in it, but it’s so pretty and relaxing, that I didn’t care.

The pond behind Sara and Ralph’s house.
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When You HAVE to Go Somewhere Fun

For the past few years, I’ve missed business trips. I’m glad I joined Master Naturalists, so at least I have one conference to attend each year, but I always get so much out of seeing old friends and meeting new people that I miss the old days when I traveled more.

Here’s Edna Kelly, pre-exploring for us!

Thus, I was pretty stoked when I found out that a requirement of being a member of the Friends of La Leche League Board is to attend their organization’s trip to a fun place every other year (the other year, they meet at a conference for one of La Leche League’s local affiliates, usually Texas).

This year, we are going to New Orleans in November. This, of course, assumes the city will still be there after so much bad weather, but at least it’s after hurricane season. I’ve been rather amazed at exactly how much planning these trips take. There is so much to consider! They have to come up with fun things to do and good places to eat, without making the registration too costly. That is not easy. I am very impressed with the hard work and patience the trip planners, Carroll and Evy, have exhibited.

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Purple Martins: A Field Trip

Hey, friends. I didn’t want to write this twice, so please check out the great field trip I went on today with my Master Naturalist group.

Nature Along the El Camino Real

by Sue Ann Kendall

Thanks to some impressive detective work, a group of folks from the El Camino Real Master Naturalist group, along with some Master Gardeners and friends, got to visit what may be the largest privately-owned collection of purple martin houses in the US.

Who, What, Where?

For years, people had been telling our resident purple martin expert, Donna Lewis, that there was “a guy in Milam County” with a whole lot of purple martin houses. She never could find out where the “guy” was, until the intrepid Cathy Johnson got wind of where he might be. So, they called him up and visited the place recently. It’s probably the highlight of Donna’s birding career.

Donna and Cathy just had to show all these purple martin houses and the mega-house to the rest of us.

Well, of course, they knew we’d all want to visit, too, so they…

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Donkey Feet and Horse Teeth

So, I started yesterday feeling all fancy and business-like as we got our pictures taken by the Chamber of Commerce, because Hermits’ Rest Enterprises is the July Business of the Month. Mandi and I had on nice clothing and jewelry, and Mandi’s hair was all straight and fancy. (See the Hermit Haus blog for more details.)

Then, by mid-afternoon we were back at the ranch, and I had morphed into Cowgirl Suna, with jeans, boots, and hat to meet Trixie the farrier to look at the horses and Fiona. I asked Mandi to come along, since she’s the one who doctored Fiona and knows more about horse health than I do.

Fiona’s Footsies

Fiona went first, and she was pretty good, though she did get the idea to try to file her own hooves. It didn’t work out.

Now that I’ve got this thing, how do I use it?

Trixie said that Fiona’s “bad” foot was really interesting, and that she’d never seen one like that. The footbed still seems longer than the outer hoof wall. We went over a lot of possibilities for what could have caused it. We settled on the bag abscess she had on that front hoof causing the outer walls to not grow like usual, which caused separation and other issues.

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Batty Bits

It’s been quite a week with so much work and such that it’s been hard to find time to write. I may perhaps have too many jobs and volunteer positions, but I love them all!

I especially enjoy my Master Naturalist group and its members. I get a lot out of observing their personalities and learning their interests. Sometimes they are a bit quiet, but always in an endearing way.

Last night’s chapter meeting dealt with bats, a topic our speaker, Cindy, is very attached to. I wrote a lot about her talk in the Master Naturalist blog, so here I’ll just say I learned a few bits of information I didn’t know before, and they will stick with me.

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Let’s Garden! The Heat Index Is Only 105!

Hey, I’m only in Austin three evenings a week, so I don’t have a lot of chances to do outdoor activities. Monday it rained. Yesterday I had a phone meeting, so we had time to go buy some plants afterwards but not to do anything with them.

Beautiful blooming oregano plant, new cushions, and my smelly gardenia.

So today, even though it’s 95 degrees out, we repotted and rearranged everything. I was really happy to find huge oregano plant that I can put in the frighteningly sunny part of the deck.

Cheer for the blazing sun area.

I also put a couple plants that are less perky back there, and added happy sun-loving healthy plants to make it look better.

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The Storm Passes

Last night we had quite a strong storm pass over the Bobcat Lair, our Austin house. Just as we were emerging from our dungeon…I mean, office, to go pick up some plants, the sky let loose.

The edge of this little storm front stayed over our house a long time.

That was okay with me, since I was dealing with that panic attack/anxiety thing last night. I went into self-care mode and concentrated on my own needs.

I burned candles, smelled appropriate aromatherapy oils and blends, watched HGTV, and finally sat in my room and meditated for a half hour.

See, there’s a reason my notebook says “omm” and I have a little crystal ball on my desk. You never know when the need to empty one’s mind will come up.

The best thing about the storm was that we ate dinner early and went to bed early, thereby enabling me to get enough sleep. I’ve noticed that my antsy days tend to be when I haven’t slept enough, which is usually Mondays (I have to get up early to drive to Austin).

A few minutes after the first picture. Eventually, storm clouds will pass.

Today I’m still feeling sensitive to “stuff” around me, but I’ve been able to get much work done, even a meeting with the boss of my boss’s boss. I am back to myself!