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Monday, July 6, 2015

Hard at it

Dark clouds, but no rain yet. I had been hopeful hearing about the possibility of rain at CMO on the 4th, but when I got here I only had one-tenth of an inch in the rain gauge.


So I watered (sparsely) today. Also picked the remaining peaches but only brought two dryers with me. Didn't even have room to dry all the apricots I brought along. Getting run ragged here. Tomorrow's banding and going to town will arrive in no time.

About the best wildlife I enjoyed seeing today was a pair of Neon Skimmers. They mated, laid eggs, mated, laid eggs, over and over. All my egg-laying pics were a blur, but I got the mating.


My daughter that got married in Big Bend National Park on May 3rd, 2014 (see blog post for that day) is vacationing with her husband in Colorado at a silver mining town called Creede. She took this photo of a dog attacking a baby moose, but hastened to assure me they rescued the moose.



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Gonna cry "Uncle"!

Got all the apricots we could stand to pick. Loading the dryers all day every day kills my shoulder, back, thumb, besides I have to go to CMO tomorrow and service my feeders and maybe water. Not sure. My sister one mile to the north of CMO got a tiny shower, barely measurable, and friends three miles to the south got a sprinkle, but both told me it looked heaviest at CMO. Once in a great while I get a big rain when it misses everyone else, so I'm hoping I lucked out.

Peaches are ready and must be processed this week, in spite of my hectic schedule. The day after tomorrow (Tuesday) is hummingbird banding day. Then I have to rush to town and pick and process peaches. Wednesday Dr appointment (nothing serious), then Saturday early we leave for Hugh's grandson's wedding in Seminole, TX, so I have to juggle the drying in between everything else. Even have to get up and tend the dryers during the night 3 or 4 times. Don't know how long I can procrastinate on the apples. I'll carry fruit and dryers with me to CMO tomorrow but don't know if I'll get time to dry anything there. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Once I get past this week I think things will settle down to something more resembling normal.

I notice the peaches are growing in clusters somewhat like the apricots were. The peaches in the first photo don't look very healthy because they're on the main limb that broke off from the weight.



When I did take a short break it was stormy looking, though no storm ensued. But nothing interesting to photograph. Here's a Common Sootywing. One of these days I'll find something exciting, you just see if I don't!



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Still here

The other day I took a photo of a cluster of apricots on that friend's tree. I've never seen them grow in clusters like grapes before. They're really packed onto the tree.






































Today we attended hubby's friends annual BBQ.


Ate too much as usual, which makes me sleepy. Had to take a nap before picking peaches.

It's somewhat consoling that the Chalk Draw Ranch northeast of me about 10 miles hasn't had any rain either, although 10 miles south of me they had a 2" deluge last week. At least rain is in the forecast and I only need one good one to fill up my tanks for another year. I'm optimistic.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

All work and no play

I figure if I spent this much time every year drying fruit it would equal about one-tenth of my life. Hard to even imagine spending one-tenth of my life drying fruit.

Got up at 5 AM and made it almost to the oasis before the sun came up. Watched the sunrise driving east on Terlingua Ranch Road, about 7 miles from my destination.



Spent four hours watering and servicing my hummingbird feeders, then headed back to town to start picking peaches. Tomorrow we'll go for what I hope will be the last of the apricots. I'm dismayed to see that our apples are ready to dry too. I had been hoping for a break.

Was relieved to observe the bear hadn't returned to CMO. He will, I'm sure, when the acorns are ready. Before then I have to tie the oak tree limbs so his weight won't break them like happened last year. Or maybe it was the year before.

I toted my heavy Canon while watering, just in case. Not much happening. Too hot and dry. Normally it would take me 8 hrs to water but with the reserves so low I'm just giving things enough to keep them alive until it rains. That's the plan anyway.

Here's a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher I saw while watering.


I saw a juvenile male Lucifer Hummingbird too, but didn't manage to get a photo. We'll be banding Tuesday, so will likely have him in hand then.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hugh to the rescue

My husband wouldn't dream of leaving me to face bears alone. He went out and bought me a can of bear spray. It's a fogger, so a one shot deal. I'm going to spray it if a bear hangs around my hummingbird feeders and hope he'll leave and stay away.


I have to go check my feeders tomorrow and water, then rush back to town to work on fruit some more.

Waiting on the dryers I went out back to look for butterflies. Nothing interesting, just the same ones. I've posted so many photos of Vesta Crescents, but here's a lovely fresh female.



And a singing Western Kingbird. About it. Pretty boring.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wearisome day

My whole entire day was spent picking and drying. Getting really exhausted. So glad the apples aren't ready yet.



It doesn't show on the photos, but that tree is packed with huge apples.

I researched Black Bears online and feel much better. This site seems knowledgeable:

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/black-bear/bears-a-humans/119-how-dangerous-are-black-bears.html

Here it describes my situation:

We have seen a lot of advice to avoid eye contact and avoid running away, but we have been unable to find any instance where doing these things has precipitated an attack.  Fearful people usually tell us "I ran one way and the bear ran the other."

I'm going to buy a can of pepper spray and keep it down at the oasis just in case a bear becomes a nuisance. After reading that article, I realize the bear may not have been threatening me, but rather exhibiting nervousness. (My rapid departure probably decreased his nervousness dramatically.)

However, Wikipedia says that snorts are aggressive behavior, and further states, "Black bears rarely attack when confronted by humans, and usually limit themselves to making mock charges..."
At the time I felt like he mock charged me, which was probably a nervous reflex on his part.