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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good ole Odile

Got to CMO late this afternoon to discover I'd gotten another rain yesterday of .66" But if it ran, it didn't run much because it didn't cause the arroyo to run at my sister's house a mile downstream. Everything was brimful here, of course. I had to catch gambusias to put in the lower dirt tank in hopes of not having too many mosquitoes in a week. Should do it in the upper dirt tank too, but not enough energy. Gonna enjoy a mosquito-less day tomorrow though.

Not much time after doing what I had to do to take photos. Just snapped one of a female Black Swallowtail and a Monarch. That's about it. Everything is lush and green.

I had worn myself out before I ever got here from working on the road as I came in. My assessment of the road is that if it was decent before Hurricane Odile, except for about 10% that was rough, but not terrible, it is now about the same except 20% rough, but not terrible. I'll work on it more this winter, bit by bit.

Here's a photo I took the other day of an Evergreen Sumac in bloom. It should be loaded with berries for the birds this winter, as should a lot of other stuff.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Continuation of rain photos

The videos weren't playing right on the blog so I changed it to links. I think you'll enjoy them better played properly with sound, so check it out.

Here is the wildlife pond a couple hours before the rain.

And here it is right after the rain.

It seems neighbors to the south and west didn't get any of the rain and I don't think the other directions got very much. Dumped all on me. That happened once before, I think it was around the year 2000. Mixed in with the rain was hail, so it seemed appropriate to do an ice bucket challenge.

I stuck my head under the water and hail pouring off the eaves, but with no one there to take my photo I had to move away from the eaves to keep my cell phone dry while I took my selfie. Oh, well....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Huge rain at CMO

Computer is down at CMO so had to come to town. The rain actually caught me by surprise. So there were dark clouds here and there. Nothing unusual about that. Rain threatens a lot and nothing ever happens. Knowing I had to come to town I couldn't put off filling the hummingbird feeders any longer. I didn't want to do them, then have it rain, and have to redo them, but that's exactly what happened. As I filled feeders I saw a large somewhat dark rain cloud to the west. As I finished the feeders, a few sprinkles fell. For the third time today. No big deal, no lightning, wind, or anything ominous.

Went to the house to wash the feeders I had taken down, and immediately the skies let loose.  Ended up with an inch. Twice what I would have liked. I took a lot of video and that will give you a better sense of it. First I had to get out of the house.

Can't get the rain videos to work right so here are links. Hope that works.

Water only goes over the lower dam when everything else if full. I hope the stucco tank can stand the pressure of being overflowing. Even a few inches over the spillway puts a lot of extra pressure on it.

When I get back down there I'll be able to tell if it sprang any new leaks by how much the level went down. Meanwhile, I'm set for water until next rainy season. Before the rain I took some photos I wanted to post, but I forgot to take them off the computer at CMO. Here's one of a Mexican Metalmark that I had sent Brian so was able to retrieve it.

I feel like I should say something about a remark I was quoted as saying on the National Public Radio interview that will air any day now. Here is the quote that has hurt or raised eyebrows of some family members: 

I remind her of a blog entry from a couple of months earlier. Writing about the oasis, she confessed that the water has come to mean more to her than anything. “It’s bigger than my grandkids,” she said.  [Carolyn laughs]

Keep in mind my long interview of about 2 hours was cut down to about 2 minutes. The quote, regarding water, was, "It's bigger than my grandkids." I haven't checked the aforementioned blog post, but I think I said something about my life revolving around water. I meant to convey that in order to have the oasis, water has to have priority, take center stage, in my life. And priorities change too. If all your dishes are dirty, washing them becomes priority. If you don't have clean clothes to wear, doing laundry takes priority.

I'm fortunate that my kids are raised, and are doing a wonderful job of raising my grandkids, so that I can focus on the oasis. It's true that I'm not the doting grandmother type, and I hope my actions and words inspire young women to realize that it's OK if you don't want to devote your lives, after raising kids, to being a doting grandmother, and then great-grandmother. I love my family very much and would give my life gladly for every last one of them. More than needing a doting grandmother, they need to become prepared for the real world. In an emergency, I am there, and will always be there. But because they live so far away, I had to choose. I couldn't have both. They've got plenty of helicopter parents doting on them. Now in my golden years, I'm free to pursue my passions. They can call or text me as much as they like. I'll always be here for them if they need me, day or night.

Oh, I forgot the most important part of that quote. "[Carolyn laughs]" It was a joke. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The day felt normal

I'm never sure what normal is, but my vertigo was a little better and I even put 10 gallons of dirt on my madrone wall. Hope to do twice that tomorrow. And I'm still waiting for rain. Business as usual.

Snakes still eating frogs.

Finally a normal number of butterflies for this time of year, though nothing unusual that I could find. Everything is in bloom. The sunflowers (or whatever they are) are at their peak. I was especially hoping to find a Mimosa Yellow or Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak since Brian found them while he was here. Maybe tomorrow.

The Woolly Paintbrush has lost its lustre except for this one fresh bloom down in the arroyo.

I'll close with a Cloudless Sulphur shot from today for lack of anything more exciting to post.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NPR's July interview results

A couple of months ago National Public Radio interviewed Kelly Bryan and myself during a banding session at CMO.

( Here is the result of those interviews.

Go to that link and click on "an oasis for birds" for the segment on me. Here's a photo they took during the session of me bagging a hummingbird after removing it from the trap.

The weather got decent today but I didn't spend much time looking for butterflies or anything. Tomorrow I plan to go to Marathon and see if I can photograph interesting stuff there. I took this hairstreak photo by our ponds here in Alpine today. It's probably just a worn Gray Hairstreak. Will get Brian to confirm when he arrives home from his trip here, safely I hope.

UPDATE: Just a worn Gray Hairstreak per Brian.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

No rain yet

This double system bringing rain from the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Pacific hasn't brought more than a few sprinkles to CMO so far. At least I'm not hurting for water, would just like to top things off and get a break from watering for awhile.

My butterfly guru, Brian, made a short visit this past week. He didn't find much flying in all this cold, foggy weather, but showed me an Orange Giant-Skipper he raised from an AZ caterpillar. It's so beautiful, I can't resist posting it here.

My friend, Bonnie Wunderlich, who lives near Terlingua, sent me this photo of nearly a dozen young quail drinking at her water feature. You don't see a sight like that very often.  

posted with Bonnie's permission
The weather has caused some interesting mushrooms to erupt from the ground but I know nothing about mushroom species.