Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I went back to the dry creek or wash that runs across the back of our property. There were small pools of water and it bubbled and ran in the area beneath the cliff after the rains we had last week. It used to do that all the time the first 10 years we had our place. When Natalie was little she told me how she had drank the water that bubbled up from the rocks! There is a type of frog that buries itself in the sand and goes into suspended animation in times of drought. It emerges when it is wet and we can hear them from the cabin. It has been years since we heard them. As we sat on the porch yesterday I wondered aloud if we would ever hear them again. I hope so.
It was a beautiful weekend and we spent every moment we could outside in the perfect Spring-time Hill
Country weather. We often get a late freeze or two and have had snow at Easter before. But right now I just want to go to the nursery and buy spring flowers to plant!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The sleet started Sunday morning shortly after Rickie left to head back to work. It soon turned to snow. Big fat beautiful flakes. Birds seemed to appear from everywhere. A flock of juncos that has been here a couple of weeks. House finches. A couple of squirrels. All eating the seed I put on the ground under the back sunflower seed feeder, by the water tank in the yard, and under the finch feeder in the side yard. They chattered away as they fueled up to better endure the cold temperature.
I put my winter gear on and went out to take some photos. Usually this will send the birds and squirrels all scattering but they mostly ignored me. When my hands started to freeze, I returned to the cabin and added another log to the fire. A little house finch came and sat on the windowsill, all fluffed up and trying to get out of the snow. I had scared him off earlier when I opened the front door. He had been perched above it on the door frame.
I also put out more birdseed at all the feeding spots and threw some corn out for the deer and some milo out for the doves and the turkeys I am hoping will return. I busted up the ice on the water tanks so the longhorns could drink. I refilled the wood box on the back porch and pulled it closer to the door. It is a short but cold trip out on the porch when the fire needs more wood! I thought I would shorten it.
Coming inside, I built up the fire and settled down with my book, thinking I was in for the night. Then I remembered the water lines to the longhorns’ water tanks. They froze last year when we were not here, even though we had the water off and had drained the cabin. Rickie had added some ball valves where we can drain these lines and there is a cutoff to the lines that leaves the water to the cabin on.
So once more I bundled up and went out to turn that water off and drain the lines in the ground and those going up the side of the tanks. I was relieved that the water drained and had not frozen yet! Whew! We had 5 breaks last year in these lines. My dad who was a plumber, and my husband who thinks I am a capable person, would both figure I could fix a break if no one else was around but it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Especially since I should have thought of it earlier!
The snow had stopped and it was sleeting a little again. I returned to the fireside and my book. The world outside my windows was covered in white. The only sounds were the fire crackling and the birds chattering. We only get snow a couple of times a year and I wished it had come a day earlier so Rickie could have seen it. He will have to settle for the videos and photos I took.
Snow is also a fleeting thing out here. The next day we were back in the 60s and the snow melted away by noon. The magic was gone along with the illusion that the world is a peaceful place where people leave the comfort of their easy chair and the warm fire to make sure the beings they share the earth with are fed and safe. We lost something of ourselves when we left this kind of life behind and I’ve often thought since I came here to stay that if people would live a life closer to the earth, things would be different with them. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here. And for these silent nights, holy nights I share with a little doe while the snow and ice sparkles around us.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I mentioned my co-worker Terese in a previous post. She had a beautiful soft Southern way of speaking, the kind of voice you would hear in Charleston. She never hurried her conversation and it was like listening to a song being sung.
One day at lunch she said she had brought some "bald" eggs to eat. Our boss, Joe, walked in at that time and his face said "what are bald eggs; I've never heard of those?" Upon seeing she had boiled eggs, he made the remark that if it was bald eggs, it must be boiled eagles! I filed the phrase away in my mind and it always makes me smile.