Happy Longhorns

new-calf

We’ve been blessed with a very wet spring.  The El Nino weather pattern shift has brought us a wonderful spring.  Here are some very happy Texas Longhorn cattle enjoying an overcast, rainy day.  If you don’t know the history of these magnificent animals, follow this link to the Texas State Historical Association.  It’s a fascinating story our family has been a part of since the 1800s.

Hawk

There were 16 hawks in the field the other day when we were cutting hay.  Two of them had a fight over a little jack rabbit.  The jack rabbit lost!  I think this is an intermediate juvenile (first year) Red-Tailed Hawk, but I’m not sure.  They don’t develop the red tail until they are adult.  If you can help identify it I would be most grateful.

Painting The Texas Hill Country

Gay is back painting again after many years.  She only paints at the ranch, outdoors and only what she actually sees.  So far we have sunsets, meteor showers, landscapes, blue whistler northers and a goat.  She is up to something!

Servicing The Beast

We bought this six-wheel drive duce military dump truck about a year ago to use on the ranch and have hauled hundreds of tons of material with it.  On cold, wet days we try to stay warm in the shop and service our equipment.  Changing the oil in this thing took 10 gallons!  One of the best investments in equipment we ever made.

A Cold, Wet Day

The dogs know what to do on a cold, rainy day – double up on a dog bed and snooze.  This is Henry on the left and Lizzie on the right.  The only thing better would be a nice fire in the fireplace and a couple of dog treats.  Maybe later.

Farmall Cub Project

This is one of our “cold rainy day” projects.  It is a 1952 Farmall Cub tractor that we are restoring.  When I was eight years old I learned to drive on on just like this one.  My parents turned me loose on 4,000 acres of South Texas ranch land to explore and I did.  Right now we are replacing a brake drum and then I believe it will be completely mechanically sound.  We’ll test it for a few weeks and if everything is ok, we’ll start on the cosmetic work – soda blast it and completely repaint everything.

By the way, the Internet continues to amaze me.  I can get any part I need for this little tractor in two days (radiator, brake bands and drums) – down to the exact decals a new 1952 tractor would have.

Rainwater Capture

With the completion of our new equipment shed I updated our rainwater capture calculations.  With the new shed connected to our collection system we will now catch 7,536 gallons of water per inch of rain.  With Burnet county annual rainfall averaging 33 inches per year we’ll be capable of collection about 250,000 gallons annually.  That works out to a water budget of 680 gallons per day.  To put that in perspective an average household of four people use about 400 gallons per day, so I think we are pretty well set.

A Huge New Watertank

We have been harvesting rainwater at the ranch for over 15 years.  We just added a huge new tank that holds 65,000 gallons.  This is a picture of the Whitaker Water Tank team assembling it – which they did in one day!  This gives us a total of 105,000 gallons of storage which allows us to use rainwater for almost everything on the ranch.  Here’s a link to Whitaker – these are good guys.

Caught One

This heron was taking advantage of low water levels in one of our tanks the other day.  I drove by without a camera, when to the house and got it and came back and waited.  You’ll notice that he is about to swallow a very delicious frog.