Woodpeckers at Work

Ah, the sound of a busy-signal that’s not one. I have mixed emotions about woodpeckers. I love seeing and hearing them. I don’t love seeing them on the trees around RedQuarters, because that often means that we are about to lose either the entire tree, or a large branch. Every tree we lose is between $5,000 and $30,000 property loss. Yes, having shade is that important around here! Continue reading

Of Course it Will Freeze Now

That’s one consistent thing in the Texas Panhandle when it comes to weather. If you want a hard freeze in spring, order new plants. You don’t even have to stick them in the ground.

Yes, we’re doing the houseplant Hokie-Pokie around here again. “You bring the houseplants in/ You take the houseplants out/ You bring the houseplants in/ And you move them all about.” And re-shuffle the garage, and move garage stuff onto the porch, and make a tent for the plants you are hardening off to plant, and . . . Continue reading

Either My Truck Was Attacked

by a maniacal baker hurling poppy seeds all over the landscape, or the trees are doing the birds and the bees.

We got half an inch of rain last night (yeah!!!! [happy dance]), most of which fell slowly over 5-6 hours. A million-dollar rain, in other words.  Wind followed as the low pressure system passed. So everything was nice and moist. Slightly tacky. And so my vehicle got attacked by . . . the Pollinator. Continue reading

Alas, Poor Dove . . .

The dove has experienced the Raptor. It is either a sharp-shinned hawk, or a Cooper’s hawk. The two are almost identical, other than the shape of the feathers on their heads.

We have three bird feeders, and the doves scavenge off what the smaller birds scatter. Every so often, a hawk “hunts over bait,” as Dorothy G phrased it. The bird books say to take down the feeders when that happens, so the hawk won’t hang around. As many doves and grackles and starlings as we have? Nah!

Piddlin’ Around

It is a colloquial term for doing things that might or might not need to be done, but that are small. Repainting the living room is not piddlin’ around. Pulling random weeds out of the garden as you walk past, then checking the bird bath, adding water to bird bath, then tying up a rambling rose that has rambled a bit much . . . that’s piddlin’ around. Continue reading

Winter Sunrises

The combination of sheets of high clouds from storm systems that miss the Panhandle, plus the southerly track of the sun, have combined to give us amazing sunrises this past week. They incline towards crimson and gold, with splashes of pink in the opposite sky.

The storm tracks have been south of this area, or north. As a result, the moisture and lower clouds remained far away. However, the ice clouds that trail along the sides of the storm track have been a near-constant presence, some days thickening until they form a sheer, milky cover that mutes the afternoon sun and swallows any sunset. Continue reading