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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy to be back at the oasis

I came down just before dusk today. The air looked cleaner than I had seen it in a long time so I couldn't resist taking a photo of our mountain coming in.

 Managed to fill a couple of feeders before dark, then with the light from the courtyard I unloaded a load of firewood that I had put in my pickup this morning.

That should last me through the winter because when the weather is cold here I generally stay by the fire in town. But I plan to bring down another load anyway. Might as well stock up while I can. One never knows what the future holds. Hoping for good photo ops tomorrow.

Feeling good. Weaather nice, rain forecast, tanks full, everything working, potential for roadwork soon. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How much should I water?

I planned on watering this morning before heading back to town, but it sprinkled lightly most of the morning. That didn't motivate me to do much watering. And more rain is forecast. So I watered enough to get by for a few days.

This afternoon the sun came out and there were butterflies everywhere. I couldn't find any new species, but did see my first Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak of this year.

On Friday I'm looking forward to meeting up with the contractor who I've been talking to about working on my road. The big hill, in particular. I don't think there's any way to lower it without dynamite, but it needs to be wider on top so cars can get by one another there, and also so that when rocks fall off the bank into the road they won't hit a car. I'll post some before and after shots when the work gets going.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Nature is winning!

Got to the oasis late this afternoon to discover worms had eaten every leaf off all 3 mulberry trees! 😣

Here are a few of the culprits. See them dangling from the tree? I suspect they've run out of leaves on the tree so they're lowering themselves to either pupate or find a new food source.

Here's a butterfly I shot late this afternoon as activity was winding down for the day. It's either a Dotted Roadside-Skipper, or a Toltec Roadside-Skipper. The latter would be very unlikely, and a lifer.

Mac is leaving in the morning. Sad to have him go. After encountering the business end of a skunk this morning at the oasis, can't say I blame him. Kidding!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Alpine time

Have to be in town for a few days. Yesterday I spent half the day trying to get my sewing machine to sew, and the other half sewing cushions and trim for an old Mission Oak rocker that my husband refinished for his pregnant granddaughter to rock her baby in. My sewing machine has something wrong with it and there's no one in Alpine that works on them. I need to get a different one.

Today I photographed a Variegated Meadowhawk, a species I've shot hundreds of times before, but I needed to practice my photography.

Tomorrow I have to accompany my husband to Odessa in case he needs me to drive home after he sees the doctor. He never does, but it's my "duty." And then, to CMO! Hooray!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting excited about the road

I'm finally going to be able to do some improvements to the road. Really exciting for me. In a few weeks someone is going to come with a big dozer and work on the big hill. After that, I'm going to get at least one of the other 4 bad places fixed with cement patches. That's the plan, anyway. Any plan is better than none. And any improvement is better than none. That road has been a passion of mine for 40 yrs. I've gone way too long without getting it back into shape since my late husband passed away 14 yrs ago. If I can just get the big hill improved and widened this year, then next year I can start plotting other improvements. It's only a mile of road, how bad can it be? And much of it is fine. It's just the slopes that erode. 

Lots of this cute Shaggy Portulaca (portulaca pilosa) blooming.

My sister and I went up the mountain today. We agreed it was our last time for this year. Things are winding down for the year up there. Blooms drying up and very few butterflies. We plan to go up more often next spring than we did this spring. We'll see. Chinati Checkerspots were the most numerous butterfly up there.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Good migration day

Saw the most Clay-colored Sparrows and Dickcissels I've ever seen at one time. However, they were always way across the pond from me so didn't get decent photos. Probably many dozens of them.

So many sparrows I had a hard time sorting them all out. I'm thinking this next one is a juvenile Clay-colored.

Mac and another photographer, Steve Suchy,  got good photos of a Black-throated Gray Warbler. That's always a nice migrant. Here's Steve's photo. Thanks for sharing!