Monthly Archives: September 2012

Central Texas Ranch

These scenes are on a central Texas ranch where my son has a two year hunting lease. He built the owner of the ranch a beautiful iron entry gate in exchange for the lease. The two labs in the post are the pets of the lady who owns the ranch. They dove right into one spot of the creek that is laden with algae. So the odd color of the water is thick algae growth. It was almost sunset and I had to take pictures in a big hurry.

Reflections in the ranch creek

Post and photographs Yvonne

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Central Texas Ranch Without Hills (Reposted 9/28/2012)

Back in April of this year I accompanied my son to a ranch about 8-10 miles from his house. My son knew that I had not been on a “field trip” with my camera in a long time and took me to his hunting lease.
This ranch is in a somewhat secluded location.  We drove on a long gravel ranch road that is used by several ranchers. The road was rough with shallow gullies on each side. We went through three gates and the last gate was one that my son had built in exchange for a two year hunting lease. The lady of the ranch gave me a tour of her property. She provided a running commentary of the history and of her grandparents who were the original owners. Ms.P.’s yellow labs accompanied us on our tour and ran ahead of the electric cart that we were using. The dogs were in the creek swimming by the time we got to the water’s edge. Ms. P. was dismayed to see there was heavy algae growth where the water ran slow and shallow. Further down the creek where the water was deeper and swifter there was no algae growing.
I took as many photos as I could before the light was too dim. I came away with a few photos that are okay but not great.  So, my little field trip was not totally lost and I had a few enjoyable hours with Ms. P. as my guide. 
Post and photographs Yvonne

Reflections in the ranch creek

Post and photographs Yvonne

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Cat Got Your Whiskers? (click to enlarge photos)

Frankie “The whiskers have it.”


Adorning whiskers adds to a cat’s beauty


Penny and her whiskers

Pretty white whiskers on a “tortie”



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Many Mammals have whiskers on the face, and of course Homo sapiens (aka humans). On a cat, whiskers essentially act as delicate sense organs which contain nerve endings that are similar to the fingertips of a human.

There are about 12 whiskers on each side of the face, arranged in rows of four.  Whiskers are present above each eye as well. The whiskers connect to muscle that is deep in the face. Cats use these as a measuring tool. This “tool” is a gauge of air movement, air current and air pressure. 

Actually cats can not see in total darkness but use their whiskers as a guide. One could say that whiskers are the seeing eye dog for the cat. Since the whiskers act as a gauge, a cat is able to slither through an opening that we humans can not fathom.

How many times has your cat or kitten managed to find a secrete hiding place? Have you looked everywhere in your house trying to find your cat?  Did you ever fear that somehow your cat managed to sneak through the door? Were you in a panic as you began to think the worse case scenario?

I’ve been “there and done” all the above. I’ve dashed out of the house as I called for my cat.  I’ve looked all over my property as I used a spoon to beat on a can of cat food hoping to get the attention of the escape artist. I  have searched every conceivable nook, cranny, and tree and then I have returned to the house.  After all of that I became angry and frustrated as I tried to figure out how I accidentally let my cat get away.  Actually I can’t begin to recall how many times this has happened.  I have cried over a missing cat and then suddenly found myself looking in disbelief as my wayward cat casually strolls past me. Most of the time I am not able to figure out where my cat has been hiding. Clearly a cat can get in the smallest place possible and is like a little Houdini.                                                                                    

Post and photographs    Yvonne


A Well Managed Ranch: Sheep, Dogs, Cats, Chickens (click on photos to enlarge)

Flock moving to the barn before sunset


Orange and white classic tabby


Great Pyrenees protects the sheep


old live oak tree



The hill country ranch that I visited in the spring is a lovely place.  I brought my camera and took pics of the cousins. After all of the posing, smiling, and “when are you going to put your camera down?” I went outside to see the animals and savor the scenery.

The entire place was one of serenity- quiet,clean, and dignified.  No bits of paper and NO CLUTTER.  Everything was in place.

