Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Almost Behind Me....

I had surgery to repair my plumbing the day before Thanksgiving.  It's been kind of slow recovering from it all...  probably a combination of not bouncing back as fast as when I was young and the nature of the surgery itself.  Just think of it this way...  my body is the RV...  the grey and black water tanks are just fine even after all these years, but the apparatus holding it all in place needed repaired.... those darned fittings just don't last forever.   That's about as far as this analogy is going to go, and no...  there'll be no photos ;-)

So it's been pretty quiet here in this part of Texas.  I'm not allowed to drive yet, so Bill saddles up the Scion each day and takes me to Wal-Mart, HEB, or even sometimes Home Depot and Tractor Supply.  Don't laugh...  it's good to get out of the rig and see some different scenery.

We drive on a couple of county roads before hitting the main highway into Granbury.  This is cow country... we're only about 50 miles from Cowtown, USA (Ft Worth).  It's pretty much flat land...  lots of oaks and scrubby trees...  you can just about see forever.

We don't see many birds here so when the stock ponds have waterfowl on them both Bill & I crane our necks to see what's there.  The other day we saw several hooded merganzers.  We've seen some wigeon, shovelers, and some unidentified birds on one particular pond.

We thought these were shovelers at first, but their bills just don't look long enough.  The light is always very wrong when we're heading to town...  it's never good enough to see the real color nor even the pattern of the colors.  What might appear to be a white patch could be just light reflecting off the water.

 Those birds are so skittish that they fly if you even slow down in the car to view them.  The pond is about 250' off the road and has some trees along the edge so it's hard to get a good view of them at any time.

Lately, there's been a Great blue heron hanging out in that pond...
 But even it flies away when we slow down to see it.
Those clumps of greenery in that tree aren't leaves... that's mistletoe which is a parasitic plant quite abundant here in this area.

So while I take my binoculars along with me on our trip to town I'm lucky to get even a fleeting glimpse of what's in those ponds.

The other day we had the most unusual cloud formations....

My Peterson First Guide to Clouds and Weather book identifies this type cloud as "Altocumulus".
They live in altitudes between 10,000' and 20,000' and are considered to be one of the most pleasing to look at.
The description goes on to say they look like sheep standing close together in a pasture.
A couple other descriptions are
Buttermilk Sky
and Mackerel Sky (resembling fish scales)
(that doesn't sound very appealing, does it?)

It wasn't until 1802 that clouds were "defined" and classified.  Luke Howard, an Englishman got interested in lurid sunrises and sunsets and the cause and effect.  
I think I'd like to read more about his research and writings.

I enjoy watching the clouds here in this part of Texas there is ample opportunity...  the sky goes on forever!

If I were a night person I'd be outside with my astronomy field guide, plotting out the constellations.  I see the Big Dipper and Orion, but just don't take the time to find more of my favorites.
Just not enough hours in a day!

That's All For Today!


  1. Oh good luck on the plumbing surgery! Glad you did not take pics ;-)
    Cool clouds! now go rest & leave the cows alone. hehe

  2. I hope you get to feeling better soon. Sometimes I just sit in my lawn chair and stare up at the sky and clouds. Occasionally I will go out in the evening and look at the stars, too. I have no idea where any of the constellations are.

  3. I thought of the Mackerel sky when I saw the pictures. Thats what we used to call them.

    Hope you have good results from your surgery. Many of us could use a little tightening as we get older.

  4. Glad to hear your recovery is going well!

  5. I'm glad your getting out and about. Hope you have a full recover soon.

  6. I don't understand why those darn birds can't sit still for you. Same thing happens to me. :(

  7. Glad to read that your surgery went well. Take it easy til you're fully recovered. I'm sure those outings help keep the spirits up. Loved the photos of the clouds.

  8. I know about getting "cabin fever" while recovering from surgery. Several weeks after my last hip surgery, a friend took me to the grocery store. They had courtesy motorized carts and when I got seated and started down the aisle, I almost wept for joy! Keep on getting out to check on the clouds and the ducks and all your broad range of interests--it's good for you!

  9. Glad to hear your recovery from surgery is going well. In fifth grade we each made a 'cloud' book...I have enjoyed the sky and the different clouds ever since.

  10. Great photos! Those clouds are beautiful and I really enjoyed the science lesson. I've heard the buttermilk sky reference before but never knew what it meant. It works! Looking forward to seeing you in Sevilla after your plumbing repairs set!