Click any photo to enlarge

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Excitement building

 I'm excited for migrants to start arriving any day. The oasis is ready for them. To add to the fun, I ordered a couple of new hummingbird feeders that I plan to hang at the ponds in town during the festival next month. Haven't done that before. It might attract some rarities. Plus these new feeders have near vertical feeding ports which birds favor. 



Tomorrow I'm going to the oasis to service feeders and maybe find some neat odes. The mosquitoes are sure to have arrived by now.


Here's the latest article that has a blurb about me in it. If you don't want to read the whole thing, it's the paragraph below the photo of a jay with food in its beak.


https://www.texasobserver.org/small-birds-in-big-bend/?fbclid=IwAR0Q-i_Y-XC-xHsAuoQjD6YfBI4puHn9F--H0-QiqV-XBT29wlIn9tvYdDs


Summer has been dreary so far, but with what water I have and imminent migration, it's going to be fun!


Thursday, July 29, 2021

A new day, new energy

 I woke up yesterday, after a night's sleep, determined to get the water out of the lower dirt tank. A killer, and took all day, but I did it. I was surprised I got 10,000 gallons out. Enough to nearly fill the round rock tank.



So now I'm back in town to rest for a couple of days. Stress is gone!


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Finally a decent rain

Every time my sister texts me that she got some rain, I get her to go up to the oasis to see if the oasis got any, and never anything. So two days ago she texted that she got a third an inch (one mile north of oasis). I checked with the neighbors three miles south and they only got a sprinkle. So I figured at best I got a quarter inch. Not enough to create runoff. And since I'd be down there the following day (yesterday) it could wait.


So I came down at my usual time, after I do supper with my husband, but before dark.  I rushed around all day, no nap, getting my chores done. That means cutting husband's toenails, laundry, make beds, bake husband cake, make him a 3 day supply of salads, etc. I reasoned I'd only have to service feeders when I got down here, and then the next day (today), after a good night's sleep, I'd water trees and head back to town.


But upon checking the rain gauge (.85") things started to get exciting. Since 30 hours had passed since the rain, I'd lost quite a bit already in the dirt tanks. I struggled for an hour with the pump before calling my son for help. He got here at 10 PM, got two pumps running and left at midnight. But this morning after staying up all night gassing up one of the pumps, my vertigo still bad, I got my sister and her daughter to come help with another pumping chore.... setting up a pump in the stucco tank to top off the new above 65,000 gallon tank. I had used 3 feet from it and anxious to replace that.



So the bottom line is, I'm collapsed in exhaustion. Gonna have to let one dirt tank go. The big cement tank lacks one and a half foot of being full, plus enough to top off the new tank. That should get me by a year if no more monsoonal rain comes. It for sure would if half that approximately 100,000 gallons in the big tank wouldn't get lost to evaporation. But I'm sure more hopeful than I was several days ago.


The dragonfly pond caught a little, but nothing for the soapberry thicket in the arroyo. Not enough to go over the dam, which is necessary for the thicket to get a good soaking. Still, nearly an inch of rain on it is good. Surely, it won't be the last for the year.



Thursday, July 22, 2021

And the work goes on...

...and the work goes on. The blind is pretty much done now. Madge Lindsay, Cecilia Riley, and Mike Gray came and did some finishing touches. At some point I'm going to cover the space between the two blinds, but not in this daily triple digit heat.



I found a snake that looked different. For one thing, it was green and lacked the stripes of a garter snake, but I guess that's what it is.


I haven't blogged for nearly two weeks, but nothing has changed. No rain, miserable gnats, too hot, and I'm still puny. I keep hoping for an interesting butterfly, dragonfly, or bird to cheer me up, but all I got was a snake and a stone. The stone was interesting, however. I found it right beside the path that goes around the dragonfly pond (when it rains, of course). It's a prehistoric knife. Tells me this oasis has been used for a very long time, and will continue to be used for a very long time. Just don't know in what capacity.



Over the years I've found many dozens of stone tools, but this one surprised me since it's been over 25 years since that dirt has been placed there. Originally, we excavated it out to make our first tank. The artifact was less than an inch from the walkway that I worked so hard to line with vertical thin rocks. I guess wind and erosion uncovered it.

Update: Mike took these artsy pics of the place today.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Blind near completion

Yesterday Mike and Cecilia went to the oasis to work on the blind. It's almost done except for the wood finishing and the cover over the photography port in the front. I sewed the cover for it today, so it'll be on soon, but everything is fully functional. Eventually I'm going to put a roof on the space between the two blinds. So much gratitude to all who helped make this possible, especially to Mike and Cecilia. (photos by Mike)



Now I just need my tanks full and great birds and my world will be complete! Tomorrow I go down to service feeders and do at least some watering. I haven't fully recovered from my last time there, but I did get the watering, and lots of needed pruning, done then. Tomorrow I won't need to prune so maybe I'll survive without getting punier. My vertigo still isn't gone and it really saps me.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Pretty bleak

It rained all around but missed the oasis again. Vegetation is really looking bad. I think this madrone isn't going to be long in this world.



There were no interesting birds, butterflies, or odes to photograph, so even though I'm not really into moths, I photographed some while I was watering trees. I have no idea what they are. They love the ubiquitous beebrush.