return to Roundrock

Our trips to Roundrock are as much governed by opportunity as by desire or need to go. I watch the weather forecast to see when a weekend day might be tolerable or even blissful and then try to make it happen. With all of the social isolation, I find I have far fewer obligations for my weekends, so dashes to the woods are more feasible.

And so it was on Saturday. A reprieve from the chill and a day before the rain. You found us on the road mid-morning with no real agenda for our visit. (I did inspect the work on the spillway: no change. And the state of the overflow drain: still clear. And I did add two blocks to the wall retaining all of the gravel I’ve spread around the cabin. And I did schlepp two steel fence posts to the NE corner where the cattle got in, in preparation for a more permanent answer to the issue. But aside from those trivialities, I just took it easy.)

You see above that the phoebe now considers her nest on the side of my cabin fully rebuilt and ready for occupancy. She came and went as we visited, and it’s possible that she will add to her current clutch of three eggs. It’s equally possible that these three will be hatched by our next visit and little babies will be cheeping in the nest.

We also set out the hummingbird feeder. On our prior visit — two weeks before — a hummer visited us, though there seemed precious little to feed on then. We had made up our sugar-water brew at home and took it with us. The glass feeder stays at the cabin to reduce the chance of breaking it by taking it back and forth. This means, though that we must have sufficient clean water with us to rinse out the feeder since we don’t want to leave sugar water residue in the cabin, and the marauding raccoons have shown us that we can’t leave a feeder out when we’re not there.

As far as we could tell, we had no hummingbirds visit, but they are quick and small, and we are lumbering in general, so we may have missed it. Our plan is to bring the sugar-water each visit.

On my old blog, there was a controversy over whether the creature depicted above is real or not. This may have arisen from the possibility that as photo of a rubber blue-tailed skink may have appeared on that blog. Or maybe not. It’s hard to know, and that was so long ago.

In this case, I had gotten on my hands and knees before the wall before the cabin to take a different picture, and this little fellow made a sudden appearance. He lingered long enuf for me to get this pretty-good photo of him.

The photo I was originally after is this one:

This is a not-quite-open flower of a Mayapple. There is a “grove” of these carpeting the good soil in the pine plantation, but the one in the photo above is growing in the (former) flower bed behind the retaining wall before the cabin. Since we amended the soil there prodigiously, it’s good soil too, which Mayapples favor.

The fruit of the Mayapple is poisonous, except when it isn’t. And when it isn’t, it still can be. I don’t try to decipher it. Like Sue Hubbell, I’ll just live the question.

We did little more than sit in the comfy chairs, though we moved them to the sunny side of the cabin because the day was still cool. We did not have a fire, though that had been my intent, I suppose I didn’t because it would have meant more bending and tending. And though we keep water in the cabin specifically for putting out the fire, and though rain was in the forecast, I am always uneasy about having a fire and then leaving it, no matter how well quenched it was.

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