woods, Elizabeth, camera, April


I was afraid that we had lost our crayfish in the 5 year drought--they disappeared and did not return for well over a year when the drought ended.  But this year...this year we've got 'em.   Here are a few pictures of the crayfish and where they've shown up since late December.  I haven't even made it down to the far end of the place to photograph them there (responsibilities keeping me closer to home.)

Crayfish-closeup-Dec2016 Crayfish-digging-Jan-2017
This crayfish (you can see its head sort of orange against the dark hole) is the same as in the
next image (orange jointed leg showing.)   It was working on a burrow that connected to the pool
behind the #3 gabion.

Another image, same crayfish. Dark greenish carapace,
orange-red legs, one red claw easily visible.

Up by the street (higher ground) two trenches were left years ago by someone with a backhoe.  Over the years they've filled in partly, and fill with rain if there's enough.  One has crayfish in it; the other doesn't.  The bottom of the one that doesn't is covered with a layer of bur oak leaves.

Crayfish-spare-lot-B-04-04-2017 2-holes-spare-lot-04-04-2017
Crayfish from one of the trenches, the one to the right with muddy water. Lots of crayfish
stirring the water.

Near-meadow-pool-N-04-19-17 Crayfish-near-meadow-slough-4-19-17
Clear shallow pool in meadow, has several crayfish (from very small to ~4 inches in it.
Appear to be grayish, not green & red.

Crayfish crossing rocks
Large crayfish working its way upstream over rocks in stream crossing.

When we bought this place, the only crayfishe were in the main creek and "overflow" channel near it.  Water management practices have increased the number of places water stands or moves slowly in amounts large enough to attract crayfish, and in soil deep enough they can burrow and protect themselves in dry periods.  We are very glad to have them, as they are one biological measure of water quality.  If you have a lot of them in a shrinking area of water (a static pool after rain) they make the water murky with their digging and moving around.

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April


So yesterday these mushrooms appeared in the herb garden pot looking like this:


This morning they looked like this:


The largest one yesterday v. today (side by side, if I get the spacing right:

                                          Fungus-in-herb-garden-closeup-04-11-2017   Mushroom-day-later-04-12-2017
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Fungus Amongus: What Is It?

It rained last night and this morning; I went out the kitchen door and discovered this in the big pot of herbs on the back step:

These fungi weren't there yesterday.  They popped up overnight and more are coming.

Closeup of largest one.

Does anyone know what kind of mushroom that is? This pot was planted with commercial potting soil and all the plants were nursery plants from the same nursery.
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April


So it's Book Day for the new one.  Ky Vatta is back...and back in her home system of Slotter Key, summoned to a family conference.   Boring legal stuff, signing papers, swearing officially that she signed them and wasn't coerced into giving up her shares of the family business.  Dull, annoying, a distraction and interruption from her real life as the incredibly gifted space fleet commander.  But just as she's comfortably ensconced in the shuttle, sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches and chatting with an old acquaintance...well.  Read and find out.   Cover images  & more information here:  http://www.elizabethmoon.com/universes/vatta.html

Collapse )

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April


Today was a great birthday.   First, all my websites and their embedded blogs are now safely moved to a new site, live and functioning their new home.   All done...and I am grateful to all involved in this, from the wonderful staff at my former host, SFF.net (waving at Jeffry and Steve)  to my original web guru Ruta, whose designs transferred so smoothly, my new web guru, Karen, who fought the good fight with a less than ideal Someplace Else, and finally to the talented and gracious Anne Yates-Laberge, who was able to confirm that the problem was not with my sites or blogs, but with the Someplace Else and its tech support...and then to slide the active sites at SFF.net into their new home in her servers with what seemed like (to me, here in Texas) blinding speed and ease.   Anne is a genius, just sayin', and many thanks to Jeffry for referring her to me and me to her.   Good match.  (And for those looking for a web guru/hosting space/etc., give her a shout at anne226@gmail.com.)

Collapse )
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

And Still It Won't Go...

I know it's been over a month since my last post on January 20.  That's because of too  much stuff and too little time.  The highlights: on January 19, I found out I would have to find a new host for my four websites (each with an embedded WordPress blog) and get them moved, by March 31.   I also had (have) a book to finish, one I was supposed to turn in by February 1.   We also have a new Administration in D.C., one with which I am not in sympathy (to put it at the most...gentle...)   And I acquired another health scare, on top of the ones already slowing down my work output even without the other.  All this coalesced in the last weeks of January.
Collapse )