Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities. ~Edyth O’Neill

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Paradise is parched!

As people move into the wild, the wild things adapt to live among us. Towns are spreading into the countryside here as in other places. We have deer for neighbors and other wild creatures. The most stirring sighting was a fully grown mountain lion seen by neighbors in their yard across the street from us three years ago. A state game man confirmed that the tracks left were indeed just that.

I have been afraid the wild boars will show up in our neighborhood here, drawn by our irrigated lawns. So far so good. They are in our county but not in our town. Last week my friend Ruby Lee showed me the tusks of a terrible wild boar she and her husband had shot on their ranch. Herds of these hogs are tearing up areas of the rural south.

Eden was not without its serpent to represent the forces of evil. Lucifer these days for the wild turkey population in our Texas Hill Country comes in the form of these feral hogs.
Turkeys roost in trees at night as soon as they have a bit of size and enough feathers! But wild turkey eggs and hatchlings are prime food for the terrible pigs. And then there are fire ants that have greatly reduced all ground nesting birds here in central Texas. Three days ago on Loudon road four miles from here, Jack and his friend Bob saw a wild turkey hen with just one chick.

With this as background, mine and Jack’s happy excitement yesterday evening is understandable. In our own subdivision we saw a small family of Rio Grande turkeys.. the tall stately mother and her five tiny chicks were near the entrance from the highway. The chicks are so small as to be hard to see in very short grass, and will have a difficult time surviving the next few weeks. The drought leaves almost no wild grass seeds and no bugs for the little things to discover and eat. The hen likely began with a clutch of ten or more eggs. Now she has these five fragile hatchlings. As I write these words Jack is gone on his bicycle with some of the wild bird seed which we feed in our back yard. He will broadcast a little where we saw the turkey family walk last evening. I wonder where they can find water! I hope they do not try to cross the highway yet! We will be watching for another sighting. Jack will quietly put out another sprinkling of food for some days. e

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