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nature journal austin texas 2017-02-28T21:11:39+00:00

Journal

I began keeping a nature journal decades ago.  Below are excerpts from those journals sharing my experiences with dogs, cats and horses, and observing the natural world in Austin, Texas.

May 2, 2018

The owlets are now about 21 days old. They look like tiny ostriches when they stretch their necks and heads up and rotate their faces. Staring straight into the camera, they do not know they are being watched. The owl box is the only world they know, with its cedar shavings and scattered feathers.

May 3rd, 2018|

April 22, 2018

I filled the bird feeder this morning and it is half full now. I should slip out and pour more seed in the back feeder. House finches, cardinals, bluejays, and a chickadee all feast on sunflower seeds. They must have nests nearby.

April 23rd, 2018|

April 1, 2018

It is a noisy morning in the backyard this first day of April, this Easter Sunday - doves cooing, grackles whistling and bluejays squawking. Wednesday’s rain has left the ground soft and revived the grass. A grackle perches on the sunflower seed feeder; he shimmies down the cage and pokes his long black beak in between the grate squares, black feathers shiny in morning light.

April 2nd, 2018|

February 28, 2018

The last morning of February feels like the first day of spring. The redbud is finally beginning to bloom, surrounded by a circle of elegant white irises. A squirrel perches on the walnut tree stump, teasing Daisy who watches from the deck. The owl looks outside his box, catching the morning light.

February 28th, 2018|

January 8, 2018

The sky was a blanket of clouds as I pulled out of the driveway, the temperature dropping with each mile on Hwy. 290. By the time Daisy and I reached Scattered Oaks it was 36 degrees; icy moisture sprayed our faces.

January 14th, 2018|

Solstice

Time began for light and life, for splendor and grandeur. Time began for seas and mountains, for flowers and birds. Time began for the valleys to ring with the songs of life, And for the wilderness to echo with the wailing of wind

January 2nd, 2018|

December 8, 2017

December is an in-between time here, not fall and not winter. Autumn lingers, its golden mornings stretching through December. Here and there, a sudden cold front snaps us all to attention, freezing plants forgotten outside and reminding us to dig out warm coats and boots.

December 31st, 2017|

Rose

Daisy waits patiently while our new foster dog, Rose, chews diligently on her rawhide bone. Daisy has her own bone, but what she really wants is Rose’s bone.

November 26th, 2017|

October

October just slipped by. When we came back from Yellowstone, it was still warm in Austin. Days drifted into the 80s, but the shift to cooler temperatures began as some mornings sank to 47 degrees. The first thing I see each morning is my neighbor’s cottonwood tree, now a glorious gold shining in the morning sunlight. It is the first color change of autumn in the neighborhood.

November 13th, 2017|

Aftermath (continued)

While Harvey swept Houston and south Texas with flood waters, carrying away homes, lifetimes, Central Texas – or at least Austin – bursts open with new life. Cooler temperatures and soaking rain have almost made us forget it’s still summer. The redbud tree has never looked so full and green. The sage is in bloom, delicate white flowers covering dusty green leaves and the salvia is a shower of red blossoms.

September 15th, 2017|

Aftermath

Last weekend the rain began and didn’t stop until Monday morning. Austin and the Austin area – Manor, Elgin – soaked up at least 12 inches. Houston got 52.

September 4th, 2017|

Foster Failure

My eyes widened when I saw him. 55 pounds? Maybe. But tall, lanky, skinny. Where have I seen those markings before? My neighbor's Anatolian shepherd. He licked my hands and wiggled around. Yes, he was sweet. My eyebrows raised again. He was intact. They didn’t tell me that! Well . . . I said I would do this. Can’t back down now.

August 21st, 2017|

Mid-summer Owl Chronicles and Horsie Acupressure

After months, I heard the owls one night this week, trilling loudly as I walked Daisy through the neighborhood. Searching dark shadows of tree branches for small oval shapes, I couldn’t find them. They are molting now, scattering gray and white feathers across Tim’s yard. The owls that visit my yard are gone; neither seen nor heard. This spring Daisy and I would often return from an evening walk and find an owl perched on a shepherd’s hook, head bent, searching the ground for bugs. Now the yard is empty and silent.

August 7th, 2017|