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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Still a process in progress

Before I headed for Alpine today I filled the bucket feeder. Then it was too heavy for me to pull up, but it's OK for now. May have to get a crank apparatus to hoist it. But I left knowing that the birds will have seed for several days. Longer than the few minutes previously when I leave ever since the bear destroyed that last feeder.

Years ago I found a brush in a dumpster that attaches to a floor scrubbing machine. Had no use for it but thought maybe someday it would come in handy for something. Yesterday was that day. It's now the base of my seed bucket. I looked through every shed for something round, sturdy, and not an eye-sore before I found this scrub-brush in the last place I looked.

Birds seem happy with it. I got the bucket up high enough to where javelina can't mess with it, but it's not bear-proof yet. I could probably get on a ladder and pull the bucket up onto the ladder and then tie it down, but I'd like something simpler. And since I know no bears are in the area, I just left it at about eye level.

Next, my verbena mission: As many of you may recall, I resolved to create a verbena (glandularia) patch for spring butterflying pleasure. But in this La NiƱa pattern, we didn't get enough winter moisture. Today was the day, after watering, that I determined to start my patch. I only found 3 plants of verbena in the oasis. I managed to dig up two of them without disturbing the roots and put them in pots for now. Also, I located a decent patch of them down by my lower dam, but Brian is coming at the end of March. He looks forward to monitoring that patch, so I left it for him. Hoping it doesn't dry up before then. One was actually blooming.

On the way to Alpine I looked along Terlingua Ranch road where there were a couple of nice patches last year, but found none.  Then on the highway about halfway to town, there was tons of it blooming in the ditch. The ditch had recently been mowed, but luckily before the verbena started showing good. Now the highway department is dumping endless piles of blacktopping material in the ditches in preparation for resurfacing the highway. So I couldn't resist at least trying to salvage a few and see if I can even transplant them successfully. I dug up four that weren't blooming yet. Three of the four I disturbed the roots on. They were mixed in with tough grass roots and I wasn't able to dig good enough around them. By the time I got them to town, and potted, those three were wilted. But after a few hours of my tender care, they seem to be recovering. The upper left one is the undisturbed one. Upper right one is the iffiest.

Next winter I'm going to plant a bunch of seeds indoors.

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