Last night a cold front settled down in central Texas. The high yesterday was 92 degrees. The temps today have dropped nearly 50 degrees. A rude awakening.
All but one of my hummingbirds have moved on. This one has spent the day under the eaves out of the rain, sheltered from the north wind, and with its personal supply of nectar. I named her Ellie. I hope she makes it.
A year or two ago, I installed a small water feature under the oaks next to our back patio. It was a small fountain powered by a tiny water pump (4W, 80 gallons per hour). The birds have enjoyed it almost as much as I have.
The first pump lasted about a year. I clean it every few weeks. But one day it just stopped working. No problem. I ordered another pump from amazon and installed it. A week later some varmit pulled the pump out of the water basin, and it ran dry until it melted. 😦
I bought a third pump and the same thing happened; probably by the same damn varmit. 😡
This time, I’ve placed the pump under a rock and added a piece of plastic tubing to carry a stream of water through holes in the rock onto the pebbles below.
We spent last week driving to Florida and back to attend the best-reunion-evah. 🙂 I have so many pictures, my eyes are glazing over. I kind of like this one. The old gives life to the new. Bloom where you are planted, my friends.
I discovered a lovely park, right off Loop 360 and Spicewood Springs Road. The trail head for the Irving and Hazeline Smith Memorial Trail is on the northwest corner of the intersection. You can park right nearby. It’s an easy, flat, 1.5 mile loop through woods, grassland and near the creek. No dogs permitted, though.
Today I went birding with my friend, Doray, to Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. I’m a novice. I was able to get a lot of amazing photos of tree branches. 🙂 If I ever get an amazing photo of a bird, I may share here. But for now, I won’t bore you with it. We did see several kinds of birdies, so I’m calling it a success.
I was walking back from the shop today when I saw a butterfly fluttering among the zinnias. She flitted around, while I stopped to watch, for a good 2 minutes, posing, in perfect light. Of course I didn’t have a camera with me. When I got back in the house I grabbed my phone and popped back out. She was still there, but wouldn’t let me get as close, and didn’t pose as perfectly this time — camera shy, i guess. I took some zoomed-in shots, not crisp, but pretty. I think this is an eastern black swallowtail. She does love the zinnies.
I took a walk around the hood tonight to hit my step target. And I came across this little lady who was very wary of me. I said hi, took a picture and kept moving on down the road. I’d like to think that she has a similar snap of me.
We have been working in the yard quite a bit lately. Two weekends ago we set out to save a stand of 5 or six struggling young liveoaks in our back wooded area that had been dealt two bad cards: they were being overshadowed by invasive hackberry trees, and completely defoliated by catepillars this spring. They looked like goners.
So we cut the hackberries down, fertilized the oaks, and sprayed to get rid of the remaining catepillars. For the last two weeks i’ve been checking on them every day, watching tiny lime green buds pop out up and down each branch, and then watching the buds turn into tiny leaves. And with all the recent rains they are starting to look like trees again. I think they’ll make it!