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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pumped out the stucco tank

It was too dark to see if there were leaks at the bottom edge by the time I got the water pumped out. Will look again in the morning, but didn't see any.

That left me with 6' of water in the big concrete tank. Not bad. Tomorrow after I make sure no leaks, or patch any I find, I'll pump half of that water back into the stucco tank. Not only is the stucco tank the only one hooked up to my watering system, but if I have lots of water in the big tank and a flash flood comes, instead of being able to go into the big tank, the water will go over the dam and into the stucco tank. And the area where it enters the stucco tank gets flooded on the outside of the tank wall, making the tank leak in that area more often than not. The best case scenerio is for the big tank to have room for all the water and I pump the stucco tank full from the dirt tank. That saves the tank wall best. But of course, nature is going to do what it's going to do. There's been a lot of flooding in the area, just none here.

Someone found a Fiery-eyed Dancer damselfly in Balmorhea State Park recently. That's one species I'd really like to see and photograph, so maybe after I get the water rearranged I'll go up there. I had gone several weeks ago but the park was closed due to being full.

Today I mixed my first real batch of butterfly brew. It has to sit for one month before it's ready to use. I followed Brian's instructions carefully. Hope it turns out good.

 I mixed a bottle of a special kind of beer that Brian gave me with 7 pureed bananas and a cup of pear pulp left over from my juicing adventure yesterday. Plus 2 lbs brown sugar. Covered it with gauze fabric. Put the container in a basin of water so ants can't get to it. And covered the top when it's out in the sun so critters can't get into it. Hope I've thought of everything.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Back to town

Decided not to miss any photo ops coming to town. I photographed an Simitar Oryx with really long horns but not as close to the highway as the one I missed yesterday. Still impressive and when they shake their heads their horns flop around. This is probably a normal length for that species.

When I got to Calamity Creek, which is about 20 miles south of Alpine, I noticed it was running. Haven't seen it running for maybe years, so I backed up and parked and walked down to the water.

 I could tell that the water had been at least 20 feet deep during the night. Very close to the floor of the bridge.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Too tunnel-visioned here

Decided to go to CMO after I got things caught up in town. There was no reason to rush because it had only been two days since I serviced the feeders and watered. Nevertheless, I sped down the highway, not stopping for several great photo ops. Then when I got to CMO there was absolutely nothing to photograph. Disgusted with myself.

I photographed a male Lucifer Hummingbird for no other reason than I just had to photograph something, anything. I should have used my monopod. I think it would have been sharper if I had. Don't know.

In my courtyard I have a small lily pond. The lilies grow enormous roots and dirt accumulates on the roots. Then stuff grows there. I haven't cleaned the pond out for years. Just too much maintenance anymore for me to keep up with. Here is an oleander and ruellia growing in the pond. I was surprised that the oleander is white because the only oleanders I have on my property are pink. Oh well.

My son flew his plane to Colorado this weekend and I was very nervous. Didn't head south until I knew he had landed safely.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Collared Mountain Lion

I've posted cam video clips of this mountain lion before, so hadn't planned on posting anymore, but this recent batch of videos is pretty startling to me. Therefore, gonna post a couple of them.

The first one was taken at night mid-July. I posting it because it shows him blind in the right eye, as do many of the other clips that I'm not posting.


The next one is during daylight hours and shows how beat up he is. I can't help but wonder if the collar inhibits his ability to make cleaner kills. He only eats javelina, if you recall.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Surprise critter cam capture

You've probably seen the mountain lion video clips from my sister's cam in a cave atop our mountain, but none of us expected her to capture footage (22 clips) of a raptor. How cool is that?  My sister thought Peregrine and listening to it call on one of the clips, I agreed, a juvenile Peregrine. Since then however, I've been told it's a buteo, possibly a Swainson's, but not a Red-tailed. Will update when I get confirmation.

06280048 I think the extender helps my photography. And possibly the reason my photos were overexposed might be because some spot focus lighting function was turned off. Not sure. Gotta study more on the manual. Here are a few ode pics from today. This Great Pondhawk was quite a distance from me, so I credit the extender that you can see the leg hairs on this photo.

And this is only the second time I've seen a Smoky Rubyspot at CMO, so that was a surprise, especially considering the wildlife pond with the reeds in is still dry. Both of these odes were hidden back in some brush near the back water feature, making it hard to get clear shots.

I'm ready for the big one! Cleared out around the suction intake in the upper dirt tank. Had to deal with hordes of mosquitoes there. I raised that pan up about 6" out of the mud so the pump will work good for at least the next deluge. After that I may need to clean it out again. My husband is going to clean that tank out eventually. Meantime, I can just keep raising things up out of the mud.

And the other big pump has been repaired. My sister had to help me load it for town the other day and re-install it today. There was a broken wire on the on-off switch.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Moving along

Still moving, anyway. Finished the peaches and heading to CMO in the morning to water. Practiced some with my camera today. Having the problem of photos being overexposed. I darken them on photoshop, but they need to be properly exposed in the camera. Working on it. These photos were taken with my extender. I can't really tell the difference with or without it. More practice will tell more, I guess.

Plateau Spreadwing
Common Pondhawk