Mystery Holes

Ever since we bought the Hermit Haus, I have wondered why there are giant holes in the empty lot next to the old church.

I’ve had many theories, such as buried oil tanks, buried treasure, buried people—you know scary things. I also asked a few people but they all said I don’t know you tell me.

These are the big holes. The mowers just mow them evenly.

A couple of these holes are rather deep. I covered up one of them with Herman’s house, which was a good idea, but two of them are just sticking out in the middle of the empty field. They are just inviting me to sprain another ankle. Danger! Danger! Continue reading “Mystery Holes”

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A View from the Top…of a Horse

I’m never going to be a great equestrienne, and that’s fine with me. I started way too late, ran out of money for lessons, and don’t have enough time to really get to be great. But, I’m better than I was, anyway!

One of the things I’ve always wanted to be able to do when I’m out riding Apache is to take pictures of some of the interesting plants, wildlife, and scenery I see when I’m out riding around the Hermits’ Rest. Up until recently, I haven’t been comfortable taking my phone along on rides, because my phone is a good one, and I could break it if I fall.

Walking the line of evergreens.

Sara has an inexpensive phone she uses, so that if there’s an emergency she can let our spouses know to come help. I just relied on that, until a few weeks ago when Sara ordered us some really nice holders that have a water bottle and a cell phone pocked in them. They attach to the front of the saddle and can be secured really well, so they don’t bounce and irritate our mighty steeds.

Continue reading “A View from the Top…of a Horse”

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.

Continue reading “Let’s Garden! The Heat Index Is Only 105!”

Meanwhile, Over at the Cul-de-sac

The HOA promised us new plants in our Bobcat Lair cul-de-sac, and yesterday they got to work on it. When I left in the morning, there was just spray paint all over the place, but when I got back from work, there was evidence of change.

Hey, I haven’t peed on these yet.

It’s sort of funny, though. Because we only have certain plants we can use, the new plants look just like most of the other plants in the neighborhood, so they blend right in. Only if you knew sotol has replaced yucca would you really notice.

Oh, you just wish that pink stuff was flowers. Nope. Deer would eat them.
Continue reading “Meanwhile, Over at the Cul-de-sac”

Did I Save a Baby Bird? And Summer Glory

Isn’t it about time I got back to nature observations? I think we all could use some sweet stories and pretty photos, so I’ll try to give you some of each.

I love this image of a wheel bug on the window at work.

The Dangling Finchlet

First, I’ll tell you about the house finch families who have taken up residence at the Hermit Haus, who entertain me and Mandi when we hang out by the carport. They sing and sing, and fly right next to us or sit in big groups chirping and looking spiffy (especially the males).

Hey, it’s hay and more hay.

Well, as we came out to leave this afternoon and I was trying to load paper towels in the car, something brushed against me. I looked left, and there was a poor little baby finch flailing away, but unable to fly off, because a piece of nesting material was stuck on its leg.

Continue reading “Did I Save a Baby Bird? And Summer Glory”

Something’s Happening Here

Back in mid-April, I participated in the exciting Landscape Committee of my Homeowner Association, where we helped decide on some improvements to the rather unattractive plantings near the Bobcat Lair house. Then nothing happened. For weeks.

A memory of the view outside the neighbor house where the meeting was.

Last week we got a note from The Portal (that’s the communications hub of the HOA that people either love or hate) saying that something had happened to the landscaper, but the project would happen soon.

It’s happening!

When I went out for my morning Vlassic walk yesterday, some orange lines had appeared on the ugliest of the beds, the one right next to my house with the underground utility and phone line boxes on it. Ooh!

I thought there were only two, but no, there are three ugly boxes next to my house. I think they are going to build a little enclosure for them.
Continue reading “Something’s Happening Here”

Late Spring Bounty, Plus Drama, of Course

As the days grow longer and longer here in Texas, our harvest starts arriving. It’s lots earlier than in other parts of the US, where nothing’s ready until August, but hey, it gets hot here early.

Some Good News

This has been a great year, too, with the rain continuing to fall much later than usual. It’s raining now, in fact, and it’s only 79 degrees (too bad it was up to 93 at the end of our horseback ride this morning).

My shadow and the garden. Beans are to the right. Giant squash is in my shadow.

I think I’ve mentioned that our neighbor Tyler started a vegetable garden this year. Yesterday, as I was looking for chickens, I peeked in and saw a really, really big yellow squash. And Tyler is out of town.

So, this morning after putting up the horses and Fiona (who went with us on our whole ride and caused no trouble), Sara and I went in and harvested the giant squash and zucchini that were lying under the large, healthy vines. We have to hand it to Tyler, his fencing and netting combination have worked great to keep meddling animals, birds, and others out of his crops. We left him plenty of small squash to harvest for himself once he gets home.

Our buckets did not hold all the hugs squash, so I got creative. (photo by Sara Faivre)
Continue reading “Late Spring Bounty, Plus Drama, of Course”