My cousin, Linda and her husband have worked very hard to manage the land and to respect it as well. There were no dead live oaks, scrub brush, mountain cedar, nor any cactus.  Earl, my cousin-in-law has been careful to continue to manage the range land in the same manner as his father.  But on many ranches, over grazing has caused the destruction of good grass land and over grazing led to non -desirous vegatative growth such as mountain cedar and cactus that took over and ruined the range land.

The ranch house, was built some time ago but has been remodeled. It is light and airy with large windows that provide wonderful air circulation. All the rooms are tastefully decorated with contemporary furniture and some antiques that were handed down from generations that are now gone. The mix of furniture was restful and lovely.         

A ranch or farm just would not be what it is without the addition of various animals.  On this ranch, all the animals served a purpose. There  were 4 dogs, 7 cats, 15 chickens, 2 guineas, and a huge flock of sheep. And lots of wild birds that I could hear and see just by standing still; watching and listening.  The Great Pyrenees dog is the guardian of the flock, the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix serves as a watch dog, and then there is one very pretty Pembroke Corgi (tri-colored) and a Pembroke and Australian Cattle dog mix that looked almost like a purebred Corgi. The two corgis can actually assume the role of sheep dog but these two are my cousin Linda and her husband Earl’s personal pets. They tell me that they are “dog people” more than they are cat people even though there are 7 neutered or spayed cats around. Four cats live in the barn and keep the rat and mice population in check. The other 3 cats are more people oriented and “hang out” in the patio and garage areas. All of the cats and dogs look very healthy and lead a contented life.

Back to the birds. I did not get a picture of the Purple Martin house with its twittering inhabitants that  (I’m still wondering how I failed to take pics of the martins) were circling around and around their bird home that was placed in an area between the house and the barn that is devoid of trees. In order to attract Purple Martins it is a must to have their nesting box situated where the birds can circle around their house without the hindrance of trees or shrubs- that is at least 25 feet in diameter. Purple Martins are habitual circlers  and glide around their nesting box. These birds are what is known as colony birds which means that they nest and roost in close promimity of like birds. They ae gregarious by nature and seem to take great delight as they dip and dive among those of their own kind.

The Purple Martin is a very desirous bird to have around for they eat thousands of mosquitoes each day. There is only one draw back of having these birds around. They begin gathering in huge flocks where they roost at night for about 2 weeks before they head out for the jungle areas of Brazil.

As an aside, I have known indviduals that have spent a lifetime attempting to attract these birds to their home in order to keep the mosquito population down. Iv’e had many people tell me what an assest these birds are. It is always a sad day about the 2nd or 3rd week of July when they begin gathering to leave for their wintering grounds. By the end of July all of the meeting/roosting places have been abandoned and not one Purple Martin can be found- until around February of the next year when the birds return to resume where they left off.

I can absolutely say that my visit to the ranch was like a mini vacation for me. I was relaxed and entertained. It was truly a “field day for me.”

Post and photographs Yvonne

Flock of mixed breeds


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A Whole Lot of Produce Going On July 4, 2012 at 11:57am (click to enlarge photos)

Sun ripened tomatoes

Place in a deep pot of boiling water and this corn will be done in a few minutes.

Peach cobbler, on breakfast cereal, or eating out of hand???

Fat, sweet, delicious blueberries grown at Teague, Texas


 I took these pictures around the middle of June. This post was originally published in  the blog section of my daughter’s website.

The fresh fruit and vegetables are delectable  and the colors are like an artist’s palette.

   I buy lots of blueberries that I freeze and I usually have blueberries for almost a year.  My favorite fruit is the blueberry that is grown by a super-duper couple, from Teague, Texas on 12 acres of sandy soil that produces the fattest and sweetest of the best blueberry that I HAVE EVER TASTED. They market the berries in two cities. Many people are not aware that blueberries will actually grow in sandy loam in a hot climate. A variety that is grown in central Texas was developed by scientists at Texas A& M University. 

Post and photographs Yvonne

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