Sep 12

Water, water, everywhere…

Posted: under Water, Weather.
Tags: ,  September 12th, 2009

…means plenty for wildlife to drink.   And plenty for us to rejoice over.  And me to wade in, while going out to take pictures of this bounty.   Here’s a view of the near meadow…you can compare it to the July 6 picture

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Sep 11

Wetness Falls from the Sky

Posted: under Water, Weather.
Tags:  September 11th, 2009


I woke to rain several times last night–it paused for an hour or two this morning, when we made it outside to check the gauges near the house (1.3 inches at that point) and walk out to the near meadow (puddle behind the #3 gabion.)    Then it started again.

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Aug 21

August Water Garden

Posted: under Water, Weather, Wildlife.
Tags: , , ,  August 21st, 2009

Our backyard water garden, filled from collected rainwater, is longer than the house–over sixty feet, comprised of pools of different shapes and sizes with narrow “chutes” of water between them.   In this drought year, it’s the largest water source for wildlife for more than a mile in any direction: stock tanks are dry, the little water guzzlers on the 80 acres are much smaller, the nearest water in the creek is a mile downstream (and has dried up several times.)


This upper end, narrow and partly shaded even in drought, attracts the shyer small birds and shade-preferring dragonflies.

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Mar 16

After the Rain

Posted: under Activities, Plantlife, Water, Weather.
Tags: , , , ,  March 16th, 2009

Plants around here take immediate advantage of water, so the change in color after less than a week from the first drop of rain is striking.

Near Meadow

Near Meadow

Not only does green show on the mowed maintenance path, but at the base of the taller clumps to either side.   Rain started Wednesday; this was taken Sunday.  Last week,  no green.

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Mar 13

And More Rain

Posted: under Water, Weather.
Tags: , ,  March 13th, 2009

We hit the jackpot this time.   Before dark today, Richard recorded a storm total (over three days ) of  4 inches at Owl Pavilion,  3.7 at Fox Pavilion.   The two house gauges, one north of our house and one west of the other house, were measured at roughly noon,  both over 3 inches.


This is a shot from the end of the front porch, across the barn pen fence, into the south horse lot, about four Friday afternoon.  Puddles!!!  Green!!!  (that field was gray-tan three days ago.  Our grass is ambitious.)

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Mar 11


Posted: under Water, Weather.
Tags:  March 11th, 2009

Last night the front blew in.  I was awake with a cramp (one of those you get up and loosen, think is gone, lie down, and it comes back) and all the windows were open–it had been near 80 in the day and was still in the 70s when we went to bed.   So I was muttering to the cramped muscle, when a little trickle of cool air came in the NE window.   Cold fronts here send scouts slithering under the warm air masses, lifting their skirts, as it were, testing to see if the warm air mass can be moved, before the real wind starts.  The front wasn’t supposed to arrive that soon, but nothing that cool had been around for weeks.

Then I heard it in the distance, an advancing roar.  The curtain fluttered, then lifted out into the room an inch or so.  The roar came nearer; the hall bathroom window shade banged on the frame, and I scuttled around in the dark shutting all the north-side windows, and smelling what I hoped was rain on the wind.

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Mar 04

Spring Hopes

Posted: under Land, Plantlife, Weather, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  March 4th, 2009

Even in a year this dry, some of the native plants (and a few non-natives) do their best to keep alive and growing.

One of the natives we’ve nurtured for years in the yard is the scarlet buckeye, an understory tree that hates sun and drought–but thrives in shady canyons near permanent water.  Our version of that is the shade of a big old ash and regular watering.   I’d like to move its progeny into the creek woods, but right now they’re far too dry (and too far away to water.)  It’s just showing its flower buds now; they’ll be open in a few days.


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Jan 05

It was supposed to rain…

Posted: under Weather.
Tags: , ,  January 5th, 2009

…NOT give us an ice storm.  An ice storm after drought is particularly tough on trees weakened by drought.

What we’re having is a mix of rain and freezing rain, with temps at ground level just below freezing.  Already the junipers are drooping, limbs weighed down by the ice.    Here’s  a picture of some backyard trees.

Ice storm

Ice storm

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Dec 12


Posted: under Sky, Weather.
Tags: ,  December 12th, 2008

In winter, the full moon (or nearly full–let’s not quibble) on a clear cold night makes the whole world silver.  And when it sets–that gold coin slipping down into a blue almost the same as the shadowed bottom of a thundercloud, with a band of softest rose above it–it’s worth staring at for the entire display.  Right now it’s visible out my window–half down into the trees across the field–and I’ve been watching for almost an hour as it went from silver to the palest gold, the color deepening moment by moent to the warm golden yellow it is now, the shadow-blue slowly thinning–now with a lavender band that a moment ago was still blue, and the rose above shading to paler and paler rose until it shifts into the pale blue of the dawn sky.

A last sliver of gold now…watching and trying to type as it vanishes, the planet whirling towards dawn…and there…it’s gone.

The horses are munching morning hay.  The first birds haven’t shown up yet.  Now the blue band is lavender all the way to the horizon, and rapidly turning pinkish.  Soon the sun will fire the tops of the red oaks.

Reasons to get up early.

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Dec 10


Posted: under Weather.
Tags:  December 10th, 2008

Yesterday morning was warm (70s) with a damp, strong southerly wind.

Then a brief period of relative calm, still warm.

Then the norther–strong north wind (dryer at first) with “possible rain”.  Ha.  This is Texas.  What we got was thunder, rain, hail, sleet, and snow…and sleet and snow mixed.

Today?  Cold (below freezing), nearly clear skies, and strong north wind.

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