The Caliche Times
Jerry Davis

Guide by Topics

Volume 1


Double Click on the Following links to find your way to the topics:

The Caliche Times Vol 1, No 1 10/2/98

Can you Define Rain?
Balloon Flight and Hurricane Tour
"Bob War" and Water Pumps
Blue Herons are Stumbling over Fish
Eastland Internet Expands to Metroplex
The Internet gets Personal with Relatives
Teachers get DECed
You Could Have Been Working
James Shults tours Davis Elm Creek Ranch

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 2   10/4/98

New Calf Makes Ranch Plans
Wild Dogs and Irresponsible Humans
Squirrels and Wood Ants work on the ranch
Bear Traps and Wild Hogs
Sinbad the Cow Dog
Fire Ants Have No Respect
Emus Become Free as Birds

The Caliche Times Vol 1, No 3   10/15/98

Tracks of Humans found near Elm Creek Ranch
Double Take on an Albino
Cats and Hogs
The Nutria Moved On
Two of Us Were Surprised
Armadillos dig at night, Sinbad digs by day

The Caliche Times Vol 1, No 4    10/23/98

Don had to apologize to his dogs
Truman, Jack, Oral and a Pair of Gloves

The Caliche Times Vol 1, No 5    10/24/98

Debbie and the Baby Calf
No One Wants This Baby
Severe Head Butts Send a Message
Calf Demonstrated She Could do Her Part
First Milk
Black Baby Just a Little Brown and Dirty
Doggone Coyotes Ate all the Rabbits
Sinbad Tells it Like it is

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 6      10/26/98

A Baby Stork flew Over the Other Day Carrying Diapers
Thomas Alvin Firsich Joins Clan
Well, let's hear more from the Grandmother now
Grandmothers get Organized
Goldene and Bob make a Move
Red Birds in an Ohio Snow and Owl Makes Strangled Sound
Old Rock Hounds Rock on Monday Nights
Truman Davis
Nona Maye (Cawley) Davis, Cecil and JC
Nan and Dale and Villa Gregg
Exia's Ole Stomping Ground has a Gate Factory
Playboy Club and Granny's Cafe
Good Ole Texas Expression
Okra is Near the Cutting Edge of Culture
Town Birds

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No  7     11/11/98

Dust Settles on County Road 380
Beer Hunters and Fasting Deer
The Sun Rose Today
Signs of Drought
Leaves show Color
First Freeze of the Season
Willie Edwards Gets Email
The Last Good Sand Dune
Don't Mess with Trees that Reach For You at Night
Grandparents Fall for Grandbabys
The Big Tree in Texas is at Uncle Jim's Woods
Lou Jane works for a Living
Gail Plans to Braille
Carlene and Jerry's Ramblings
The Second Traffic Light

Trashy Family Gossip

Top

 

 

The Caliche Times Vol 1, No 1   10/2/98

 

Can you Define Rain?

Well, hope its raining where you are, there is not any falling here. Weather map shows rain all over Texas... guess their definition of rain and mine differ.
Top

Balloon Flight and Hurricane Tour

Cousins J Frank & Pat Davis are on their world tour right now.  They had everything scheduled except a balloon flight over China. James and Helen Shults are through with their pre-hurricane tour of Florida. Doubt if the golfing was too good in Florida this week. James is probably in a depression after trying to play in that wind. If he would just watch that guy on TV and learn to hit the ball straight with only one lesson. We don't have to worry about any wet weather here in Central Texas our golf course is in fine shape... plenty of irrigation water on the south side of Rising Star for the golf course.
Top

"Bob War" and Water Pumps

Other interesting news, I am preparing to put in more new fence and extend the size cattle corral, so I went into Brownwood yesterday and bought 55 bundles of fence post(T-posts) and 10 roles of barbed wire(that's pronounced "Bob War" if you need help with that).. studied their engines for pumping water with great interest.. looks like the pumps can draw up water (at a rate of 170 gal/minute or more) from any of our hand dug wells just fine.
Top

