Work in Progress: January 2023

The photo upload on this blog is giving me trouble this morning and I’m too unskilled with this photo stuff to figure out what’s going on. (File under ‘It’s Always Something.’) But I’m way overdue for a blog post, so this is going to be as good as it gets for today. For a view […]

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Sandhill Flyover Day 2022

Bill called me to the porch a few minutes ago to watch a flock of sandhills on their way to their winter home in the Rio Grande Valley. Sandhill Flyover Day is an important personal event for us every year, marking the turn of the season. Their wild, warbling call is always a reminder to […]

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Cochineal Bugs, Cross Stitch, and Books

Weird photo. If you can’t quite make it out, you’re looking at bugs on prickly pear cactus, in a bucket. The white stuff is the cottony shroud that the bugs–rice-size scale insects called cochineal–produce to hide their babies from predators. Bill, who had gone out armed with his mattock to make war on the invasive […]

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Works in Progress September 2022

We’re finally getting a reprieve from the long string of brutal 100-plus degree-days that plagued us this summer. The hummingbirds are migrating south now, this one enjoying the turk’s cap, one of my favorite Texas natives. (Photo: my brother, John Webber). But nectar flowers aren’t plentiful in September, so we keep refilling the bottles of […]

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Midsummer in the Texas Hill Country

We’re used to the midsummer heat here in Texas, but this year has been brutal–the highest temperatures ever recorded (108 in Austin, 111 on our north-facing back deck) and a record-breaking string of 100-degree days that began in June and continues into July. Severe drought here, too–everything is tinder-dry. I usually have a collection of […]

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Works In Progress: June 2022

Almost finished! Another patch of snowy white under the blue door to complete, a little more detailing and a few missed cross-stitches to fill in, and I’ll be done. I could return to the fractal I started earlier this year, but that frustrating project may be forever relegated to the “unfinished” stack. The older I […]

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Works in Progress: May 2022

The painted buntings are here–a cheerful sign that summer has arrived. So far, I’ve seen three males at once on the millet feeders, so our little breeding colony has returned for another year. And I saw a hawk flying low into the woods last night, which suggests that there’s a nest back there. (One year, […]

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Hermit’s Peak and Calf Canyon Fires

Sunday, April 24, 2022. This is the ridgeline behind our house in Pendaries Village, in New Mexico, two nights ago. The Hermit’s Peak fire started on April 6, when a prescribed burn got away from the Forest Service. The Calf Canyon fire (cause still being investigated) began on April 19, about 4 miles away–upwind, so […]

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Hermit’s Peak Fire & Dragon Drones

It’s been a crazy week here in Texas, watching a forest fire some 600+ miles away in New Mexico, hoping that the winds will die down and allow the firefighting team to bring in helicopters and a few buckets of water. The Hermit’s Peak Fire (#HermitsPeakFire) began 11 days ago, when a prescribed burn got […]

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