It was a dry fall, after a dry summer, and a dry winter followed the dry fall. Other places got rain–sometimes nearby–but we had none for months. March brought a little–April has brought a little–and now we have some flowers.
The bluebonnets may be only 4-5 inches tall, instead of knee-high, but they’re there–in a few places–and should be able to make seed for another year. We had more through most of the dry winter, but many finally just died–or were eaten, since they were the only green thing out there.
Fence-building is a constant chore–we bought the place with a lot of very old, raggedy 4-wire barb-wire fence with a few other bits patched in, and have been repairing and then replacing, bit by bit. This year we’re hoping to finish the west end fence (the south end of it was done a couple of years ago, but paused when illness took down the fence-builder for awhile. Then he set to on taking the south fence all the way to, and across, the creekbed while it was dry, last year.)
This was in an earlier phase of working on the west fence, south of the tributary creek crossing.
Here’s what the tributary crossing framing looks like today, plus Chief Fencebuilder hammering in a staple with the pickaxe:
Meanwhile, I went off to check the water at Owl Pavilion (the rain barn we built on the SW corner of the place, that collects rainwater for the wildlife waterer there. Pedaling along on my new vehicle is faster than walking, and the back basket lets me carry quite a few things–though today it was the camera, binoculars, and a denim overshirt…started out cool.
We planted several native flowering plants in the area–firecracker bush, mealy blue sage, and–spectacular in this drought spring–a Texas columbine in the pool below the artificial spring that runs when the solar panel has enough light.
While I was waiting for the system to refill from the big tanks, I spotted a male black-chinned hummingbird on one of the old juniper branches sticking out the top of a brushpile.
He kept coming back to that perch repeatedly while I was there. Then it was back to the house, a little less than a mile ride away.
You can see how dry and not green the grass is here; there’s some low green grass under it, but nothing like April should be. Still, we had some rain last week, so I expect more flowers will try to come out and set seed before it gets hotter.