Yesterday it was, because of the great weather, time to trim trees and cut “weeds” with … the chainsaw. A chainsaw for cutting weeds and trimming trees?! Well, with the trees it was some fairly thickish [some of them more than my upper arm] branches, and with “weeds” I’m talking of Retamas, aka “Jerusalem Thorn” [Parkinsonia aculeata], a native and therefore drought-resistant, and, as usual in southern Texas, where “everything either sticks or stings or stinks” very thorny plant, which can grow up to 30 ft., and quite nice yellow blossoms. But we don’t like it as it spreads so quickly/easily, by means of rhizomes, too, so that it is nearly impossible to get rid of. We’d only want to have it on the more distant parts of our property. Most of those small trees had grown that far by now that it took the chainsaw to cut them down, and not just the tree pruner. And after I had cut the trees, Mary treated the stumps with some fluid we have, which is supposed to kill the roots, too, so that they won’t sprout again nor reproduce subterraneously as Retamas usually do.
Today I continued the spring-cleaning in the garden, spraying the weeds in the lawn with weed-killer. Well, it’s kind of boasting to call it “lawn” – simply “grass” would be more appropriate, I think. The weeds had been growing quite a bit lately, and I wanted them killed before I start mowing. Yep: mowing will be necessary soon. I don’t really like mowing the weeds as they tend to block the underside of the lawn mower: the weeds are too succulent, tend to stick and are not blown out of the deck. Now I’ll (have to) wait for a couple of days till the weeds are wilting and then I can proceed to mow.
Some time ago I had already cleaned the Purple Martin houses
as now is the time that these colourful little birdies are coming back from their winter quarters in Mexico to breed here. They always want clean nesting-places without the pervious year’s straw in them. Quite spoiled, these little fellows! The “scouts” usually come in January, and it was about 4 weeks ago that I noticed the first ones. Here two are sitting, together with some doves, I think, on our electrical wires:
We’ll have to see what will be going on after I cleaned the houses. Maybe we’ll have more than last year as I’ve seen 8 “apartments” occupied so far, if I wasn’t mistaken. But I haven’t seen any look out of the nests for the last two weeks. I hope they’ll come back or that others will still show up. And I also hope that no sparrows will use the nests, as then no Purple Martins will come: they don’t like each other.
We have two different types of houses for the Purple Martins, one the one hand an “apartment complex”,
and on the other hand “detached houses”.
These latter are copies of the hollowed-out pumpkins the native Americans used – and still use. Here
quite a happy dweller is looking out of his house.
And now, to bring this posting to a close, some more pictures from the garden, taken about 3 weeks ago:
Birds on the electrical wire:
Old shed and wilderness:
The former corral:
Admittedly I still have a lot of work to do to tidy up that area. I’m still thinking how I will be able to manage to put this old fence upright again. If it’s going to happen somehow, it’ll certainly a hell of work, as these old railway ties are so d*** heavy. I don’t think I’ll be able to manage without help. But it would be nice to keep the old character of this part of the property.
Once again the former corral:
That’s what used to be the cattle chute. In the background, if you look closely, you can see Bixby relaxing on the fence in the sunshine. I think this picture works well in Sepia.
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- Purple Martins (learningwithlife.wordpress.com)