Blue Herons are Stumbling over Fish

Had to sell some cows since the pond water is down to the depth so you can see the backs of the carp and catfish sticking out of the water as they swim. The Great Blue Herons( we only have two assigned to Elm Creek, they are very territorial, you know and won't share with neighboring Herons) have really enjoyed helping our buzzards(Broussard and Brucilla our resident buzzards) and the raccoons keep the fish cleaned up. We haven't named the raccoons or armadillos because there are so many of them they don't even know each others names. If you want to read more about Broussard (named after a college roommate of mine and Brucilla, named after one of our least favorite cattle diseases) you can read more about the role they play here on the ranch by clicking on the link http://www.eastland.net/tech/Adv_Cow_Psych.htm and reading the Advanced Cow Psychology page.
Top

Eastland Internet Expands to Metroplex

On the technology side, our Internet service has extended into the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is now serving over 100 towns in Texas. We have three Internet companies originating out of the Eastland, Texas area from the same office. The one fellow that works in the office answering the phone has a pretty interesting day with tech calls coming in.
Top

The Internet gets Personal with Relatives

On the personal technology, James I. Cawley and Jim T. Cawley plan to get their scanners set up and send us some pictures soon. Larry and Terri Cawley talk about doing this also but I haven’t received any pictures yet. Larry is too busy engineering trains in the "piney" woods of East Texas. We did receive a baby picture from Chad and Kim Davis of Caitlin. She has beautiful blue eyes. They live in Durham, NC.
Top

Teachers get DECed

Well, keep your teachers in mind this week seems they all have been under extra stress from the DEC visits. Teachers and principals have to be ready to answer a lot of questions to prove their school’s special programs are going the way they should. Lou Jane in Cisco,TX, Sharla in New Castle,TX, and Kelly in Seminole, TX, report that they are surviving the test real well but are looking forward to Friday.
Top

James Shults tours Davis Elm Creek Ranch

James Shults came by before I finished this email this morning and we visited and took a tour of the place and looked at a new black and white heifer calf about two days old. We looked at a wildlife pond and an old well on a homestead place where my little sister, Ruth Ledelle Davis was stillborn during a snowstorm, March 18, 1934. The doctor had made a house call to bring the baby but couldn’t save it.

The rain went around us again so I guess I better quit telling stories and go back to work.

If you don’t know folks mentioned in this email don’t worry about it because if you trace back far enough you will find out you are probably related to them some where along the way. Smile.
Top

You Could Have Been Working

Y'all have a nice day now. If you have read this far then you have lost part of a pretty day when you could have been accomplishing something.

Jerry

PS: James Shults said the golf went just fine down in Florida except for the rain. Takes a lot to get him off the golf course.
Top

 

 

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 2   10/4/98

 

New Calf Makes Ranch Plans

I saw the baby calf that belongs to Portia (the mother cow) yesterday as you know if you read the family narrative. The calf is black and white just like the mother cow and is a heifer. She is already making plans to become a herd cow here at Davis Elm Creek Ranch.
Top

Wild Dogs and Irresponsible Humans

Folks, instead of being responsible with their animals,  are using our property as an animal dump ground. Wild dogs are becoming a problem in this area and reported to be running with coyotes, we will have to take some action on the problem. We are fighting the coyotes in a small way by replacing fences with wire that makes it more difficult for them to transverse the property. We have a similar problem with coyotes as Australians have with wild dogs. They use a field fence wire to control wild dogs but this solution requires a constant monitoring and reacting to local trauma in the wire.
Top

Squirrels and Wood Ants work on the ranch

Squirrels near the house have been a continuous problem since I was a kid and their population has to be controlled. We have many hollow oak trees here near the house that squirrels and wood ants like to peek out of. The squirrels and wood ants are both pests that we try to control since they are destructive to any wooded structures such as our house.
Top

Bear Traps and Wild Hogs

I looked at some bear "live" traps in Brownwood this week, thinking I may have to purchase one if the wild hogs move onto our place. They are now ranging approximately within 15 miles of our place. That bear trap probably will work to trap dogs and coyotes also.
Top

