Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Avian Randomocity

Robins migrating through.

Goldfinches dressed in their travel khakis

Seemingly ever-present Red-Bellied Woodpeckers.

Sweet Mourning Doves

And a beautiful bird I'm always thrilled to see, much less catch with a camera, the Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Winner of the November Giveaway is...

...Misha at from my front porch in the mountains!  What was weird about this, I had put all the names of the entries into a little box, but hadn't drawn a winner yet.  Was reading comments/emails, and one came through from Misha, telling me of their latest encounter with deer hunters/poachers trespassing on their land!  I responded back, read one more comment, then proceeded to draw 'from my front porch in the mountains' out of the slips of paper!  So call it subliminal messaging, if you will, but Misha, it worked!  :)

So, even though this little finch's inspiration is from British Columbia (thanks again, Robin, for the use of your photograph), and although it was birthed on paper here in Texas, looks like it'll be flying off to live in Tennessee, with Misha, J, their pups, kitties, and sweet and spoiled Arabian horses!  Actually, it sounds like it might go live with her dear 'Nana'.  Either way, I hope it'll be a spot of enjoyment for you.

Thanks to everyone who entered and commented!  You truly keep me drawing with your encouragement!  Speaking of which, I better get my tush in gear and get to drawing something again for December!

He may not be a stud...

...(since he's gelded), but he's still a hunk!

Zim in his semi-winter-woolies.  The horses don't have to put on much hair here for the winter, but I like to see them fuzz out, just the same.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another barn for Barn Charm

Starting to get a bit lean on my photo trove o' barns.  Time to hit the roads again...

Linking to Tricia's Barn Charm

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Autumnal Influence

Texas is not known for its strong autumn color changes, but what we do get, I still appreciate.
Oak leaves turn to shades of yellow and brown before falling.

Weeds in the drying pond show a rich palette range.

Sadly, the Texas landscape is dotted with trees that didn't survive the harsh summer heat and drought this year. 
Most of the trees that failed to make it are pines.
One of the Christmas tree farms in our county is forced to bulldoze 2/3 of its crop this year due to this summer's heat/drought.

Including a couple of ornamental evergreens that stand guard at our gate entry. 
There's a bit of life left, but I'm not sure they'll survive.
(And, yes, I weed-eated those grasses after this photo was taken - don't judge me!)

The irridescent greens and reds of hummingbird flashes are replaced by yellows and blacks of bees and hornets at the sugar feeders.

The lawn becomes dotted with leaves until the winds swirl them on their way.

I adore this little Louise.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Run*A*Round Improvements

We recently had contractors at Run*A*Round Ranch doing some improvements.  We had the RAR house re-sided with concrete board and repainted.  We've gone from the browns you see in the header photo to greens (sage and dark pine). 
The tones shift depending on sunshine or overcast skies.
The colors are still muted enough to keep us somewhat 'hidden' from the road, especially if the oaks are leafed out.
The view from the gate - yeah, really can't see a house unless you stop and look for it, and even then...
Also, this driveway is one reason I don't stress about washing my car - even if we weren't in a drought situation.  Why bother?

The same contractors also replaced our wooden fence lines along the front and back pastures.

No, the barn was not on the improvement list this time.
Yes, that barn door is still chewed on and hanging off its hinge.
At least I don't have to worry about this one kicking out planks.

Or this one pressing out the planks trying to reach the greener grass on the proverbial 'other side.'
Thelma and Louise don't care what color the house is or how strong the fence is. 
They're just happy to have their 'space' back without contractors running around for weeks on end.  As am I.
And, yes, parts of our lawn are really greening up now.  After several very small showers in October and November, and finally getting cooler temperatures after that hell-fire furnace heat of this past summer, nature is trying to restore some growth to this part of Texas.
Even to the point of confusing the heck out of some of the trees, like this red bud pushing out blossoms in November instead of waiting for March.

It'll probably be quite a while before I can take another shot of the 'improved' RAR house reflecting into the pond like in the header photo.  We need a lot more rain before the pond is visible like that again.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Glorious November skies

(and a few fences in there, too)

Walked outside to get the mail as the sun was setting one day, looked over my shoulder and hurried back into the house to retrieve my camera.  Took some shots over the barn roof before heading down the driveway.

I turned away and continued down the 1/4 mile driveway to the gate and mailbox.  This view greeted me for my return walk.

And this shot I took about half-way to the house.  Obviously I shook, but I liked the squiggles anyway.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Day to my U.S. friends.  And to all those in other countries, may you have plenty to be thankful for today "just because".  :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Red-Shouldered Hawk

Not the clearest shots as they were taken through the sliding glass doors.  The hawk is hanging out on a stump in the low pond, alongside my lovely orange barricade fencing.  I think that fence will be around for a long time, yet.  Just not enough rain to refill the pond to keep the horses from crossing over.

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