Meadow of Meadowlarks

When I woke up this morning, my Facebook feed was full of beautiful pictures of the heavy snowfall in North Carolina last night.

Gina’s puppies didn’t even wait for daylight to check out all their snow. Photo credit: Gina Loffink

My friend Gina has two labradoodle puppies who experienced the joy of snow for the first time, and I just had to share her photo of their adventure.

Here it’s just wet and cold, but still beautiful. When I looked out the front window this morning, it looked like the ground was moving. My binoculars revealed there were dozens and dozens of Eastern Meadowlarks bobbing and hopping in the meadow.

If I go out and take pictures, they’ll fly away. So here’s a stock photo.

It’s great to see them in such large numbers, because they are one of the species in decline due to loss of habitat. I’m happy to say that our meadows full of native plants (and tasty bugs) are just what these guys want!

Meadowlark migration from Giphy.

Welcome, winter visitors! Migrate here any time!

Weather: Why I Started This Blog

The dogs do like it when the runoff becomes a stream.

Did you know I originally intended to mostly write about the weather and flowers in this blog? I guess it’s taken off a life of its own, where I share whatever I’ve been pondering at any time.

The driveway puddled up impressively, but it’s already getting better since the rain let up.

But weather! Yes! We’ve had 2.25 inches of rain in the past two days, which means that yet again, we have lakefront property and a raging stream.

At least Walker’s Creek didn’t come over the bridge, though the neighbor kids’ school bus got stuck yesterday and they had to bring in another bus. At this moment, I can see the creek from my desk window, a thing that only happens w hen it the trees have lost their leaves AND there is a flood.

The rain means even big old Alfred comes inside. He didn’t bother our houseguest, Matt, at all.

This year’s been a big one for flooding. I hope it doesn’t get too much wetter over a number of years, or we won’t be semi-arid anymore and different plants will thrive. I’ll be here watching if it does.

Just Enjoy the Season

This row of cypress trees has only been at my office in Austin for a couple of years, but they already make a striking autumn display.

I often just walk around and enjoy whatever season we’re experiencing. It’s the last part of autumn here, and in central Texas that’s when the leaves change, and for a week or so, it’s really lovely. It’s been that way in Austin and Cameron this week.

The sky last night was very moody. It rained later. Too bad we hadn’t set up the weather station yet.

Last night I got home after a late meeting, just after sunset. The landscape looked so stark and beautiful in that light.

Brody the cattle dog sniffs the excellent smells of the mown hayfield.

The guys who lease the Wild Hermits land have just made hay out of our pasture, and the dogs love the smells. And the dead mice, no doubt.

I love leafless trees. The structure fascinates me.

Enjoy what I saw last night!

Carlton and Vlassic roll in…something.

Weather Fun to Come

Me with weird hair, my kids with lots of hair, and Lee with no beard. I knitted my shawl from yarn spun by a friend.

Yesterday was Lee’s and my tenth wedding anniversary! We married late, but this one is working! I enjoyed looking over our wedding photos yesterday, so indulge me while I share them.

My attendants, all still good friends, even if I don’t see them often since I moved to the ranch. Carolyn was South, Suzanne was West, Deana was North, and Susan was East.

We had our wedding on a labyrinth at our Unitarian Universalist Church, with my attendants representing the four directions. They were all good sports about it.

My funny big kids and funny little dad.

Having my kids and my dad there meant so much to me. We were all so happy. I have the kids ties with their family tartan as a remembrance.

We were surrounded by our dearest friends, which felt great. I highly recommend getting married in the center of a circle of friends.

What about the weather?

Well, it got chilly after the sun set in 2008, but I wanted to talk about 2018!

Ooh! Can’t wait to set this up.

Proof that Lee really knows me is the gift he found for me. It’s a weather station that’s WiFi enabled! He said he thought it was quite the gift for a Master Naturalist. Smart guy.

I’m pretty excited about the data we can collect with this thing. Wind will be really interesting; it’s so windy here at the Hermits’ Rest. And this will make Lee’s rainfall statistics more accurate.

I’m now ready for ten more years of fun with the Hermit of Hermits’ Rest!

Moving Slow

Everyone has those times when even the simplest task becomes a burden. For me, it’s been getting my car inspected to renew my license plates.

First, the dealership forgot to do it when I got its yearly checkup.

Then, when I finally remembered to do it in Cameron, the place that was open didn’t do it, and the place that would do it was closed.

Yesterday I left work early to take care of it in Austin. Turns out Siri thinks a lot more places do inspections than actually do. I went to four places, patiently waiting to be spoken to, only to find out many car repair places don’t have an inspector.

By the time I got to the Lamb’s near my house, I could not wait 1.5 hours.

Today I went back. 1.5 hours again. Fine. I’ll buy myself a nice mug and a snack at the new Starbucks. I’ll live.

Have a smooth day

I do hope your mundane tasks go more smoothly than mine!

PS:

Ha! I was wrong! I clicked “send” on this blog and immediately got the call that the car was done, in only 45 minutes. That was just enough time for a pleasant cup of coffee and blogging. Yay for the Lamb’s on Far West!

First Freeze of Winter!

Carlton says, what the heck? As that thing that used to go round and round is now a lawn ornament. (Photo by Lee Bruns)

It’s finally not raining! But, wow was it windy for a couple of days. As you can see, it blew off our wind sculpture, which had been there since we built the house. Wow.

We also officially had our first frost of the year this morning. It’s always important to note these things if you’re trying to be a naturalist or gardener. Farewell to those last tomatoes that were trying to appear!

Just Another Chilly Day…

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Suna was keeping Carlton warm, or vice versa, this morning.

Autumn arrived with a bang yesterday (that high school football game was CHILLY!), and it got me to thinking I ought to write more little “slice of life” posts in among the more serious ones. So, here’s what’s going on today.

Brr

I was so cold night before last that I bundled up extra last night by sleeping in my bathrobe. I guess the dogs were cold, too, because at one point I had two heads on me, plus one at my feet. I just did my best to roll over. When Lee woke up, he saw me sleeping with Carlton under my arm. The little weenie dog was totally under the covers!

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That door will now go up and down, as a door should. Lee is telling the garage door guy all about our real estate business model in this picture. Always looking for houses to buy.

A Much Needed Repair

And today the chill didn’t stop a garage door repair guy from cheerfully showing up and getting the right side door of our big garage working again. It had shaken itself totally out of alignment. Those are BIG doors.

Now I can park my car under there again. I think the mouse population has decreased and it will be safe again. Plus, I never put food in my car!

So, that’s today’s excitement. Later the horses may get groomed (they sure need it) and we’ll see if there are any more dead chickens. The sheep are still with us, thankfully.