Sinbad the Cow Dog

Only two things bother Sinbad.  People that smell like cigarette butts and have loud pickups that wake him up and raccoons that show their teeth. The only thing he kills are raccoons that come up at night and try to steal his dog food.  I find them dead in the yard the next morning.... he never even mentions it during the night.  We have a struggle trying to control armadillos.   If I could just train our dog Sinbad to get mad at armadillos,  I wouldn't have to shoot so many.   I have had to lift up the propane tanks twice (and that is an engineering feat out here) and put new rocks under the tanks.  The tanks sink down into the armadillo holes when the ground softens during a rain.
Top

Fire Ants Have No Respect

What else can come onto our place.... fire ants are making their way into Eastland county and one man that lived south of here was riding his tractor through a muddy area (this happened some time ago).  He fell off the tractor and got caught in a way he couldn't get out from under the tractor. The rescue team had a very difficult time getting him out of this situation and when they did,  he had sustained hundreds of bites from fire ants and was in serious condition upon arrival at the hospital.
Top

Emus Become Free as Birds

Another interesting thing that is going on in our area concerns Emus. The prices have dropped so low that the birds are being released to run free and we see an occasional bird grazing out in the country. That is potentially a problem for folks that grow crops or have gardens they like to feed on. Can you imagine telling a bird that size to get out of your garden?
Top

 

 

 

 The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 3   10/15/98

 

Tracks of Humans found near Elm Creek Ranch

For those of you just now getting your first treasured copy of The Caliche Times it is a continued email about things out here on the Davis Farm and Ranch along Elm Creek. We are isolated out here with the blowing caliche dust and a few animals of our own species and some other animals that are wild also. Both kinds of animals are kinda interesting to observe. You can always tell which ones belong to our species because their tracks the next morning look like beer cans along the dirt ditches beside our road.
Top

Double Take on an Albino

Today as I drove over to a little town near here(Carbon, TX), I observed a flock of about a dozen wild turkeys fly up next to me along the little country hwy. I did a double take and almost missed the curve in the road as I noticed one of the turkeys was an albino. I thought no that can't be, but as I observed its flight I realized that no domestic white turkey ever flew like that or looked that wild as it rose up over the woods and disappeared with the others.
Top

Cats and Hogs

Neighbor ten miles to the north of here reports since my last email that the wild hogs are large and tore a very large hole in his field fence. Carl Lewis, that bales hay for me, said a few days ago he saw a light colored cat near his barn and could see it well enough to confirm it was a Mountain Lion. He went for his gun and when he returned it was too far away for him to kill. Carl's brother Clarence said he had recently seen a dark colored cat which he referred to as a Panther. I have always heard reports of these cats migrating through here this time of year but keep hoping to see one for myself. We see a few bobcats since we have the ecological environment here to raise a lot of them. We let them do what they do and so far they have left the baby calves alone as far as we know. Bobcats are crazy about quail and other birds of which we have enough for them to eat.

The other types of animals that have moved in here and now live on Elm Creek that were not here while I was growing up here are:
Top

The Nutria Moved On

White Tailed deer, Green-Backed Heron, turkey, coyote, bank burrowing beaver, porcupine, nutria were here for a while and then moved on thank God for that one, Rattlesnakes are more common now, Barn Swallows are one of our attractive birds but drive us nuts dabbing their mud everywhere and it takes one of the most cruel methods know to man or beast to get rid of them. Don't Ask.   Starlings, Purple Martins, and many others which I might list later.
Top

Two of Us Were Surprised

One animal that always surprises me is the "tropical looking" Green snake. Now what it's doing out here in the Central Texas Desert I just can't figure out.  I had my first real close encounter with a Green snake last week as I climbed over a metal gate that had just about rusted all the way through. As I straddled the gate to climb over one of the pipes gave way and left me in a rather painful and embarrassing position but fortunately no one was around to hear what I had to say about it. As I got myself off the gate I noticed the Green snake was also on one of the pipes along the gate. I'm glad they don't bite, one injury was enough for that day.
Top

Armadillos dig at night, Sinbad digs by day

If you read this far you lost some time today. But sometimes real events are better than fiction.  I am still working on Sinbad the Cowdog's attitude about armadillos but so far I have to outwit them myself. Sinbad can sleep with them digging holes all around him in the yard.   During the day Sinbad digs holes to see what the armadillos found.

