Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow Week!

Well, I've been meaning to post on our Snow Day that we had on Christmas Eve, but since there is still plenty of it left on our road, I guess I need to call it a Snow Week!

We generally don't get much snow here, maybe an inch or two a couple times a year, but we got about 4 or 5 inches this time, pushed by 30 - 40 mph winds so we ended up with some pretty impressive drifts in a few spots. The main road that we get to our house on runs east and west and is below the normal lay of the land it ended up looking more like a snow drift than a road!

Here's a picture of our mailbox last Thursday evening. The line you see in the snow between the 2 tire tracks is the rear differential of our 4x4 pickup dragging in the snow.
We didn't get out to play in the snow until late Friday afternoon (Christmas Day) but the snow wasn't going anywhere. Cathy had fun getting to the mailbox to see if there was any mail since we hadn't checked it on Thursday!

Nope. No mail! The old saying about come rain, snow, sleet or hail isn't really that accurate, we are still picking up our mail at the post office a week later! The joys of country living. This kind of gives you an idea of what the road was like. Going West the drift was at least 3 feet deep for a couple hundred yards.
Not as pretty of a picture, but I took this one this evening. The snow is still a couple feet deep! (still no mail!)
It was actually worse going to the East. The drift was 3 to 4 feet deep to start with, and it goes a full mile in that direction.
Here's the same drift today. It is still over 2 feet deep along the North side of the road.
Here's the road that is actually passable. Those ruts are about 8" deep. My 4x4 Trailblazer occasionally drags high center going through them. You feel like you are in a pinball machine bouncing back and forth in the ruts.
While the roads haven't been fun to deal with, we have had some fun in the snow. Eli had a blast! He loved every minute of it. He said "My skin hurts" after he had been playing out there for a while, it really was the first time he actually got to play in the snow in his life, since it normally melts right off.

First thing he did when we got outside was plop down and make a snow angel. It is amazing what they pickup on their own, we hadn't even mentioned making a snow angel before he did it. The snow had melted a little and refroze so there was a crust on the surface that made it a little harder to play in than when it was soft and fluffy. You could almost walk on the top of the drift, but then you would find yourself breaking through and being waist deep.

After I broke through in one spot I dug it out a little and dropped Eli in there. It was pretty much as deep as he was and it wasn't all the way down to the ground. At one point Cathy looked over and couldn't see him and got a little freaked out, but then he popped back up and started trying to climb out.

That's pretty much it for 2009.
There are a bunch more pictures of Eli playing in the snow if you are interested
They start in the middle of that page and go onto page 10.

We've had a great 2009, hopefully 2010 will be just as good if not better. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Trapped my first bobcat!

Caught my first bobcat yesterday! Had 5 sets out. We had some weather including rain and snow, but I still ended up with a cat in a trap!

It's a male, and the taxidermist said it was a pretty good sized cat for around here. Seems kinda big to me, but I really have no clue. I'm 6'2" and 235lbs for size reference. I thought he had a pretty belly.

I didn't put him on a scale, but I would guess he weighed right around 20lbs.

Thought I had a pretty good catch on him, but with the wet conditions the stake ended up pretty loose. I was able to pull it out very easily with one hand. Based on the way his foot is caught he must have put his full weight on his left foot right on top of the trap.

I can't decide whether to do a full body mount on him, or just get him garment tanned with feet and claws on. I'm leaning toward the garment tanning.

That's it for now. Nathan

Friday, December 18, 2009

Backyard Buck

Got some decent pictures of a nice young mule deer buck at my house the other day. Probably a 3 1/2 year old. The county that I live in doesn't have many deer, so there is not a hunting season on them. I'm seeing more and more deer every year though, so maybe one of these years they will actually open up a season for them. I see about an equal number of mule deer and whitetail deer on my property.

I didn't have a good lens on the camera, and he didn't stick around long enough for me to go swap out lenses, so the pictures aren't that great, but you can get a general idea. We've seen him several times in the last few weeks so maybe I'll get a chance to get some better pictures of him sometime soon.

The only drawback to seeing deer around your house is that when the rut comes along they don't seem to like my pinon pine trees that I planted. Not many trees around here so it hurts to see this one beat up this bad. Not sure if it is gonna make it or not.

Nothing too exciting, but it is kind of neat to look out the window at breakfast and see a nice buck.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Polar Express

Well, for a little over a month now if you asked Eli what he was going to do on his birthday he would respond with a resounding "Ride Polar Express on my Birthday!" Of course he would say it so fast you could barely understand him, but he has been excited about this for quite a while now.

Well on Monday his birthday finally arrived and we took him to ride the Polar Express.
He was so focused on getting his ticket punched that nothing else seemed to matter. He had that ticket in his hand and waved it in front of anyone that would look his way. Finally the conductor came by to punch his ticket.

We ended up at the North Pole, but instead of letting everyone off the train and then loading them all back up, Santa and his elves ended up coming onto the train. Eli was still focused on his ticket and he wanted Santa to see that his ticket was punched. Santa did give Eli a bell and from then on he rang the bell and showed everyone his ticket.

Overall we had a great time and Eli really did seem to enjoy it. I think he thought he was there to entertain everyone behind us on the train and he really tried to most of the trip.

We had a small birthday party at the house and he really is 3 years old now. It is amazing how fast it has gone!

That's it for now. Nathan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well, things are picking up at work and it seems like I haven't had a chance to catch my breath, let alone update my blog.

I'm sitting in a hotel room in nowhere Arizona and finally am getting around to making a new post though.

We stopped by the land on the way back to Lubbock after visiting the in-laws for Thanksgiving and I was able to check my trail cameras. Had quite a few decent pictures, and one pretty nice buck that I hadn't ever seen before. Maybe next year I'll be able to spend some more time down there and be more selective on shooting a nice buck.

New pictures start on page 10 and go on to page 12.

Here's a couple pictures of the new buck I hadn't ever seen before. I had several pictures of him over about a week time frame with many of them in the daytime.
Nice tall tines on this guy.
Some more pictures of a bobcat. I'm really hoping to get one of these guys in a trap this year.
One odd thing is that I didn't have any large sounders of pigs on camera this 2 week period. I did have a few different boar hogs that were hanging around pretty regular, but they were 100% nocturnal.
I moved a camera over onto my field where I had been seeing all the action last time I was down there. If you click on the picture to enlarge it and look really close you can see my tripod stand in the background right over the back of the doe on the left. It looks like a little black dot in the trees.
This buck looks pretty young. Not sure if I've seen him before or not but he looks like he has potential. Of course since I passed on the tall 11 I didn't get any pictures of him during these 2 weeks. Hopefully he is just being camera shy and someone else didn't shoot him.

I did find out that I had a water leak at some point and will be getting a water bill for 9,000+ gallons of water that leaked sometime during the 2 weeks. I have been letting my neighbors tap into my water supply instead of having to haul water out there, but unless I can figure out what caused the leak and make sure I can avoid a repeat of it I'm going to have to re-think our agreement.

I did get a chance to go pheasant hunting last Saturday and brought a couple birds home. I may get a chance to post on that sometime.

Well, that's it for now.