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Friday, March 22, 2013


Friday, 9:00 AM.  The Texas  weather has turned blustery, after some nice weather.  Things are dry so rain would be welcome.  Lots of plants are  blooming here now; red buds, spring bulbs, pansies, and the iconic Texas bluebonnets, which are a much shorter relative of the Bayfield Lupines. Yuccas are blooming on the drier range land, huge, fragrant blossoms. Some are almost treelike.
   We had a good time at Blue Mountain Peak Ranch, the accommodations were a large step above being a bunkhouse, all very comfortable and modern.  We were the only guests, the facilities miles back off the road.  The ultimate in peace and quiet.  There was lots of bird life, we saw deer and turkeys and jackrabbits, but the hogs were not around.  We saw not even a bristle, heard not a grunt.  I sat in the blind from dusk to 10:30 PM Tuesday evening, and again on Wednesday morning from 5:00 AM until daylight, and on Wednesday night until a Texas thunder and lightning storm chased us back to the bunkhouse.  There is nothing so quiet as night, deep in the heart of Texas.  I suppose I could say something about the stars at night being big and bright as well but even I can't be that trite.
  Joan was an amazingly good sport about all my obsession with hogs, and she managed to enjoy the experience as well, since we drove the all-wheel drive Ridgeline wherever we needed to go on the ranch, and she sat in the truck while I sat in the blind, reading when she felt like it and enjoying the quiet of the night when not.
   The ranch is quite beautiful in a stark, almost desert-like way.  Live oak, bur and post oak dot the hills, but there is almost a complete lack of topsoil, much of the land being limestone outcroppings and rock rubble.  The sparse grasses are mostly little bluestem, with big bluestem and Indian grass in the washes.  The omnipresent, water-loving Ashe cedar is being controlled by burning, which has encouraged the springs to rejuvenate, which are very beneficial to wildlife.  The ranch is recognized as an environmental model by the State of Texas.  We will come again sometime, perhaps to deer hunt.  Then I suppose we will see hogs.

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