Y'all come to see us...

Jerry Davis
Top

 

 

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 4    10/23/98

 

Don had to apologize to his dogs

My friend Don who owns a ranch south of Abilene sent me the following note after the last Caliche Times:
"A few years ago I had two old dogs that would spend hours digging an armadillo out of his hole but would let an armadillo dig up the yard so I could hardly mow.  I said some really bad things to and about those dogs.  Then one night I killed this skunk in the yard and the digging stopped. Never knew a skunk did that much digging.   Neither dog would bother a skunk.  Had to apologize to the dogs.
I have seen a few or the green snakes out here also."
Top

Truman, Jack, Oral and a Pair of Gloves

Well Truman Davis (my Uncle) that lives in Goldthwaite, TX is in the hospital in Brownwood right now and I hope to visit him tomorrow. I am reminded of the story that his son Jack told about him a few years ago and the story makes me grin and think of my Dad (Oral E. Davis) every time I think of this story. Truman was a dozer operator in West Texas and clearing right-of-ways for pipe lines I think. Jack decided he would go to work for his Dad a while and make a few extra dollars. Truman put Jack on the job as his dozer "swamper" meaning he was to do whatever his Dad told him to do. When my Dad asked Jack how he liked working for Truman as his "swamper", Jack replied "Well I liked it all right but Dad had to buy a new pair of gloves every day." Dad said, "Oh, why was that?"   Jack said," Well, Dad wore out the index finger part of a pair of gloves every day just pointing and telling me what to do."   Suddenly I realized why we had so many pairs of old gloves lying around our place.
Top

Y'all come to see us,

Jerry

 

 

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 5    10/24/98

 

Debbie and the Baby Calf

Life is tough sometimes even for baby calves.   A couple of days ago, early in the morning as I looked through a cold and misty rain across to a pasture nearly mile away, I could see a baby calf all hunkered up and freezing cold. It had the look of a new born calf no question about it and born in weather that somehow Mother Nature provides for new born calves.  I had a sudden reason to be concerned because as I came closer I realized that all of the cows were coming up to the calf and checking to see how it smelled.  If it didn’t smell just right you would see them walk away and go on about their business. This is a danger sign that says to the rancher that these cows have heard this calf bellow and are coming to pay their respects and see if they know this calf.  They walk off leaving no cow standing by the baby indicating that no one claims the baby.
Top

No One Wants This Baby

When I arrive all the cows have passed their judgment that the calf is not theirs. The calf continues to bellow and stagger around with navel cord dragging the ground.  It is wet and cold and a new born crying for mama and it continues to cry that pitiful cry of hunger. One hour later I have completed checking the herd and haven’t been able to determine the real mother cow. I have tried giving the calf to a cow that pulled up in a plum thicket with a tiny fresh new calf not too far from where the abandoned calf was born. Yeah, the cows will show you where an abandoned calf is born. They are very concerned about the smell of blood and their actions will always show you the location. The good mother cow will always have her calf in an isolated area and stay there to give her and her calf some bonding time; but in the case of the first time heifer she may drop a calf in the middle of the herd and never know the calf is hers. She just knows there was an event and says, "whew, that was tough" and walks away without cleaning up the area.
Top

