A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Arrives at the Ranch

Saw a female flycatcher on the garden fence this morning. She was beautiful with the sun on her. It's been several weeks since we had any birds here. I left for a few days a while back. At that time I had so many I couldn't keep them fed. Lots of cardinals and scrub jays making their own brand of music.  We also had around 100 white wing doves.

(Photo is a draw on our road in November 1989, the first year we had our place.)

When I came back they were all gone and all I hear is the sound of silence. They heard a call I can't hear, I suppose, and off they went. I put seed out but it hasn't been eaten. We have lots of native food this year. My neighbor said he had the doves at his place and they are feeding on the doveweed that has flourished this year. 

Even the squirrels have left the sunflower seeds alone. They have been working industriously to bury acorns. It's good to see them doing something constructive instead of trying to tear the bird feeders up.

We have had lots of butterflies these last couple of weeks. They cover up the zinnias and the golden-eye daisies in the garden, like these Queens and Painted Ladies. 

Rickie saw a fox walking the fence line behind the cabin this weekend. We haven't seen any in a while so I'm glad they are still hanging around. They come to where we put food scraps out and one year we had a fox that would almost let us walk up to him there. That year they had a den just past the longhorns' pen by the caliche pit.

I haven't seen the turkeys lately. Heard one gobbler a couple of weeks ago and saw him on the ranch cam. And the jackrabbits have disappeared also. 

We had a beautiful moon on Halloween night. The Hunter's Moon. I got a new camera this year and was finally able to take a decent moon photo!

The seasons are changing. The leaves starting to turn; seeing some red on the sumacs and some yellow on the cedar elms and the peach trees. Some of the Spanish Oaks are just beginning to turn the beautiful red we see around Thanksgiving each year. They fill the big draw on the east side of our place. From the beginning Sarah and Rickie and I have always walked over there when we were here for Thanksgiving. We sit on the ground and look up. The red leaves against the clear blue sky, like you get in a dry climate, is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. We have never been able to capture that color in a photo but we keep trying.

Our Spanish Oaks are all old and are dying. There aren't any little ones to take their place. One day they will be gone and we'll be gone as well. The most I can hope for is that they last until I am too decrepit to walk over there and sit beneath them. 

I'll be over there again this year and I'll sit a little longer than I used to. I'll try to store the way it looks in my mind and when I can't get around any more, I can close my eyes and see it again. And remember the way it was when the air was crisp and cold and burned your nose and throat a little when you breathed; when we buttoned our coats up and put our gloves on. When we walked down the draw and the leaves on the ground rustled with our steps. When we talked little and then only in whispers, respecting the beauty and the quiet. 

And maybe, just maybe, some little Spanish oak acorns will hide away from the deer and nestle in next to a bushy cedar that is just the right size to protect it. And when I am long gone, one or two of the grandkids or great-grandkids will walk over and sit beneath a beautiful red tree the week of Thanksgiving. And maybe, just maybe, they will know I was there doing the same thing.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm, I want to sit on your porch or under one of your trees and see what you see, hear what you hear (even if it is very little) and feel what you feel. I miss the country.