The Caliche Times Vol 2 No 7 10/04/99
What an interesting compilation of ranch life! You are an excellent writer and full of good info. about things I don't know much about...such as wasps which hang in suspended animation under ground just waiting to be consumed....(eeek!!!)
Jerry, the Caliche Times Online is nice. Reading about your adventures is so much more amusing than living them! I liked the poem about Texas .....
OLE buddy PIP
Hey cowboy Thanks ever so much for the catch up on the life and Caliche times.
I've book marked it for future reference . Funny how the little things get past you and surprise what you find you miss. I was down in Houston a couple of weeks ago all I can say is it sure was hot.
Speaking of fall I'll email you a photo or three in a month or so when the colors come
on in full splendor.
Crickets Attack Theater Class
Crickets came pouring into the theater class as happens about this time every year. Students went berserk as they do about this time every year. Teacher methods of dealing with this problem varied this year as they do about this time every year. This one teachers method of dealing with this problem was a little different because theater class came right before the lunch hour. So for every cricket thrown across the room and every cricket put down another students shirt and every cricket smashed would cost some time off the students lunch hour. By the time the screams died down and many crickets had lost their lives, students had lost four minutes of their lunch time but couldnt imagine how this unfairness of the application of the rules had occurred; the crickets had only come to class to learn.
Red Ants make Surprising Discovery in their Nest
Sowed some wheat few days ago. Next day I noticed the red ants were busy gathering the seed from the hard ground where I had turned at end of field. They carried them from a long way off to their nest. Now I see they are bringing them out and discarding them near the nest. As you know most seeds intended for planting are treated to keep insects out of them. A dye is mixed with the poison to let you know that have been treated so you don't feed them to animals. Seems the ants decided the seed were not good food. Shame they had to do so much work before they discovered this. There are 4 ant beds where this has happened. At least this is the only explanation I have for their actions.Drought and Hard Times have Fallen on Red Ant Populations
Red ants at the Davis Elm Creek Ranch have had to take extreme measures during this time of drought to survive. I notice that all of the supply of grass seeds have been used up within range of their nests. They have for the last month or so, been gathering up grass burr seeds and bringing them into the nest. Harvest the kernel of the burr then return the burr or husk back to the perimeter of the surface nest area. Every red ant nest area now looks like a dump ground for grass burrs. With the kernel of the burr missing they shouldnt be able to germinate. The ants that we have thought to be such nuisances for so many years have now turned into beneficial insects in more ways than one.
When we realized that harvester red ants and fire ants were enemies, we decided we would rather have the harvester ants. For some time now we have been feeding the harvester ants. Another reason for protecting the red ants is they are the main source of food for the disappearing horned toad (lizard). We have only observed a couple of horned toads this year. It is very difficult for horned toads to find just the right soil moisture and humidity to get a hatching of their young. They may look like dinosaurs but they are very fragile and are rapidly disappearing, it wont take an asteroid strike or any major disaster other than an extreme drought and use of pesticides on their food source and they will fade away very quietly.