Severe Head Butts Send a Message

Well, poor little calf was sleeping pretty good by now because I had loaded her in the front of the pickup in the floorboard and covered her with some old rugs and soft carpets I had at the barn.  Turned the heater on a few minutes and warmed her up and she was real comfortable but tired from the ride around the pasture. She was a little scared too, and so was I because this calf had to get Mother’s milk during 3-4 hours after birth and time is fast getting away from us. The little calf was scared because I had placed her in the plum thicket with the cow that had the new baby. I was thinking that if this calf happened to be one of a set of twins then she might claim it. The calf began to talk to the cow and stagger though the bushes of the thicket. Suddenly the cow rushed and gave the baby several severe head butts to let it know it couldn’t have her milk. The calf immediately hit the ground expressing sorrow for its mistake and trying to become invisible in the wet grass. I had to crawl into the wet thicket and rescue the baby by dragging it out of the thicket by its hind legs and load it back into the pickup again. Our time was fast slipping away.  I wasn’t sure of the time of birth and the vet’s office was about 30 minutes away. I had already checked to see if I had a nursing bottle and colostrum but couldn’t find either one.
Top

Calf Demonstrated She Could do Her Part

By the time we had made a few miles down the road to see the doctor, the calf showed me how healthy she was by leaving me a generous stool load on the carpet of the floorboard of the pickup. I checked for traffic both ways on our county road and found none which should surprise no one.*
Top

First Milk

Well, not seeing anyone on the road I quickly removed the unwanted stuff and proceeded on down to the vet. Shelly (the receptionist) was glad to see me but said that I should have called first because both vets were occupied in surgery at the time. I told her the calf was wet and hungry and I didn’t know if it had had its "first milk" and it had been about 2 hours since I found the calf. I exaggerated some because the calf was now dry and warm in the pickup. While I was trying to think of a good reason I didn’t call before coming to the office, I saw the concern begin to rise up in Shelly's eyes and she disappeared into the surgery room. Shortly she returned and said "One of the vets will be with you soon." I knew they would because both these vets know my cows almost on a first name basis. Soon she said, "You can go on back where they are now." They invite me back into the room where a small dog is asleep on the surgery table. The tiny dog is lying upside down in an angle iron trough with the smell of iodine and medications heavy in the air. So I inquired about this dog’s problem. Paul (the vet) said," This dog has two problems we are correcting, first she is a female and second she is riddled with hernias" and demonstrated as he pressed on her little belly. "Yep", I said as I saw the problems. Some folks will do most anything to help their pets.
Top

Black Baby, Just a Little Brown and Dirty

Walker (the other vet) looked like he had been up all night working with cattle but asked if he could help me. I told him about the baby calf. He spoke to a lady assistant named Debbie and we went to see my baby. I had asked Walker if he remembered the name of the person that liked to buy baby calves and put them on his overly endowed cows. Walker couldn’t think of the person right then but did recall that his employee did have experience in that area and had earlier mentioned wanting to get a calf to feed. Debbie walked up about that time and he asked her if she still wanted a baby calf to feed. Debbie hesitated and then asked about the background of the calf and I told her he was black Brangus even though it looked a little brown and dirty. She considered it for a while and made a few concerned remarks about how she would be getting herself into a feeding schedule and her whole life would be changed by taking this calf. I knew she was hooked though as soon as she saw the look in the eyes of that baby calf. We agreed on a price and carried the calf inside where I left it in a nest of fresh soft hay with hay bales around it and told it bye. It bellowed just a little as it saw Debbie. I knew it was about to get its first dinner and would be in good hands with Debbie.
Top

Doggone Coyotes Ate all the Rabbits

*You know, we can hear a pickup coming down our road for quite a distance away. Sinbad always knows it first and stands and looks in the direction of the traffic to let us know. Then Lou Jane or I see Sinbad looking and we look also to see who might be coming down this country road. On a good day we can listen to the noise of the pickup and estimate the speed and know who it is without having to go outside if we don’t recognize the pickup of the rancher whose place joins us on the East, then we think "Why would anyone else want to come down this road?"  
Top

Sinbad Tells it Like it is

You knew that Sinbad the cow dog would somehow get into this story because he hardly ever misses. You can ask him why he chases cats and he will always tell you he does it because the coyotes have eaten all the rabbits that were his favorites to chase. {I guess one excuse is as good as another} Sinbad pretty much tells it like it is.
Top

