The Scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because it takes pleasure in it; and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful. — Jules Henri Poincare
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[These are primary field notes taken today. Time entered in UTC or Zulu time, i.e. 1759. Post-field note commentary bracketed and italicized.]
Flying Hat Ranch, North Erath County, Texas, Lat 32.43 N, Long -98.36 W, elev. 1,086 ft. Turkey Creek Quadrangle map.
1759. 51 deg. F. [Cold enough to start into the field with line jacket, but by the time I got to grove, I shed the jacket, putting it on the fence post.]
1805. Three or more ducks on pond. No identification. Woodpile near pond has been reduced by rain and natural deterioration. Tree limbs and logs have settled in earth. [Erath County has taken the burn ban off. I’ll not burn the pile because it houses several critters. The ducks are three and they make little noise. They paddle to the far side of the pond as I stride by.]
1817. Barbed wire between grove and arena pasture broken, 5 T-posts from the gate, towards the west. Apparent deer tracks on the ground, no sign of struggle, crawling under, deer popped the strand. Fur on ground. Photos taken. [I have seen juvenile deer scoot under the fence; hence, I think they broke it. I looked carefully for signs of an entanglement in the wire, but found none and also went over to the creek embankment to make sure no deer had fallen. I’ll repair the fence later this winter. I wonder if it is deer “fur” or “hair?” According to Scientific American, mammalogist, Nancy Simmons, there is no difference between fur and hair.]
1828. Juniper berries on tree to the east of brick pile. Tree is 20 feet high, 20 feet across at lower crown. Five juniper trees in immediate vicinity. One large juniper 30 feet to east-southeast of the little grove. This juniper is 30 feet tall, trunk is 2-3 feet in diameter. [I had never stopped to count the number of junipers in the small grove, nor estimated the height of the tallest tree. My recent post on junipers has prompted my focus. I thought about picking the berries and consuming them, reenacting my Zuni experience.]
1843. Red oak leaf falls. I think it a floating butterfly. Then I see the red oak. No butterfly. [What tricks our mind plays. I thought for a moment that a Monarch might have roosted and emerged in the sun. The leaf floated like a butterfly, not a swaying back-and-forth manner like a leaf.]
1849. Two burrows near east water gap, one looks inhabited. [Skunk, armadillo? Other?]
1853. Remnants of deer-stand ladder. [I have dismantled all deer stands in the trees that I can find. This ladder will be dismantled soon. I hate it when nails are driven into trees.]
1855. Bull bellows on Dooley Place. [The Red Angus bull bellows. ‘Twould be interesting to take field notes at a certain point for just sound, not images, just sound.]
1858. Harris hawk ascends into tree at about 10 foot level, watches me approach, then flies low out of tree towards north. [I have typed the Harris before. There are two of them that soar and predate in the grove and surrounds. They’ve been here on Flying Hat for two years.]
1908. Scare 4-7 turkey vultures from dead mesquite tree at southwest part of grove. [I hope Ethan Connell has checked the turkey vulture on his Life List in his Peterson’s.]
1917. Flock of Sandhill Cranes overhead, flying north to south, catching wind currents. [When I first heard the Sandhills, I looked too high, gave up and then found them at a lower altitude.]
1930. Turn around at northwest corner of far field and return to house. Star whinnies at me.
1938. White-crowned sparrows fly low in brush about arena at southeast end.
1942. Scare up the resident jack rabbit while searching for stone tool in situ. [I cannot find the stone tool. I do have it located, however, on the GPS and I can locate it later. I had placed a yellow surveyor’s flag at its place, but the elements have blown it down — or possibly, Star.]
1946. At pasture-house gate. [Log entries conclude.]