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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Not over til it's over

I knew there had been a Violet-crowned Hummingbird being seen recently at a home in Sanderson, but had no intention of going to see it.  BUT, when there was mention of a possibility that it might be a first US record of an Azure-crowned Hummingbird I had to chase it just in case. Sanderson is less than 100 miles from here in Alpine. The weather was nice in Alpine so I didn't take anything except a light jacket. But a cold front had blown in at Sanderson and it was not only cold, but no sunshine, which meant I couldn't get satisfactory pics. By the time I got back to Alpine it was a confirmed Violet-crowned though. I've seen that species quite often before, even had one at the oasis in Dec of 2011. Mine was the 19th Texas record and this one is #20.

On the way home, 20 miles east of Marathon, I saw a large flock of Wild Turkeys crossing the road. Accidentally had my camera set on video, so here it is.

2017 12-14 (1)

Then between Marathon and Alpine I ran into a small rain storm. I didn't want to stop for a photo so just held my camera at the window at 70 MPH. First time I tried doing that. Not too bad. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Quick CMO visit

I ran down this afternoon to check feeders and things. All dead there. Nothing enjoying the oasis except four Ring-necked Ducks. I probably won't blog much anymore for a few weeks. The purpose is to share the wonderful stuff at the oasis, but this time of year, nothing happening. Didn't even see a hummer in the short time I was there.

However, I'm almost finished with a long post recapping 2017, so don't give up on me totally. I'll wait for a week or so to post it, just in case something exciting happens in the meantime.

If my back is improving it's not really noticeable.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's always something

No sooner did I get over my cold than my back went out. I'm just hoping it's a pulled muscle and not disk deterioration. Nothing I did to cause anything to happen. So disgusting.  Gonna sit around in town for awhile. I know if I go south I won't rest. The pain pretty much prevents me from doing anything else, anyway. Watched a Rufous Hummingbird foraging outside the window today.

I went out to photograph it but couldn't carry my Canon, so used my Lumix. Can't stand up straight either.

Found some cool pics online of Alpine after the recent winter storm.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Another ordealic adventure

You're probably thinking I do this stuff so I'll have something to blog about. But I'm perfectly content to go days without blogging. 😆

This morning it occurred to me that I totally forgot to turn the valve off that feeds the semi-outdoor shower in the mudroom at CMO. If that pipe froze it would cost me 3000 gallons of water. Best I can figure, it got down to around 10-15° last night. Couldn't take the chance, even knowing I'd have to walk the last mile. Heading south from town the roads were icy but I didn't have any problem. Maybe the ice/snow was starting to get moisture on it because it was gone when I came back to town later today.

When my pickup wouldn't go anymore, I started the walk. 

Hadn't gone 200 hundred yards uphill when I realized the cold air was closing my bronchial tubes. Somehow forget about that. So daring not to take a chance I went back down to my pickup and got my inhaler. I managed to get halfway up the last hill to the house before I used it. Before then I remembered to cover my face to prevent breathing the cold air. That helped.

After I melted the snow in my rain gauge I ended up with over an inch total from the two-day event. Then I found a House Wren trapped in the Potty Shed. Finally got it out safely. The Ring-necked ducks are still enjoying the tank.

I put seed out for the birds and soon a covey of about 20 quail showed up, but when I got closer to take a photo most of them flushed. Too cold to wait them out.

By the time I headed back to my pickup things were melting and the cold didn't affect my breathing. Melting so fast that it was running down the road.

Took a few shots of the snow-covered mountains on the way back to town. 

Nine Point Mesa

Santiago Peak

Elephant Mountain

Thursday, December 7, 2017

More than I bargained for

Woke up to a snowy world, as predicted, but after taking my anticipated photos I discovered I couldn't leave here afterwards. The ground is wet and slushy under a blanket of snow and I didn't make it up the first little hill. Almost didn't make it back up the driveway to the house. First time in 40 years I've been stranded here. Might try to put some rocks in the bed of the pickup and try again later.

There are a couple of Ring-necked Ducks on the big tank.

Indoors oranges are ripening on the tree, and a warm fire is burning in the kitchen.


But outside the wind is howling and it's cold. I'm afraid to do too much for fear of pneumonia.

UPDATE: Finally got out and back to town. It was sure touch and go a couple of times. Got stuck on my road twice and the highway was real slick. I think they closed the big hill south of Alpine right after I got through.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Since snow is forecast for tomorrow, I came down today hoping to get photos of it tomorrow. So far it's been cold and rainy so it looks like the forecast is spot on. I love getting this moisture. Got a quarter inch today so far. Still drizzling.

I feel 90% recovered from my cold. Hope I don't get a relapse from this weather. If we get another rainy spell in January there should be wonderful wild flowers in the spring. Next spring I'm going to manipulate a verbena patch instead of leaving it to chance. That's my plan anyway.

I usually prefer to post current photos but once in a while I make an exception. Here's a picture of  the local bear that has been relocated. This photo was taken by a critter cam at night before the capture of the bear. Taken in the area somewhere, not sure exactly. Some years back we had deer feeders up that got tipped over and smashed. Now I know why.