 

 

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No 6      10/26/98

 

A Baby Stork flew Over the Other Day Carrying Diapers


Yeah, I thought I heard a baby stork fly over this morning about 6:30 in a hurry to make it to Seattle. Sure enough one of my cousins Gae Bjork from the San Antonio area emailed me the following information or specs if you are into the technical stuff. Here it is in the words of a happy grandmother....
Top

Thomas Alvin Firsich Joins Clan

>Jerry, Brenda and Todd became parents today! Vitals:
>Thomas Alvin Firsich
>8 pounds
>21 3/4 inches (wow!)
>"Beautiful!
>Todd called about 7:00 this morning to get me before leaving for work, then talked with Brenda. Two very happy parents!!!! They attended several of the reunions at Ruidosa, so I am sure many of the clan will want to know about Thomas's arrival."

It no wonder the kid was a wow! kid. I had him on my calendar for the 22th of this month and look how much he grew with the extra four days.

Top

Well, let's hear more from the Grandmother now.....

>"You know that I am REALLY getting eager for Sunday and my trip to Seattle. Such a considerate grandson, too--we always hoped that Todd would be off work the first week of his arrival and I could be there for a second week of 'help' while he can go to work. Perfect timing--and we made my plane reservations in August! Todd said he will be sending some pictures over the 'net' probably before I leave. They just purchased a scanner so I can really keep updated on Thomas's progress, too, after I leave there.
Top

Grandmothers get Organized

Sounds like if we get all the grandmothers organized we may have some baby pictures to email to relatives.

Goldene and Bob make a Move


>You may know that Goldene and Bob are planning to move from their current place (in the country); they are still looking for a complex suitable for
>them. Both want "view". Previous to getting married, Goldene lived in an
>apartment complex that circled a huge pond (or small lake) that had
>wildlife--ducks, etc. I think they want something similar. They are
>accustomed to following the wildlife in their current place--skunks and
>possums raiding the food beneath the bird feeders, hundreds of birds (many interesting species), and on the lake the swan and geese as well as deer coming up for drink from the nearby woods. You would have enjoyed their place--the only time I was there was at the reunion year before last."  Love, Gae
Top

Red Birds in an Ohio Snow and Owl Makes Strangled Sound

You are right Gae, I would enjoy that place especially in the Winter time with about a foot of two of Ohio snow and watching and feeding the red birds and other wildlife. Out here at Elm creek we do the same thing but we do it with 1/100 inch of frost on the grass. No one can remember the last time it snowed enough to cover the ground. All the Town Birds* and Red Birds gather around and elbow each other to get a place to roost in the bushes next to our house. Have a resident Great Horned Owl that has been staying out here at night under or near our guard lights. He watches for stuff to eat like crickets and mice. He makes an unnerving sound when you aren't looking; somewhat similar to a strangled hawk. I never heard a strangled hawk but seemed like a good comparison.
Top

Old Rock Hounds Rock on Monday Nights

Came in late from Abilene tonight where the old rock hounds get together and BS about rocks and other trivia. Think we will make a trip to Big Bend around Thanksgiving to listen to a lot of other rock hounds BS about rocks and trivia. Rock hounds don't have to know each other, they just have to know some of the same kinds of rocks to have a good conservation. My friend Don ( the rancher near Ovalo) is working on our club web site so some day we will publish our site to the World Wide Web.
Top

Truman Davis

I talked to Jack Davis this morning. Jack said Truman is off IV's and is sitting up now with help. Doctor is planning to send him home probably tomorrow.

Nona Maye (Cawley) Davis, Cecil and JC

I did hear from Nona Maye (Cawley) Davis yesterday and she is feeling good again after a few weeks of weight loss and feeling uneasy about eating. One of those mystery things that nobody has any answers for.  Cecil is about the same and would like to have some email if you want to send it to JC.
Top

Nan and Dale and Villa Gregg

Nan and Dale and Villa Gregg and family all getting back to routine of daily events after Nan and Dale spending some time with surgery.

