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Friday, August 31, 2012

Lovely oasis day

I arrived at the oasis early this morning with a long list of things to do. Bird watching wasn't on the list. But as I applied water sealer to the wooden benches and picnic tables it was hard not to notice a few of the many birds present. The one that stood out the most was this Acorn Woodpecker. My oak trees have almost no acorns this year and the ones it does have are small and green. I usually have more acorns. The scant rains must have come at the wrong time.

Yesterday in Alpine I went to the recycle center and loaded my pickup with logs as big as I could lift. They were about 4 feet long. Then I took them to my husband and he sawed them into firewood as I unloaded them. Then I reloaded the firewood into my pickup and today re-unloaded it at CMO to top off my winter supply of firewood. I've no idea what kind of wood it is, but most of it is heavy and there's no sap in it, so it'll make great heat in my efficiency wood stove. 

I'm trying to sort out the garter snake species I have at CMO. (Notice the full belly. Probably a frog.) I think this one is a Western Black-necked Garter Snake but I'm not sure, and I also think I have the Eastern Black-necked Garter Snake and maybe another species of garter snake. I'll photograph them when I see them and get it sorted out.


  1. Carolyn,

    I do enjoy your blog and posts on Texbirds. CMO sounds like, oasis.
    Your snake is a Western Black-necked Gartersnake. Eastern Black-necked is a race/subspecies of the same snake that lives in the Hill Country.
    You should also have Checkered Gartersnakes on the property.
    Chris Harrison

  2. Thanks, Chris. I do have the Checkered too, just not sure about the Eastern.