Friday, July 22, 2011

A few blooms...

Fall obedient plant
Ok. Here I go again. I'm going to whine some more about our drought. I know I must sound like the proverbial broken record. But it's just been tough tough tough not getting any rain this year. I don't enjoy walking through our Wildscape like I usually do because it's so sad to see the plants struggling. We water every other morning to keep what we've got alive. Then I feel guilty when we do. How will we ever get through AUGUST? In the meantime, a few plants are blooming but not many. Some fall obedient plants have flowered. The Fanick phlox has been in bloom for several weeks, and so has the leadwort plumbago. Bright red flowers covered the flame acanthus after we had a nice rain a week or so ago, and the hummingbirds enjoyed them. But they're nearly gone now.

I know God will send rain again. He always does. Somehow, in the meantime, nature survives.

Our obedient plants need water often.
Leadwort plumago
'John Fanick' phlox

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More drought casualties

I don't know about you, but I can barely bare to go outside this summer. This drought is so sad, so devastating to wildlife and habitats, not to mention our own Wildscape. We water in the mornings just enough to keep our plants alive. Awhile ago, I pulled up these markers because these plants are no more. (In a front bed, we have a few salvia coccineas surviving but barely.) What the drought doesn't get, the deer do, like our blue-eyed grass that we planted earlier this summer. Our resident wild turkey even nibbles on whatever's green as she strolls through our back yard. We joke about our yard being her evening salad bar before bedtime.

I know it'll rain again. But when?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Two sides of a mountain

On Texas 87 between Mason and Fredericksburg, look to the east, and you'll see a huge, flat hill in the distance. On our way home yesterday from Mason, James and I decided to veer off and explore a short loop that took us through the very tiny community of Loyal Valley. Because I had a map of Mason County, I knew about House Mountain Road, which cut off from Ranch Road 2242 and headed east to that mysterious hill. After all these many years, now we finally knew the name of it!

However, House Mountain was actually quite a far distance away, especially via a bumpy gravel road. The route took us past very scrubby ranch land, infested with mesquite and plenty of prickly pear and tasajillo. The road also crossed from Mason County into Llano County. So I had to dig for another map.

After nearly an hour, we finally got as close as the road allows to House Mountain. Or rather, Prairie Mountain. That's what folks in Llano County call the same hill. Seems like with stories and pancakes, mountains have two sides as well. Not to mention two names, depending on which side you live.

At any rate, we got out for photos (above, I posed "Patrick style"...years ago, my son stood like this as a little boy atop a mountain in Fort Davis). I really loved the yuccas that seemed to grow in sweet little family clusters.

We crossed a creek and saw lots and lots and lots of granite rocks and boulders. This is Enchanted Rock country, you know (as in the massive dome of granite that's north of Fredericksburg and not too from this area).

James decided that he wanted to take home a few rocks from our outing. So we picked out two rather larges ones sitting along the roadside. Thankfully, the gravel road eventually ended at Ranch Road 2323, which took us south back to Highway 87.

Back at home, we arranged the two rocks in a flower bed in our back yard and added a whimsical metal frog that we bought from a thrift store in Mason. Ah ha! I'm going to make two little signs for either side of our new display.....         

House Mountain Rocks 
Prairie Mountain Rocks