Exia's Ole Stomping Ground has a Gate Factory

Exia Cawley in Port Neches, TX might like to know there is a lot of activity over at Carbon, TX. There is a gate construction company there close to the location of the trading store. They ships gates all over the country. Gates are real popular in this part of the country. Wish we could be more like Wyoming and not have to have fences then we wouldn't need gates.
Top

Playboy Club and Granny's Cafe

Those of you that haven't been to Carbon, TX might like to drop by there and see Carbon's Playboy Club. You can go in there and have a game of dominoes and then go next door to Granny's Cafe and have one of the best home cooked meals you can have if you like taters, steak and gravy.

It's nice to hear from those of you that take time to drop a line in the email box from time to time.
Top

Good Ole Texas Expression

Y'all have a goodun and come to see us, ya hear! (we hear that expression a lot around here so I use it cause it's fun to write it too.)

Okra is Near the Cutting Edge of Culture

We live way out here on the cutting edge of culture near Okra, TX... thats pronounced "Oakre" round here. If you don't know where Okra is it is just as far as you can point from where you are.... smile.

Well hello Thomas Alvin Firsich, join the clan!

See y'all,

Jerry

*Town Birds - AKA Sparrows.   Dumb birds that have interbred so much that they don't even know how many species there are or who their parents are.

Top

 

The Caliche Times Vol  1, No  7     11/11/98

 

Dust Settles on County Road 380

The caliche dust has finally settled on county road 380. We had over 2" of mist this last week or so.

Beer Hunters and Fasting Deer

The beer hunters, oh, I mean deer hunters are thicker right now than the deer are. Local processing plants filled up over the weekend with little deer and a few that had racks. Our two deer stepped into the woods hoping to wait it out. They graze during the week now and fast during the weekend.
Top

The Sun Rose Today

Well, the sun still rises and sets out here everyday on the ranch. Some days that comes as a surprise. Even though some days are very humid other days are very dry. We are still enduring one of the worst droughts since the 50's and yet the grass is green and the weather is very much into Fall. Guess you just can't tell from the color of the grass if a drought is being experienced by the local farmers and ranchers.
Top

Signs of Drought

What are the signs that indicate that a drought still exists after 2.2" of rain?   All you have to do is look into a stock tank and check the water level; if you see the backs of the fish sticking out of the water you know the summer has been tough and doesn't look real good for winter either. It means the rancher may be chopping through thick ice to water cows or having to heat water troughs to water cows on cold Winter days. You look at peanut crops that have been dug; don't see any peanuts on the vines, you know it's been a tough growing season. You see farmers leaving the peanuts vines on the top of the ground unharvested you know its been tough. You see farmers making hay bales out of peanut hay, you know it has been tough. You see Emus grazing with cattle, its been tough. You see full grown cattle selling for 32 cents a pound, its been tough.
Top

Leaves show Color

In the midst of all the drought the Winter rye grass is 3" tall and as pretty as we have ever seen it. The leaves have finally given up and decided to show some colors. They really can't help it; they have to do that based on the number of hours of daylight anyway.
Top

First Freeze of the Season

We are going to have our first freeze of the season tonight. I spent the day seeing that all vehicles, sprayers, water lines, hydrants, etc.. are winterized. We are in a cold spot here on Elm Creek and have to predict our nightly temps by subtracting about 10 degrees from the temperature given by the National Weather Service office in Abilene.
Top

Willie Edwards Gets Email

Guess you noticed that Willie Edwards now has email. Maybe someday she will send us all an email. She lives out there in West Texas in between oil wells and sand dunes. On days when the sand is blowing across the area you curse the sand and bless the smell(of oil that is). Around here we bless the sand and curse the smell unless it is cattle smell, then that's OK.  Back before the days of trading with Mexico, cattle prices were about $1.25/lb. Cows are now selling at 23 cents a pound and calves about 62 cents a pound. So cows don't smell near as good as they used to.  I expect the prices will improve as winter grain begins to green up in the fields and provide some grazing.
Top

