Nothing but Blues Skies

Cactus Jack

Our two Longhorns found an open gate and went to visit the neighbors large herd of welcoming cows. As much as we wanted them back, we were not sure how to separate them from their friends without a stampede. Weekday mornings do not allow enough time to do any cattle rustling, but luckily they happened to be hanging out by themselves along our fence line last Saturday morning. Tom opened the gate and led them back to their pasture while their 100 plus friends were wailing and telling them not to leave…..I think the boys are glad to be back. Welcoming treats of carrots and cattle cubes helped a lot! I just finished two new paintings to celebrate their safe return. I have them on my Etsy web site . Click on Leicalady.etsy.com to see all of the Longhorns

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Rosie

Miss Rosie

We have had Shelties since we were first married. My first Christmas present was Omar, a male Shetland Sheepdog. We are baby sitting Rosie. She is a rescue dog, part Sheltie and she is going home next week-end……maybe, I might have to hide her somewhere!

Home on the ranch

Rosie is a big help, keeping a watchful eye on everything.

With a little bit of Luck

Why do people say that you have a hard outer shell? Shells are not always hard. A tortoise or turtle shell is made of the same substance as our fingernails and horses hooves. Nutrition plays a vital part in the health and strength. Too much protein is almost always the culprit.  You can look at them and see the degree of health. One of our mini horses has trouble with his hooves….I have raised  Mini Mac since he was a baby and never has he had a problem with his hooves until recently.

Eddie in his winter man cave

Fast Eddie our African Sulcata Tortoise is 25 years old….mas o menos… He already had a perfect shell when we got him. Of-course I will feel like I did something wrong if ever he got sick…..I read about all the nutrition and supplement advice , I light candles, I do a little dance and pray. If you talk to 15 different horse owners, you will get 20 different answers, but if you have an African Sulcata Tortoise, you can just read  about care at  the Sulcata Station and they have the answers……

Welcome Visitors

Wish they would stay……I know that if we had deer eating our beautiful garden, we would not appreciate seeing them so much….but WAIT> We don’t have a garden, our petite piggy  would polish that off as an appetizer, along with the goats…..so we welcome all the deer when we see them. It is pretty rare. After 15 years of living here, it is still a treat to see  deer. Just a few weeks ago, we started to see two near our pond. These two fawns are twins that live at our friend Judy’s ranch. Just the cutest….

Spring has Sprung

This photo was taken by Leicaman on our morning walk. An unusual view of Texas Bluebonnets, but I love it, probably because of that or maybe because like Daddy Bub….Leicaman loves carrying a camera with him where ever he goes….sometimes two or three. This morning he took photos of the moon…..yesterday it was something different….all while I was still sleeping. He is so lucky that we have dogs to wake him up to get these AWESOME SHOTS!!!!!

I love these colors.I was inspired to paint some trees. I said it was not finished. My teacher and best critic, Tom said “It’s finished” So I said…Good I’m ready to paint something else….Tom and I have been remarking about the gold green color of the Mesquite trees as they are just coming out……I had just the right color in my palette, so I sketched this little tree today for him….
Speaking of Spring…..I just want to say that my Mamacita who gave me my maiden name of Spring….is the most awesome chica that I have ever met and I am soooo proud of her for taking care of herself and staying healthy and strong!!!!! Te amo mucho!!!!!

Lean On Me

Our niece, Anna asked me to do a painting of a Barn Owl for her room in her new house. I became inspired to grant her wish when I read Wesley The Owl by Stacey O”Brien. This is a book that I will always own and cherish. I gave my first copy to Annie and I will buy another to keep. It is that good. My husband Tom should really appreciate the fact that after reading about how heavenly, yet horrific it can be to raise an owl, I am not going to adopt one anytime soon. A friend just generously offered to allow me to help raise an orphaned Screech owl. Isn’t there enough screeching in this house already? Another well meaning friend has recently reminded me how much I would love an Alpaca. This is so tempting but after last week, I think I will wait til next year’s new crop. If an owlet appears on my doorstep, I think I might be in heaven, though. Just sayin’

Lamb Chops

Keep in mind that I cautiously edit these posts about animals in case some little child or someone like me is liable to be traumatized about some of the naturally occurring incidents that happen on a farm. It would take a lifetime just to record the bizarre creatures that have just appeared out of nowhere. An Emu……two miniature goats, the donkey lady…..two chickens…..a chupacabra…….a Daldamnation. “Just tell me, I won’t be mad. Where did they com from?” Pleaded my patient and adorable Tom. I have no clue about some of them. I guess they recognize paradise when they see it!

Sad Little Barn Owls

This is a watercolor sketch that I am working on. It is part of a series of owl paintings that I am making into cards that will be for sale here They will be posted for sale with my larger paintings when the cards are ready. Yes, I am still an owlaholic with no desire to change!

Sad Little Barn Owls

Fly Away Home

For the last several years, I have visited the same friends in the Texas Hill Country and I still need directions. Even so, I will inevitably make a wrong turn at the last fork in the road. My favorite friend to visit is a four year old Vulture named Buffy who was orphaned and had to be hand fed and cared for until she learned to survive on her own. Even after she learned to fly and was able to soar with the other Vultures she never needed a map to find her way back to her birthplace. Our friend Bruce has a way with birds and has rescued and rehabilitated numerous species through the years. They remind me of dogs with feathers. As much as I have read about birds, especially birds of prey, I am still clueless as to how they are able to migrate. I can’t even drive to the north side of San Antonio without a map. If you call someone a birdbrain it is supposed to be an insult, but more and more I realize how fascinating and complex birds are. Two weeks ago, Buffy and another Vulture were brought here to our ranch to be released so that they would have a safe environment free of the dangers of highways and power lines. We kept them confined to the aviary for a week and then according to plan we released them hoping that they would stay within a mile or so. Not a chance…..Yesterday, my phone rang. I did not recognize the area code or number. “Buffy is here perched on my shoulder” The call was from Dave, a neighbor of Bruce’s. My little birdbrain had flown 100 miles.

I can see for miles and miles

There’s no place like home……

Last Night and the Night Before

I could not wait to get home Friday night. Tom and I had a cook out planned and we wanted to get started before sunset. I thought we might just walk down to the tank and sit on a blanket and eat a salad, but I should have known better. I saddled up Pony Boy and he was my couch for the evening, while the Gourmet Chef grilled bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and onions to compliment our jalapeño and cheddar cheese burgers. Pony Boy munched on hay and was content to hang out with us. We had a radio, but it was more fun to listen to the Cara Caras (Mexican eagles) and the Owls as it got later. Last night was even more fun and Tom had the whole day to plan our feast.We had corn on the cob, roasted on the fire, green beans on another grill, chicken and sausage on the 3rd one.

Spooky's first pony ride

Noche and Okie stayed home (their choice)and I was a little bit worried about bringing Spooky. I thought we might lose her when it got dark, but she stayed near us all night. She even went for a ride on Pony Boy. Sky was really good, too. She did a little exploring, but never wandered off to far.

Every day opens up new possibilities for fun that only could be realized by living out here with the solitude, open land and abundant wildlife. Just recently we have been excited to see several deer on our property for the first time ever. Last week, I started putting out corn so that they will appear on a predictable basis.There is a big buck and at least four doe in his harem. I can’t wait to see little Bambis in May. If I feed them enough, maybe they will hang out here more often and try some of Tom’s roasted corn on the cob! We took lots of photos that are posted here. Check out Just Saying to see some of the ranch recipes.