August is typically one of our driest months and this year it's out to prove that! We had a few drops fall the other day, just enough to trigger the rain sensor in the van's roof vent and close it, but not enough to register in the rain gauge. We have 10 more days to go, but at this point rainfall for the month has been one big fat goose egg.
Fortunately we have otherwise had a pretty good year and are actually 3 inches ahead of normal since January.
So this August things are looking better than they have for several years now.
And I see there's a fair amount of trail maintenance waiting on me out here. This one is no big deal and I just step on over it,
but this tree which has come down across the trail is a bit more bothersome and requires a scrtchy, pokey detour into the brush to get around.
Up near the top of the hill (The highest point in the county is on our place.) even these fungi are looking a little crispy around the edges. They're growing on a chunk of fallen oak. Watching out for falling oak is something you learn quickly out here.
While some of the old hardwoods, I think this might be a Hackberry, stand tall and long,
I see the fence at the back of the property could use some TLC
It was originally built using split cedar posts, but even cedar eventually rots in the ground and the posts end up just sitting on the surface, held up by the wire, like this one. But I don't worry much about the back fence. They run cattle on the property back there and cattle aren't too inclined to go wandering into our heavy woods, even if the fence is down. And if they do they''re no big deal unless you happen to be carrying a bale of hay! It's the rescue horses and donkey on the north side that I pay attention to. They're a little spooky and have been known to just come on over after a storm has taken down part of the fence. It's a bit startling, for all parties involved, to run into one of them back there in the woods!
The 72 year old rancher to the south of us also runs cattle, but he keeps his fence in top shape.
Years ago when I was first cutting trails out here I discovered that that dark spot in the center of this photo under the log was the opening to a ground-bee hive, yes, with a few stings thrown in as I was preparing to chainsaw a chunk out of the middle just to make sure I got the picture! The trail still detours around that log today, but I haven't seen any bee activity for several years now.
I was distracted this morning while trying to catch the light glowing through this bit of seed fluff
Later in the day several young hawks were having a noisy rumble in and around the Live Oak at the base of the dam. Mostly they stayed pretty much out of sight but this one obliged by perching on top of a nearby dead oak for a moment.
And then this evening I stepped out and found this guy bedded down in some shade right out in the open a few feet from the barn!
In fact I just checked and she's still there. Ah the dog days of summer when nobody wants to do much of anything except ride it out to cooler days.