The Last Good Sand Dune

Our son Patrick and his family came to see us this week end. They live at Seminole.. Seminole is located on the last good sand dune before you get to Hobbs, NM if you are traveling from East to West. Patrick comes down to see us and the trees that grow here in Central Texas. His 2 yr. old son hadn't ever seen Oak trees taller than Shinnery Oak. (It's just shin tall to a tall Texan and is protected in some areas of West Texas.) Caleb(Patrick and Kelly's son) stood back and crossed his arms and studied the trees for a while and said "BIGGG TREES".
Top

Don't Mess with Trees that Reach For You at Night

We have some big oak trees here that when seen at night remind one of the trees in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If you look at them on a night when it’s misty and moonless you can see the fingers of the limbs reaching down to get you. We don't usually stay under the trees very long when they start to do that.

Grandparents Fall for Grandbabys

You know how grandparents are, always impressed with their grandchildren. Well Caleb and I walked out to look at a big cow(bull). On the way to the barn we passed by a real tractor; just a little bigger than the trucks in his toy box. He decides to check out this tractor and runs his hands along and up the curve of the tire in a very admiring manner. Next he tries to read the information about the size of the tire. He realizes he can't read yet so he just comments "BIG WHEEL" and then proceeds to check the smaller wheel and finally comments "ANOTHER WHEEL" and we go on to see the big cow.
Top

The Big Tree in Texas is at Uncle Jim's Woods

Well, that's kids and grandpas for you. I wish I could show him Jim Tom Cawley's big Oak tree in the Piney Woods near Sillsbee Texas, now there's a big tree, probably 30' in circumference at the base. It is a Live Oak  with limbs resting on the ground in several directions.  Now a kid could play in that tree!

If you are ever coming through Rising Star again, you may want to stop by Main Street Auto and visit with Teco Munguia. Teco used to haul hay for Dad and myself when we had the smaller bales to haul to the barn. Teco is a short fellow with a dark mustache and a smile that reaches all the way out from under his mustache. If you don't smile when he smiles then you are a pretty tough customer. I mention Teco because he owns the business and has attracted a lot of auto repair business. His place of business looks like a parking lot with cars all around it waiting to be worked on. Looks like we may have to put in a second stop light to handle all the traffic in Rising Star.
Top

Lou Jane works for a Living

Lou Jane says she has to work for a living so she doesn't have time to write. She does take the dishes out of the dish washer before she leaves in the morning so I don't have to make any decisions during the day, I sure do appreciate that.

Gail Plans to Braille

My cousin Gail, plans to print some publications in Braille next year and thought she might use some excerpts form the Caliche Times. I figured one of the things we would have to do first is get it translated from "cowboy country" into English.
Top

Carlene and Jerry's Ramblings

Lou Jane’s college mate (notice I didn’t say old college mate) and life long friend and my friend too receives a copy of the Caliche Times but not by her choice, I just send it to her. Carlene teaches English at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene.   I never have held that against her. She refers to the Caliche Times as "Jerry’s ramblings". I figure that my writing makes significant contribution to her classes because she can distribute copies with the student tests to see if they can determine where paragraphs and punctuation should be used. Probably saves money on worksheets, etc. None of her students know me so she would not have to reveal that she knows the author.
Top

The Second Traffic Light

If we ever get that second traffic light and you feel safe driving through Rising Star, y'all come to see us, ya hear?

Jerry

Trashy Family Gossip

PS: Got the following note just before sending this out tonight.

Start Date: 11/11/1998 (Wednesday)

Received your memo of today. Thanks, and thanks for putting us on your list of mail-outs. I promise to bring you up to date on all the trashy family gossip from our neck of the woods soon.
Regards to the family- David and Sandra
Top

 

I don’t know about everybody else but I am looking forward to hearing this gossip.

Jerry

Return to Front Index Page