Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Recent Spring "Joys"

I have lacked either the time, energy or desire to update this blog on a regular basis, indeed on many days there is just nothing to say.. Spent the last couple of days either working or on the road. Went to Round Top yesterday that ate up pretty much of that rainy day. Still rain is good and keep it coming. After last spring's horrendous drought I am glad to see so much greenery and bloom.

If you live in a rural areas make very sure that your water or well is turned off before you leave for a few days. I returned to find my front "yard" looking like this. No it is not an old "Indian Spring", but it is my septic tank boiling over and running down into the woods to the "creek"...Look close and you'll see Mouso the cat standing stream side down the hill. I had no idea what was going on as all the faucets were off but then found the float in the commode was stuck on so the well just ran all the time I was gone. The black area has nothing to do with this event . It is merely where I have continued to burn off the last remaining remnants of disgusting San Augustine grass that I fight so hard to get rid of. Was I ever a dumb ass for putting that stuff in, and even back then it was just two squares I found that had fallen off a truck.! Now after almost an inch of rain yesterday the yard is almost a swamp.

See the little 30.00 birdhouse I put up on the top right. The titmice people have taken it over and are nesting there now.

Next a photo of one of my "Mexican" Plums blooming. Last year it barely made a flower. This is a Texas endemic and grows nowhere else naturally. They smell so good and fill the property with that rich smell of spring. Already it is beginning to fade in bloom. Odd because the ones just 30 miles to the west and 400-500 ft. higher have just barely started to even bud. every thing down here is earlier, even our Redbuds are beginning to play out.

The next two shots are just of the budding/blooming Bradford Pear which is about done blooming and the Post Oaks which are just beginning to bloom. While I was home today with the door open, I could hear all day the White-eyed Vireos and Chipping Sparrows sing and often the Field Sparrows and a Blue-headed Vireo. Occasionally a Black-and-white Warbler, but no Yellow-throated Warblers yet. Just a couple of days to early for those but I have had them before this date.

Went birding a bit this morning but my mood/heart was not really into it despite the beauty of the morning. I went by a plant nursery east of Bastrop to look for a specific plant but they were not open so hit some local birding spots. Heard my first Hooded and Prothonotary Warblers today plus the usual suspects. No Waterthrush or Yellow-throated Vireo though I made no real effort to find them. And by chance as I was driving on Harmon Road, heard then saw a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers.

I actually had the Prothonotary on the Travis/Bastrop Co. line off of Lazy River Rd. Had planned to bird in Big Webberville Park but there were 3 mowers and a pressure washer doing make work on the Tax dollar, cutting grass that needed cutting about as much as my bathroom stall door needs a booger. Senseless mindless activity as it was mowed just last week.....Tried to go to the private turf farm of a friend's here near utley but the roads were just way to muddy after yesterday's rains and I could see the ruts from the tractors were deep and sliding all over.. Went to the little Utley cemetery where the White-throated Sparrows were singing and the spiderwort was blooming only to be scolded by House Wrens. I see saw that another one of the Sutton family had just been planted in the this mostly Black Cemetery. There are are many Suttons and Bells here in this pre-Civil War cemetery, mostly in unmarked graves.

Still in that funky mood I just went home. Was sad to hear that Pansy Espy had passed on at the age of 94. What stories I am sure she could have told about Ft. Davis, in the old days.
I never knew her well, having only met her a few times, but I did see her Mountain Plovers and it was on the Espy Ranch that I got my lifer Band-tailed Pigeon many years ago.

Another old friend passed this past weekend. A friend I will indeed very much miss. Max. Max was Steve and Susie's big gentle German Shepard that lived next door in Port O'Connor. So gentle even the Hockey's cats had not the slightest concern about him. Max and I did the birding "walkabout" in POC hundreds of times. He always lagging behind to visit the other dogs or read the "newspapers". Never ever did he get in the way of my birding and when we came to the corner of 7th and Jefferson, 9 blocks in from the beach, he would always stop and look at me . I knew it was his boundary and his eyes told me so., but I never understood why, so as I continued on to 8th street and beyond I would look back and see him heading back home via unpaved alleys, I will never be able to go to this intersection again in my life without thinking of Max....Why is it good animals like Max only get 11-12 years? He died peacefully under the Bell's porch sometime after Ladd and Petra took the boat out that morning. He too had a good life but I will really miss him.

I just Winston's "Black Dog" would go the same route. I guess some of us will always be cursed with his hound in our shadow.

I noted the Toadflax, beginning to bloom as are the Bluebonnets. That means the White Bass and Stripers are running. I can very well remember the endless hours we spent in the 70's and 80's fishing those Bluebonnet days off the gravelly Paradise Point on the west side of Lk. Buchanan, wading far out into the shallows, often tripping over stumps in the early morning darkness only to get soaked and almost freeze, but one after another we would would haul those fish in on silver spoons. Sometimes we even got into runs of 3-4 lb. Channel Cats. We were young and cold meant nothing nor did getting up at midnight or staying awake 36-48 hours at a whack. Fishing at night working by day.

I hope tomorrow is sunny as I need it. I am to tired and lazy to proof this so here it is in raw form.