Whew! Have I been busy since I got back! Of course, because I was absent for 30 days…projects created themselves while I was gone. I had already commit to events in Austin and returned just in time to get animals ready for the cold front that blew in on Sunday.
I saw it coming in the distance, its dark, cloudy face approaching from the northwest. Feeling restless as were the other animals…I went for a four mile hike. The new app on my phone, Map My Ride, tracks and saves routes that I follow or create here at the ranch.
My walk in the natural world…always inspirational…I noticed the cochineal bug is establishing colonies on the prickly pear and I was reminded of what we learned when my friend, Karen and her daughter and I walked along the Inca Trail in Peru for five days to get to Machu Pichu. Our guide, Edison, whose father named him for the inventor, Thomas Edison…taught us about this bug and its brilliant crimson body juices that the indigenous people use to dye the yarn for weaving in the Andes Mountains.
This dye is actually used for food products we eat everyday. Did you know you may be eating squashed bugs that dye food red instead of artificial colors? You can look it up…
There are butterflies everywhere as well. Are they getting their last little bit of nectar before a migration or the cold of winter sets in?
I have about an hour before the cold rain begins. The clouds make the colors flat but the flame leaf sumac, remnants of purple verbena, the gold tinted cedar elm and broom weed can’t help but display proudly.
I’m wearing shorts but that will soon change as the temperature drops from a balmy 80 F to down in the 30’s F by the morning. That is how fast it happens. The strong wind is created by the low pressure sucking the moisture from the south. As the two pressure systems equalize, the wind stops briefly and then the power of the mighty north wind breaks through and brings the cold. I have watched it approach as it swept fiercely through the tops of the trees to hit like an invisible wall of cold. It’s exciting to watch and feel…always a bit shocking, weather and nature, our greatest teachers.
I found treasures along the way. This piece of broken glass could be a pendant if I had the materials and the skills.
Rounding the corner and walking south I see horses ahead and the rain drops start. The wind is starting to die…I think I made it right on time.