I am living in a bug farm out at the Lone Worm Ranch. There are grass ants, spiders, hoppers and wasps all over the place. My favorites are the spiders which technically are not bugs. The photo that I took is of a spider that made a web in front of my kitchen window. All the large garden spiders are females and they eat the grass hoppers that hop up the side of the house and get caught. This spider is about 3 or 4 inches in diameter.
I was getting ready to go to work one morning and stepped outside my house on the Lone Worm Ranch. When I looked east towards the forest the sun was just peaking over the trees. This I had seen many times but what was above was a huge thunder cloud that had the most beautiful lighting. I took a picture but it hardly does justice to being able to stand and look east then gradually arch your back until you are looking straight up at beautiful clouds.
Well as I was driving to work today I had a tearful moment. I usually like the meditative 47 mile drive from my ranch near Winchester, Texas to Austin, Texas. Today as I was listening to aBruce Hornsby sing Mandolin Rain I started to think about my dad and started to cry.
I’m not sure why I was crying as I dove towards Austin. Was it the music or was it the fact that I was fulfilling my dad’s wish to live in Texas on the ranch. For waht ever reason there were tears flowing down my face and a feeling of both joy and sadness in my heart at the same time. I knew that my das was happy for what I was doing and I was sad that I could only feel his spirit and not really talk to him about what I was doing.
I have a job in Austin and will start work tomorrow. It was my goal to find work here in Texas and live with my dad during his retirement. The fact that my dad passed away on April 1, 2004 made me more commited to relocating to central Texas to be near the ranch.
Some quick thoughts:
Man it is hot and humid. I wake up and look out my bedroom window around 7 AM and I see fog and mist drifting around the cows, it is 80 degrees.
I rode my bike down some of the rocky county roads bechind the ranch and was thankful for the full suspension on my bike.
Thee are a lot of tatoos in Austin.
Cows do not freak out on a car passing by but a guy on a bke can spook them.
Bar-b-que pork ribs, beans, cole slaw and ice tea… need I say more?
If you are mildly curious about the ranch in Texas then click on this link http://www.lonewormranch.com and view the updated web site. I have placed some photos and maps there for your reference. I have also placed new photos on the http://www.wormley.org website. The new photos are under the categories that start with 00.
If you plan to visit let me know and I will tell you where you can find the key in the event that I am not there. The house has electricity, well water and heat. Currently there is not a lot of furniture so if you plan to stay overnight bring a sleeping bag. There is plenty of floor space as the house is 1600 square feet.
Be prepared for lots of bugs if you visit in the summer months. If you plan on walking outside on the ranch long jeans and leather shoes are the best. The property has lots of thorns that get stuck in canvas shoes. Even hiking boots with rubber soles have a rough time. As you might guess the best shoe to wear is a cowboy boot with leather bottoms and no laces.
My adventures with fire ants and large ‘banana spiders’ and wasps have been interesting. I’m usually not upset with insects and I’m resisting the chemical warfare attitude here on the ranch. I have spoken to a few locals that have given me some suggestions about ranch management that does not involve the use of chemicals to control insects around the perimeter of the house.
I arrived back in the Austin area on Father’s Day last Sunday. When I left Portland the weather was just starting to get really nice. When I left Texas for Oregon in March the spring flowers were just starting to grow. Now it has rained 16 inches this month in central Texas and it feels like Oregon.