Monday, March 31, 2014


The new netting came in and we are cutting it to size.  Ferris is helping hold it as I cut.

We cleared out the area to have a huge place to work.  All vehicles were moved outside as we have rows and rows of the netting spread out.

Rebecca, biologist, has set up a chair to start attaching the hog nose clamps to seam up the netting.  There were three of us working on getting the clamps in place.

We gathered at the work site. We are now ready to put up the acclimation pen.  By the way, there will be 4 pens set up this season.  Looks like we will only be putting up two of them.

It is a lot of work as you will see.

After the walls are put up we go inside to secure the area. Jenny and I did this tedious task of strapping the netting to rebar. We have to keep out predators. 

Everything is done to keep the prairie chickens safe.

Walls are up, netting is in place, now the electric wiring is being placed around the perimeter.

It is now ready to accept our new chickens to the refuge.

They will be coming sometime in June.

Until next time...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ready to Roll

Last week it was past time to plant the gamma grass seed that had been given to the refuge.

My part was to follow behind the planter that was attached to another Polaris, and roll down the seed.

Since the planter did not really work out, we ended up broadcasting the seed by hand.

That was another fun project!!!

Wallace just happened to step out to snap this picture.  Sorry to say, he did not get pictures of the others.

Until next time...

Monday, March 24, 2014


As you can see in this photo, the skirting around the mobile home needed to be repaired.  It was collapsing under the weight of the dirt that was wedged in between the skirting and the concrete walk.

As you may remember, we also installed a new deck on the mobile home as well.  It needed sprucing up.

I removed all the panels, dug out the dirt, re-installed the runner to hold the panels to the ground and thus straightened it up. Those long white strips were slid in place to finish off the top.

I screwed all the panels in place and then slid the top panel on to finish the look.

The next place to fix was the skirting around the new deck.

We used blocks to set the deck on and that presented a little problem.  The skirting will have to be tilted out because of the shape of the blocks.

Keep in mind, we had to use all the old pieces of skirting to redo this project.

We had to remove a few of the pieces of decking to slide that panel in at the top.

It was kind of like putting a puzzle together getting them to fit.

Afterwards, I made a joke about what was under the skirt....

George got under to take a look.  We all got a laugh out of that.

George built the deck and it took all to lift it up into place.

This is the finished product...a new deck with the skirting in place.  Sure looks a lot better now.

Darrell said Terry and John were very pleased with the job.  So were we.

Until next time...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our State Capitol

A view from the visitor center where you have to go to get your official stamp of your visit.

The Texas Capitol anchors 4 blocks, within 22 acres.  It has a copper roof with the zinc Goddess of Liberty statue at the top of the dome. It is built of Sunset Red granite quarried in Texas.

We entered the South Foyer after taking the "Grand Walk" that is lined with live oaks that lead you up to the massive doors.

We must stop for the obligatory photo of the two of us upon entering.

Being a Saturday, it was a very busy place with a bongo band with dancers, a protest of some kind across the street, with loud music inside the rotunda performing!!! We could have enjoyed the music, but we felt that was not the place for it.

Not to be missed are the 8 pound hinges you can see only when the doors are opened.

All the hardware is absolutely stunning. From these hinges to the doorknobs with the Texas star.

Notice the terrazzo floor with the word San Jacinto right where the lady is stepping.  In this area, all the 12 battles fought on Texas soil are commemorated by mention on the floor.

The marble life-sized statues of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin are here to greet you.

As we stepped into the Rotunda, we looked up into the dome where the star was installed in 1958. It is eight feet from point to point and hangs 218' above...made of metal, with the word Texas spelled out around it.

There are only four floors that are accessible with a spiral staircase that takes workers to the top of the dome.

The Grand Staircase took us up to the next floor.  

The colors of the floor and banisters added a touch of beauty.

This is where the Senate meets.

There are 31 Senators.

The portrait behind the walnut desk of the Lieutenant Governor is of Stephen F. Austin.

The House of Representatives chamber is the largest room in the building where 150 members meet.

The textile hanging behind the Speakers desk is the flag from the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto.

Looking down from the 4th floor to the floor of the Rotunda is the Great Seal surrounded by the six seals of the countries whose flags have flown over Texas.

This is where the musicians were performing.

Portraits of the Presidents of the Republic and Governors of the state circle the four public levels of the Rotunda.

March 2, 1885 is Texas Independence Day, and that was when the 12,000 pound cornerstone was laid.

A view from a window inside.

The capitol was not paid for in dollars, but in land.  Three million acres (known as the XIT Ranch)  in the Panhandle was exchanged for the 3 million dollar structure.  

Until next time...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Not Wanted on the Prairie

Since I am certified to drive an ATV, I like to keep in practice.

We are going out on the prairie to help rid it of unwanted yaupon.  

Here comes Danny and Karen.  That is Horseshoe Lake on the right of the picture.

We have all reached our destination.

I drive Danny around with the spray solution (he is the one with the jade colored glove). Darrell has the chain saw.  Jenny and George are two new volunteers this season...then there is Wallace at the far right.  Karen drives around another crew.

We do what we do, all for this little bird.  Attwater Prairie Chicken.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Finally Outside...

This was last weekend! 

Ice was everywhere!!!

This is from a Sycamore tree in our back yard.

We have been dealing with a lot of crappy weather here this year as everyone knows.

We have not had the opportunity to get out with heavy equipment to do hardly anything.

Finally got to take the loader out to clear out several loads of rubbish.

This is the first time I have been out in it this year, so it took a while to refresh my memory on how to operate it.

It surely was fun!!! 

All us gals (three) were taking care of this job.

Darrell wanted a pile of old posts and railroad ties taken out to the burn pile.  There were three iron poles I picked up and loaded on the Ranch King trailer using the clam.

While we were busy with the loader, the guys were busy putting the final touches on this porch they built for the mobile home on the refuge.

It took a lot of us to help lift it up on the blocks.

Tuesday, we loaded up the van for a trip to Brenham with all our recyclables. 

On Friday, there were 8 vehicles with all of us going out to count male prairie chickens, all of us with different locations on the refuge.  Mike (biologist) was pleased as the count was better than last year with 44 observed birds over all.  After that, Wallace and I went out to do the tracking and covered the whole refuge as Justin was busy taking a training class.  We missed three...I guess that is not too bad, but dang it, I wanted to get all of them!!!  Some of the signals are so weak, with the least bit of interference, it can be difficult.

Until next time...