Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, June 13, 2011


While other parts of the country are getting too much rain, we haven't had enough. This is the worst drought I've experienced in the 30 years I've lived in this area of Texas. By May it was already looking like it does in September, grass all brown and brittle, trees looking stressed....Wild fires are the big worry.

Our river that runs through it, is low. The 24-year average flow rate for this time of year is 89 cubic feet per second. The previous low was 37 CFS. As of the 6th it was flowing a mere 12 CFS. The average 30-year rainfall for the first six months is around 12.7 inches. We've had four.

We are drying up and blowing away.

That said, our back yard has become kind of haven for an abundance of critters. Here's Toad, returning to Toad Hall after a night out.
These guys, and other waspy types, are paying regular visits to the bird bath.
Texas red wasp and Yellow jacket
A lovely snake called a Mexican Racer came to call. It was about four feet long. I didn't have time to get the camera before it squeezed into a hole in one of the railroad ties. You can see a picture of what they look like here.

(Spider alert!) This beauty made its way across our lawn, which you can see is more dirt than grass. Stan found another (or perhaps the same one) living under a rock in the front yard.

A whole family of Northern Jays has taken up residence, food and water being always available. (Image compliments of Ken Thomas.)

In the past the occasional Jay has dropped in for a snack and drink but parents with young, hanging around on a permanent basis, hasn't happened before. We've also had two, possibly three other birds visit that we weren't able to identify. Of course there are the regulars, titmice, chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, sparrows, whitewing doves, Inca doves, and our favorites mockingbirds. One mockingbird has a broken foot but seems to getting around just fine.

And let me not forget squirrels and lizards of various kinds.

And hummers. More than usual are fighting and fussing over the feeders as there are so few flowers.

Bats don't usually show up until later in the summer, but they're here already as our yard has a night light which attracts insects.

We had to put up an electric fence to keep the deer out. A part of me feels sorry for them. But the population is so large there's need for a natural culling.

The other day there was hawk in the yard. They come by often enough that we call it fly-in dining. There will be a small explosion of noise and movement near the tree where the birdfeeder hangs followed immediately by total silence.

The only thing missing is bees. Haven't see any this spring. Worrisome.

If you've had too much rain, huff and puff and blow it our way, we'd be ever so thankful!


  1. Wow, that's not good. My first thought was, uh-oh, fire hazard, and then you mentioned that. How scary. Are they rationing the water? Bummer. I hope you get rain soon,

  2. I've been watching the wildfires rage in Arizona for the last week and wondered why, if they could put a man on the moon, they can't tap into the Missouri river and take some of that water and pipeline it to places that need it.

    Still working on your pickled beets.

  3. We've had an abundance of rain this year...broke some records I think. I wish I could send some your way.

  4. LynNerd, We're on Stage 3 water restrictions. There are 5 stages, the last being no watering of the yard at all.

    Yeah Anne, Arizona gets in the news, but Texas has already lost nearly THREE MILLION acres to fires this year.

    Me too mybabyjohn.

  5. Only 4 inches?! Wow. Like mybabyjohn, I wish I could send you some of our moisture. Love the photos and insights into local animal behavior. Interesting how animals can survive harsh conditions.

  6. I enjoyed the peek into your backyard habitat, and I'm hoping some balance is restored to your area soon.

    Here's wishing some rain and bees come your way!

  7. Oooh, loverly, loverly pictures. The spider looks like I could pet him. You can have our rain anytime, Bish.

  8. They're saying it's supposed to be a hot, dry summer this year but we haven't seen a sign of it yet.

    It's too bad we can't send the rain from the places that are being flooded to the places that are too dry.

  9. Oh wow, you've got some visitors and a half there.

    We have just been informed we are officially in a drought, but I haven't noticed any effects yet. Farmers have been told to stop watering their fields which is going to have a knock on effect on their livelihoods and the produce, but it's not filtered through there. You'd think with a planet filled with water they would have figured out a way to sort this problem by now wouldn't you. A drought on a planet 80% water!

  10. The world seems out of balance, crazy weather everywhere. I sure hope you get rain soon, for your sake and the critters.

  11. Wow. You have critters of all kinds there! But exactly how big is that spider?

    On the other hand, after growing up with land crabs and their buddies, spiders probably don't bother you in the least. ;)

  12. Adrienne, I hope balance is restored soon as well. Even the might cypress along the river banks are showing signs of stress.

    Send that rain this way Vijaya. We'll take all that you can give us!

    CR, the weather does seem to have its knickers in a twist these days. At least here, we are safe from tornadoes.

    No doubt about a drought here Rebecca. The weather people are calling it an "exceptional" drought.

    Ah Tricia...the critters are taking it on the chin along with trees and plants.

    Suzanne, I used to be terrified of spiders, as close to phobic as I suppose one can get without being absolutely over the edge. Anyway, got over it, desensitized myself. The tarantula in the picture was probably (with legs stretched out) about the size of my hand, 4 to 5 inches across. Not a really big one, but not small either.

  13. Droughts are so hard on the animals, other critters, and growing things. It's sad how brutal Mother Nature can be. Here's hoping you get a big, old fashioned thunder storm and drenching real soon.

  14. Wow, great pictures, but that spider is icky, icky, icky! I hope you get some relief from your drought soon. We're having the opposite problem in Montana and everything is flooding.

  15. I hope the rain falls for you, my friend. We had some on Wednesday, but need a lot more. Everything is out of sync.

    I forgot to do the drawing on Ian's books. Anyway, says it was you, Bish. I need your address, girlfriend. I'll mail them out end of next week when I get into town to the post office. :-)

  16. I gave you an award on my blog today, Bish. But sadly, Blogger is still messing with me and won't let me edit or post links.

  17. I wish you rain...but feel glad you can see the beauty in spite of the lack...

  18. We live in sort of permanent drought here, but surprisingly haven't had water restrictions in a couple years, though that's due to snow pack in the mountains being adequate. We've had some fires around here, as well as getting smoke from the Arizona fires! Love the photo of the bluejay. I used to see them at my grandmother's in Oregon all the time, but I'm not sure we even have them in Colorado. I need to look it up! I've certainly never seen one around here. I hope you guys get some rain and can pull through the drought.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!

    Shannon @ The Warrior Muse


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!