Was a Little Out of It

Sorry for the absence. I was limiting my screen time, and dealing with “issues”. Then, out of the blue I got a very weird headache yesterday that lasted until 8 pm. Stress? Stroke? Jostling from the car incident? No idea.

It rained, so rain lilies and their golden cousins pop up.

I was no good to anyone in the meeting I was at in the morning. I mostly worried people. But the wildflower brochure is being printed now!

Thanks to that brochure I hit the first post-certification milestone for Master Naturalist. 250 volunteer hours. That’s me and Lisa.

I managed to get some “real job” work done, and then begged out and got my nails done. Of course, Yoe High maroon and silver. Tina did a great job making up a technique!

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Apache and the Ants

No, that’s not the name of a new musical group. It’s about why today’s ride was rather antsy for my usually patient steed, Apache’s Smoke Signal, AKA Apache AKA Patchy.

The morning went as usual. It was hot and I dripped sweat all over myself, but Sara and I got the horses (and Fiona) ready for a ride. We want to ride as much as possible, so we’re going early on weekend mornings. She goes more than I do, thanks to all my volunteering and such.

I put up with a LOT from Suna. It’s a good thing she gives me so many treats and bushes me so nicely.

The entire time we were out in the pasture where the horses usually hang out, Apache kept turning around and heading toward the gate. I turned him back around and made him trot around, go over some logs, or up and down the “hill.” He kept turning around.

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What Else Is New?

at the ranch, that is. There have been a few tidbits and sightings I wanted to share.

Weather. Ugh.

It’s bone dry, but there aren’t any bones.

First off, I know it’s hot and dry here, because the little runoff pond is bone dry. The dogs went in there to check for crawfish, but didn’t find any.

And the ground is now full of holes and big, long cracks. Along with extra-crunchy grass, this tells you we’re in the bad part of summer.

Hello, down there.

Yep. It’s hot. But there’s a stiff breeze making the front porch bearable for the moment.

Other Stuff

Three prickly pears.

Walking with the dogs always brings discoveries. Today I found things in threes, like these morning glories and prickly pear fruit. (Which reminds me of the carne asada con nopales I had Friday. Mmm. )

Three morning glories

As I was looking at the cactus, I heard a thump. Just to my left I saw that a large grasshopper had flown into the very sturdy web of one of our numerous yellow garden spiders. I started recording only seconds after it landed, which explains why I didn’t turn the phone landscape. 40 seconds later it was wrapped and paralyzed.

At least it didn’t suffer. Sara asked if I’d speeded the video up, but nope. Those spiders can MOVE!

It’s so weird. Those are holes, not raised mounds.

The other natural phenomenon I’ve been watching are the traps laid by doodlebugs, as they call ant lions here. I watch the ones over by the tack room spitting dirt out of their traps. It looks like little explosions.

Chicken Time

And I’ve figured out that two of the chickens roost next to their food. At least the other five seem okay back in their coop. For now. Tyler cleaned up the place where Buffy was hiding, but she still hangs out in the barn.

Buffy and Big Red stake their claims.

And I have a final piece of good news. After spending quite some time trying to figure out who could fix the cattle guard leading to the cabin, I looked up this morning to see the Vrazels had found someone. We thought that was part of their lease agreement, but Ralph had informed me it was my job. Dodged a bullet there. I thanked Mr. V. And the welder a whole bunch.

Dim photo of welding truck.

To sign off, here’s a differential grasshopper. Hey, it’s not a spider!

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.
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Visiting and Tinkering

Ah, darn. I had an entire post written on the phone yesterday, went to add a photo to it, and somehow discarded the whole post rather than just a photo I wanted to replace. I declared it a sign that I should just concentrate on doing rather than writing for a little while. So, for the past three days I’ve been doing stuff like crazy! I feel quite accomplished.

This picture of hour much the dogs love their giant puddle will distract you from being sad that I lost all my work, painstakingly typed on the phone.

A lot of this doing occurred because Chris and Kathleen came up on Friday and stayed until after lunch on Sunday. You see, Chris likes to work with his hands and is a great problem solver, so he did a bunch of things to help us around the office and the Hermits’ Rest house.

And because of that, I was inspired to do my own set of tasks, with Kathleen there to lend some muscle and brain power, too. We’re pretty lucky to have Lee’s clever relatives working with us on our projects!

Oh the cuteness!

On Friday, after Mandi and I worked like good employees, Chris assembled Kathleen’s lovely new office furniture, straight from the box. It’s probably the first “new” stuff we have in the Hermits’ Rest building. It’s all white and brass, and cutely modern. She brought lamps, which enabled us to really see the former storeroom, which turns out to be pretty cute (and clean, thanks to Melissa’ cleaning it last week).

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Summer Dead Stuff

Hey again. I’ve got some more deep thinking coming up, but first I have to say it’s hard to get anything at all done this time of year, because there’s always something interesting and deceased laying around.

Our first thing isn’t dead, just empty. That’s the tiny nest the baby finch tried to fall out of yesterday. It’s so small and exposed! But birds successfully fledged.

Awkward photo of awkward bird nest

The next best is bigger and more protected.

There’s still a bird in there.

But at least two fledglings ended up on the porch this morning!

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Self Aware Means Self Care

Last week I was in a mental vortex, tizzy, or something. I’m so glad I was aware that something was amiss, and that the only person who could do anything about it was ME.

So, what kind of self care can I do? Can you do it, too?

Exercise

This guy could use some yoga!

I realized yesterday that I hadn’t done any yoga in over two weeks, maybe three. Between work getting hectic and taking a week off, I was feeling sluggish and stiff.

I’ve gone to the class at work twice this week, and I can really tell it, both physically and mentally. I’m a lot more centered and my muscles feel well used, but good.

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