Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
Like I said in a previous blog, all you have to do here in Texas is wait for a bit and the weather will change. Yesterday’s high was a nice balmy 70 degrees and I worked out in the yard moving the brush from the bottom of the garden that was the subject of a previous blog. Today, the high was 40 degrees with the forecast to get down to freezing overnight. Realizing this, I went outside and covered all of the outdoor faucets of which there are four dotted around the different ponds. Incidentally, my neighbor across the street is away for this week and I am feeding their kitty so on my trip over to do that, I took the time to cover their outside faucets as well. Hate for them to come home to either a flood or a large water bill or both if their pipes were to freeze.
The problem that geographically Texas has is that there is not a mountain range or even any high ground in its Northern borders with Colorado, Oklahoma and Arkansas and any bad weather that central USA gets invariably blows south and into Texas. Usually, if we are very lucky, the bad weather fizzles out before it reaches my part of the state which is central Texas and only 223 miles from the Mexican border. Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to get back up to 53 degrees and by Friday, back to 72 and either hiking or finish clearing the brush weather .
Another year has come to an end and with its passing like losing a friend with the New Year not far behind bringing in things of a different kind it’s not like we have a fresh start and that our troubles all depart everything that was there before is still there knocking on our door we are not really another year older and definitely not any wiser even though twelve months have passed we hope that it is not the last of these years that keep passing by before we reach up to the sky and give up our life here on this earth hoping that we have proved our worth enough of these melancholy thoughts instead we are grateful what time has bought another year spent on this planet with family and friends and pets along with it lots of things to look forward to what they are we haven’t a clue but it matters not whether good or bad or whether they make us happy or sad the future for us is already ordained we cannot change what it is or keep it the same our lives are governed by forces unknown and the time that we have is really on loan and is over in the blink of an eye as time is as deep as the endless sky and all we can do is enjoy what is there with Nature to guide us we haven’t a care on this Beautiful Planet that we call home with others around us we are never alone. Happy New Year.
Living in Texas, one expects surprises from time to time and Texas weather is no exception. Less than 3 weeks after the last of our 100 degree weather, we are now experiencing ice rain and freezing temperatures at night with daytime highs in the low 40’s. We get a bit of a winter every year with at least one or two freezing nights and occasionally even a little snow that is generally gone by the next morning but never usually quite as early in the year as this. So, even for Texas, this cold snap is a bit of a phenomenon and I can only put it down to Global Warming which gets blamed for anything to do with abnormal weather.
I had been holding off getting into the ponds to cut back the vegetation which I normally do every winter hoping for it to correspond with cleaning out the leaves that have fallen and settled to the bottom. The frosts have completely knocked down the iris and taro plants but there are still a lot of leaves on the trees so it looks like I will need to hold off on my cleaning plans for a bit longer as I need to do both jobs at the same time. Not that I want to get outside at this time as the weather being as cold and wet as it is and there is no immediate hurry so these things can wait. Heck, I don’t even want to go hiking while it is like this. The fish have gone into semi dormancy but still show some signs of activity even if it is a bit sluggish so I have cut back on the feeding to once a day. The one good thing out of this cold weather is that most of the algae is gone as it does not like the cold water.
I have been spending some of my time working on the picture at the top of the page for a friend, taking a part of one picture and adding it to another one to combine the two. The program I used is called InPixio and it allowed me to make a lot of adjustments to reach the finished project. It took several iterations and changes of mind before we were both satisfied with the finished result. I took the cabin from one picture and added it to the main picture as you see it above even flipping it around so that it faced in the opposite direction. Oh yes, there were several different cabin pictures and lots of attempts before we arrived at the right one. Photographic software is pretty amazing.
With tongue in cheek, my friend suggested the following story about how she lived in that cabin and often sat on the porch shelling peas that she grew in the garden behind the cabin. The cow in the front is Bessie who she hand raised when her mother was killed by a mountain lion. After closer examination, she asked me to please explain that she also paid for the cow’s sex change operation.
My friend has a twisted sense of humor but then again, she is a Cajun from New Orleans…
I can’t remember what I would have been doing to keep myself occupied through an enforced indoor stay prior to 25 years ago, At that time and after computers came into general use, I worked a Home Business that was soccer related (what else) and utilized a lot of my free time working on it. That ended 15 or so years ago and then my interests changed and I started taking pictures and eventually, working on them to get a higher quality finished product. In 2011 I started this blog site and now I combine photography and writing a blog on days when the weather is too unpleasant to be outside. In the case of living in Texas that is either because it is way too hot at 100 degrees or like it is now at 41 degrees. I even discovered that I can write poetry although it has to be said, the quality is sometimes questionable.
If I really run out of ideas, I can complete Part 2 of the book I have been working on which is pretty much about my life story. The first part is of growing up in England during World War 2 through the move over to America and is already written and has been for some time. Part 2 entitled, My life in America, I have yet to start. In any case, it will be a story without an end unless someone else completes it after I am long gone from this earth. Maybe when I can no longer get out and about and have to lead a much more sedentary life, I will work on it assuming that I still have a functioning brain.
In the meantime, back to writing until the weather warms up. What will be the next subject you ask? Who knows as I haven’t got that far…
I sat indoors today working on my computer looking out of the window from time to time, as the rain just poured down in bucketfuls. It got me thinking that this year, the weather is acting different than in previous years.
The first 6 months, we had more than our fair share of rain, garnering 30 plus inches by June. That is a normal years average rainfall and we got it in the first 6 months. It does raise the question, why? We are now coming to the end of October and have received a whole lot more. I know that I have measured more than 16 inches in the past 2 weeks and we are not done yet. Global warming maybe or is it just El Nino? Of course, we really need the rain to make up for the past several years of drought. It’s either feast or famine….
One thing you can say about Texas weather is that it does not happen in small doses, except for a real winter that is. Take our Spring time, other than this year when we had a very nice one that lasted more than a couple of weeks, we normally get 2 days and we are into Summer. When I say into, I mean big time as usually we are hit with many 100 plus degree days when we yearn for the weather that we are currently having. Seems like there is no happy medium.
Oh well, I could still be living back in the old country where we had more rainy days than sunny ones even in a good year. I lived in the “Sunspot of the South” and the continuous rain was was one of the reasons, that given the opportunity, I came here. I landed in Fort Plain in Upper New York State in 1967, and there, it was not uncommon to get 60 inches of snow a year and freezing weather below zero when come Labor Day, everything shuts down, the car won’t start and worse, you have to shovel the driveway just to get out….
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