Vacation chores

My Spring vacation ends today.  Tomorrow back to work, teaching.  On the list of chores for ‘vacation,’ several tasks were accomplished, some were not.  I changed the flatbed tire, carted the Case DX-55 for repair and managed cleanup in the corrals.  The tractor remains in the shop for repair.  The barn alleyway remains unpaved with rain coming tomorrow.  I shall have to wade through mud after the rain.

The unexpected came up.  I shopped for a lower-gas-mileage car, preparing to trade in the white F-250 (I’ll be left with Old Bull, the gray 2002, F-250).  Shopping for a new car ate up two days of the seven-day vacation.  Is that not the norm?  I did not purchase a new vehicle.

* * *

I spotted a male Western Bluebird yesterday perched on a yucca-flower stalk, occasionally turning around on the dead pods, flexing its wings.

This morning I saw two monarch butterflies, one in the grove and one near the house.  They fly higher than treetops.

* * *

Spring arrives in a couple of days.

* * *

I have continued to photograph each new flower I see on the ranchito.  I’ve not identified all of them, but they have been photographed.  Yellow predominates as blossom color.  Here are clover with yellow blossoms and a pale-leaf yucca whorl.  The pale-leaf I am confident in identifying, but as to clover, have you ever looked up how many clovers there are?  There are several genus and species listed on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website.  This clover abundantly erupts on the ranchito.




Filed under Birds, Succulents, Wild Flowers of Texas

14 responses to “Vacation chores

  1. Car shopping… Every time I start to do that I think of the cost of insurance and license plates for a new one and stop shopping. It makes my dusty old Jeep look pretty good after all.

    • I just hate it. I have to get one fuel-efficient car to travel to work in. Wish I was retired in New Mexico within walking distance of everything! Course, post offices are being dismantled. Jeez!

  2. Back from Louisiana now, and more than pleased with my apparent gas mileage. I won’t get a figure until I fill up, but I made the round trip to the east of Lake Charles and back, with a couple of side trips, and only used 3/4 tank. Of course I have no need to haul things and such – different matter if I did.

    The rice fields were looking good, and the Indian Paintbrush were thick in some areas. I actually stopped along the road and backed up at one point. I thought I had seen some yellow Paintbrush, and in fact I had. They weren’t pure yellow, but the only orange/coral was on the very edge of the leaf. They were beautiful things.

    It looks to me like that might be the twisted-leaf yucca I’d not heard about until this year. Do you have that on the ranchito?

    • Gosh, the Indian Paintbrush! Not here now. I will get a car that matches yours. Gas prices out of sight.

      I will have to look at the attributes of twisted-leaf. I did not know there was a type like that. I have mainly pale-leaf.

  3. Oh! have you seen the wonderful photo of Jupiter and Venus “a cat’s ears distance apart”? You can see it here.

  4. Looks like what we call burr clover. Beautiful now obnoxious later when it seeds and sticks to everything in sight.

  5. We are almost snow free, the earliest snow melt in decades. Today it was in the high 70’s, normal temp should be about 42. The good news is that the earliest blooming wild flowers will not be to far off,
    I can think of at least six clovers that we have in our area off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more if I thought about it.
    I’m driving a 4 cyl. Tacoma, pretty easy on gas, but still another 10 miles per gallon would be nice. Can’t wait until they have electric trucks that can go at least 300 miles.
    Have fun in the rest of the school year, Jack.

    • Bill, the earliest! Gosh, I just know things are changing (well, they always do), but early snow melt in New England? Shouldn’t be, but it is.

      Oh, I wish for better vehicles. I’ve got to think more about transportation and speed. Seems we may have lost a lot when we went so technical.

      • I’m curious as to what you consider a better vehicle. Today’s electronically controlled motors and traction systems are far superior to anything of the past. More horsepower on small motors (nearly 240 HP on my 4 cylinder), better gas mileage, way better traction control, in fact some systems sense wheel spin and deliver traction to the wheel needing it, and modern vehicles are safer. The best feature in modern vehicles? It is not unusual to get 300K on some models.

        I’ll admit it is time to turn the corner to a different power source. Hybrids are an excellent choice and even available in trucks now, but it is very hard to justify the price, at least at the present time.

        On another note, today you asked me to write a few words. I posted a new one today. It is very short, but has some nice spring flower photos. Thanks for asking.

      • Bill: I consider a better-gas mileage vehicle a better vehicle. There has been so much improvement, hasn’t there? I purchased a Ford Focus for highway transportation — low price, high mileage on a gallon of regular gas on the highway. Yes, the hybrids are high in price and that knocked me out of buying one. It’s a 4 cylinder and gets about 31-38 miles a gallon on highway. I see that you did post about the spring flowers. Beautiful pictures, Bill, you took.

  6. Have a good school year, Jack. You have been so busy and done so much on the ranch and sorted piles etc. – and now you’re working with piles of books. Have fun!
    Grethe ´)

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