Monday, August 1, 2016

Local Fauna

These beautiful pinto's live on a ranch that backs up to one of the roads in our subdivision.
Pinto is a generic term referring to any breed of horse that has a white coat splashed with patches of a different color.  Whatever their breed, these pinto's are certainly friendly, curious neighbors.  They trotted right up to the fence when we got off our bikes, and did't mind being petted! 

For a while I painted quite a few equestrian scenes - I wish I had met these willing models then.

There are other animal neighbors nobody tries to pet.  
This black longhorn is handsome, but that curving rack of horns can only mean 'stay away'!

Out on the lake, we sometimes pass cattle cooling off in the water.
Scenes like this really make our dog's day - Kye stands in the prow, fascinated by the sight and scent.

In our garden, we have smaller creatures - like this box turtle who got caught in our squirrel trap one afternoon.  We opened the hatch, and he lumbered quietly away. 
I saw him later sleeping under this holly.

Our little trap did catch two squirrels who had gnawed their way into our attic.
They were resettled in a distant wood.

But our most exciting catch was this big armadillo!
We are not sure how he overcame the electric armadillo fence, but somehow he got into the front yard and dug quite a deep hole, before blundering into this unbaited trap.
He has since been relocated to a distant field.

They are such strange looking creatures. When the trap opened, he actually leapt in the air!

The butterflies, of course, are much prettier to watch, and not destructive.

They have been feasting on the lantana flowers (a perennial in the verbena family).

We've seen Giant Swallowtails, Western Swallowtails, Monarchs, Orange Sulphers, and Gulf Fritially butterflies.

The days are steamy and hot, and the lake water is very warm, but we feel cooler just looking at it.


  1. Found you from your dog trot post. We live in a ca. 1900 American farmhouse, its central hall is 9' wide x 50' long, 1 story, 3 rooms off each side, obviously based upon the dog trot. Trying to find more info about our architecture. Alas, someone added onto our house in back during the late 50's, the central hall is now 80' long.

    Doors and raised thresholds, along with 4 coal fireplaces, tell the story of shutting all the central hall doors, and not heating the central hall in winter. There were doors between each of the rooms. Those were removed and made solid walls before moving in. The original method of heating the house much smarter than the current central heating.

    Armadillos are bad here, rural middle Georgia, friends are trapping/killing 30+ each year near their homes. Only in our home, a small farm, a year, no gardening yet, have not had armadillo issue so far. Will dig a well this year, and use drip irrigation once we begin planting, I know the armadillos will come. Would you recommend your armadillo fence?

    Of course the neighbors just got goats, I know they'll be in my garden sometimes ! Their cows were.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

    1. Hi Tara,
      How wonderful to have found an early dog trot house - a true Southern classic! I hope you can discover more about it's past - perhaps even some photographs before the 1950's restoration.
      About ten years ago at a Master Gardener convention, one of the speakers was a gentleman who had inherited an early Texas dog house. The story of the renovation (it had never been severely modified) was fascinating - peeling back layer and layers of newspaper, glued down and shellacked year after year, to floors and walls as both decor & insulation. It was a labor of love saving that piece of history.
      Our dog trot has a short history in real time, but was designed to feel as if it had been added onto over a number of years - a history in my imagination!
      As to the armadillo fence - yes! I would put one in. My husband installed our without difficulty, and the ever present Texas sun keeps it's battery functioning - free juice.
      Armadillos are so destructive! It was quite a mystery to watch healthy shrubs die because of an undiscovered tunnel destroying their roots. I had no idea they were such dexterous tunnel builders. Fortunately we caught on before they got under our foundation.
      The convenient thing about these electric fences is how movable they are. The little stands supporting the wire can be lifted out and rearranged or expanded as your garden area grows. (I think we forgot to hook up the driveway connection one night, and that is how a stray armadillo breached our defenses last month).
      Tara, it was a treat to see your name pop up on my email as I have been making regular visits to your blog over the last few years!
      Best wishes as you go forward with your new home and garden!