A Hugely Successful Earth Day Celebration

Here’s Suna’s Earth Day Celebration Report.

Nature Along the El Camino Real

by Sue Ann Kendall

I’m interested in nature, too.

The 2019 Earth Day Celebration is in the books! It was a great success, too! At least 100 people and two dogs visited the Community Room on Main Street in Rockdale to see the El Camino Real Master Naturalists and their exhibits. We were joined by local Girl Scouts of Central Texas troops and the Little River Basin Master Gardeners, too. (It helps that many of our members are also Master Gardeners.)

Rosie Johnson did a great job decorating the outside of the Community Room in Rockdale.

Many thanks go out to Donna Lewis and the rest of the Earth Day Committee, who put in a lot of effort and planning to make this event successful. There were so many details, but they were all handled very well!

Donna Lewis takes a break to talk to Catherine Johnson during setup.

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Whew! Even Taking a Break Is Work

Fair warning: the reason I wrote nothing in any of my blogs yesterday is that even when I was resting I was doing stuff! Since I’m not at the computer yet, I’ll just summarize and write more later.

Vehicles

Friday was spent driving all over the county with Lee and Mandi looking for a good used car for her, and seeing if we could find a replacement for our huge diesel truck that we could actually use around Cameron.

Traverse
I actually liked this white, because we could put a sign on it. A nice used vehicle.

We found that I like a Chevy Traverse and Lee likes Suburbans, which are still too giant for me. Unfortunately Lee couldn’t get the trade-in he wanted on the truck, so we walked away. But al least I realized that a smaller SUV was okay for me and at least some Chevy vehicles aren’t plasticky.

The drive was worth it, though, because the countryside on the back road to Rockdale was gorgeous.

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Crow Drama! And Bluebirds

As I was leaving to go to my Cameron office this morning, I heard a strange bird call. It didn’t sound like anything I’d ever heard, so I looked up to see what new bird was on the property. All I could see was a crow.

And that crow was acting mighty strange. It was making this weird noise, that was not the usual “caw” at all, and flying round and round the large black willow tree in our arroyo. I noticed another crow, doing the same thing.

I don’t see anything a crow would want here.

So, I drove down the driveway to the gate. While I waited for the gate to open, I realized there were THREE rather upset crows, and they were circling because a red-tailed hawk was sitting on a branch of the tree, all huddled down. She was huddled down, because the crows were dive-bombing her over and over.

Of course, just as I got my camera out, she had enough of the torture and flew off. I inspected the tree as I drove off, and for the life of me I didn’t see any reason why the crows would have been so pissed off at the hawk. I know what a crow’s nest looks like, and there was not one on top of that tree (poor choice for a nest, the way willow branches fall off so easily). Maybe there was some other bird nest up there that the crows wanted to steal eggs from? I’ll look more closely when I get home.

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What’s Your Favorite Word?

A couple of days ago, as thoughts were passing through my consciousness, it just popped up, “My favorite word is ‘friend.'”

Friend

You’ve got a …. making friends for the world to see … one is silver and the other gold

Huh. I wondered where the heck that thought came from, and the first thing that came to me was that every time I say that word, I feel warm inside. Just a little bit of peace falls across my soul when I think of “friend.”

Is it the meaning?

I considered first whether I like the word because friendship is important to me. Most of my life I’ve yearned for close friends. There have been many times when I didn’t have any, just acquaintances or people I talk to because we are in the same group or school. I function best with one or two good friends who I can tell anything to and not feel judged. I have that at the moment, so hooray! So, that’s one factor.

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Projects and More Projects

There’s not much to share today, because I’ve been mainly preparing for things.

Last night I spent most of the night at a neighbor’s house participating in the HOA landscaping committee, which I and the other member not on the board were repeatedly reminded has NO power and makes NO decisions. I’m pretty sure the other woman and I were put on the committee to placate us after running for the board and losing or something.

This is the view of Cat Creek from the landscaping committee chair’s house.

It’s okay, though, because these folks had great wine and really nice Italian furniture. We actually did come up with a list of plants to humbly suggest that the board adopt as options for landscaping. They need to be drought tolerant and things deer don’t love.

One of the plants the chair of the committee just loved was one I wasn’t familiar with, though I’d heard of it. When I saw this lovely flowering tree at work, I thought it might be that, but no, it’s an orchid tree native to just this area. Very pretty, and it’s leaves are cool.

I like these leaves.

Another Project

Next Saturday is the Master Naturalist chapter’s big event of the year, our Earth Day event. They said they wanted exhibits, so I volunteered to do one on the dangers of balloons and plastic bags to livestock and wild animals.

I’ve ended up doing a lot of research and learning interesting things, so I also developed a presentation on the topic, with a pretty good slideshow, I think. I used it as the basis for my poster display.

I’d say it’s at least up to middle school standards.

Making the display was fun, because I got to use my collage supplies. Yay.

I’d hoped to present my information to a chapter meeting, but though I thought they said they were looking for speakers, when I wrote to volunteer, I was told they’re all full. Oh well. Maybe someone else would enjoy it.

Or maybe I’ll write it up here. That will wait until I have more energy.

Flowers Have Power

Peace, y’all

For some reason I was thinking about “flower power,” which those of us who were young a long dang time ago used to embroider on our jeans. If we had VW Beetles, we’d put happy flower stickers all over them, too. I was really into peace symbols, but I was always cheered up when I saw those happy little stylized flowers. I seem drawn to flowers when I’m feeling down or struggling with something going on in my life.

These guys always look like they are opening their mouths to sing.

Since I actually HAVE been struggling with some annoying personal crap, and since we are losing chickens again, I was very much drawn to all the flowers when Anita and I went shopping for some spring plants yesterday. I kept taking extreme closeups of them, probably because I know the sun on my deck would bake them to crisps and I would not get to enjoy them live. (What a Negative Nellie I am!)

I always had to say “perky and pink” when I said petunia.

I have to say that I felt a LOT better when we got home (it may also have been due to excessive smelling of lilacs and chocolate mint, too). So, well, do flowers actually affect mood; I mean, is there scientific evidence?

How do these cheer me up? They are my mother’s favorite colors.

Apparently the answer is yes. A team of “smart doctors” are cited in this recent article from the UK, appropriately subtitled “Does Flower Power Boost Your Mood?” Sure enough, they help with anxiety, even for hospital patients, so be sure to send your friends flowers.

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Tribute to a Rooster

I don’t cry much anymore. I used to cry multiple times a day, but I hadn’t in months, until yesterday. I thought the chickens were acting a bit off, and when I walked into the coop, I saw why.

Of these chickens, we lost two this weekend.

There lay one of the older black hens, with our dear rooster, Buckbeak, lying at her side. I screamed, “Nooo!” as if that would fix things. It never does.

A couple of weeks ago, Buckbeak inspected Tyler’s new garden. He was a red sex-linked rooster (they have different color chicks depending on sex).

I was pretty stoic when all the other roosters and so many hens were attacked and killed over the winter. This one was different, since I Buckbeak was one of the oldest chickens in the flock, and I had known him since right after he hatched, around three years ago. He outlived all the other roosters, and was always there, protecting his “ladies.” Or trying to make more chickens with them. Ahem.

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