Since this process is a leave-it-alone-and-see-what-happens sort of thing, it occurred to me (right after Regina suggested it) that some observations might be in order. So here goes:
We seem to have fewer butterflies and dragonflies this year. That is perplexing. Part of the purpose of this process was to increase these numbers, but I guess they haven’t read my blog posts, or maybe it has been such a long time between posts they have forgotten what this is all about. Seriously, we have no idea why this reduction has happened. It may coincide with the reduction in wildflowers, which is also perplexing.
There was a family of skunks on our driveway, moving from one pasture to another. It is encouraging that some wildlife have found this environment to be conducive to birthing babies. Actually, we don’t really know if they were born here, but at least they felt comfortable here. And they can be assured that we will not bother them. I even saw a small skunk in our back yard a couple of nights ago. I gave him/her plenty of time to decide where to go.
The pear tree growing in our pollinator area has put on an enormous amount of fruit this year. It’s too bad we don’t particularly like to eat these pears. The grasshoppers, however, find the leaves to be one of their favorite meals. They have literally stripped the limbs bare, which makes it much easier for the birds to get to the pears. It dawned on me that we may have created a very large bird feeder. The birds like the grasshoppers, as well as the pears. You’re welcome.
As a part of our continued interest in participating in environmental data collection and reporting, I have joined an organization called CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network). I purchased a special rain gauge and located it in the space between our house and the arena – away from any buildings or trees. This rain gauge can measure rain to .01 inches. That is much more precise than my old Lowes gauge. Each day, at a specific time, I report how much rain has fallen in the last 24 hours, even if there is .00. It is important to keep record of where rain has fallen, as well as where there has been none. Plus, I don’t have to keep the totals in my little book – CoC0RaHS does that for me.
Getting back to the fauna observations, it seems that I have seen more Texas Spiny Lizards this year. They are very shy little guys, but every now and then, one will stop and pose for a quick photo.
The Bewick’s Wrens gave us two clutches and the Eastern Bluebirds gave us three clutches in our bird houses. The Bewick’s Wrens used the house that is close to the side porch, and the Bluebirds used the house under the big Pecan Tree. Every time I would go out to use the grill, which is located on the side porch, the mama Bewick’s Wren would sit in a nearby bush and fuss at me.
We also had three sets of Mallard ducklings. Naturally, the Red Tailed Hawk thinks these are very handy little snacks. Thankfully, he/she doesn’t get all of them. Although this happens all the time in nature, it still is difficult to watch.
All in all, we feel like our process is showing some success. At least we are happy to be on this path.