Tag Archives: family history

After the rains…

Houston ChronicleImage via Wikipedia

The weather here has been very dry…at least until the past week or so. We have been having a spring-like amount of rain. After complaining for so long about the lack, it seems almost sacrilegious to say anything about the water we needed so bad.

After months of not having to mow on a weekly basis around here we need to mow now badly. There is a problem though…Mosquitoes. After so many months of little free moisture in the environment, I had forgotten what it was like to live with the little beasts all summer long. The last couple of days every time you walk out the door you will be covered with hundreds of the bloodsucking, itch inducing little devils.

Lest I seem unappreciative, I am extremely happy to suddenly find myself, at the end of August, looking out the window at what at least looks like spring. The grass and trees that were looking brown and bedraggled in June and July suddenly are green and vibrant. As Leon Hale, our local institution, wrote in today’s Houston Chronicle

Living up here in the woods all summer, as I’ve told you, is an experiment, to see if maybe we’d like to stay permanently. And I have to tell you that it hasn’t been a bushel of fun because the weather’s been so dry and the heat has been withering.

Then last week we started grinning again about being here. We didn’t get all the rain we wanted, but we’re grateful for what we got. It came in a beautiful way, slow and gentle, and the earth soaked up every drop.

Almost overnight the woods and all the growing things have turned green again, instead of looking thirsty and in pain.

After a rain that broke a long dry spell, our Uncle Billy used to sit on a country porch a lot like this one and he’d say if you pay close attention you could hear the ground breathing. Sighing, is what he meant. But he wouldn’t use a girly word like sigh.

I know what he meant. The earth giving up sighs of relief and pleasure, receiving welcome moisture. I’m not sure I can hear it but I can feel it, and so could you if you were here on the front porch.

Leon Hale: Record keeping has gone high tech | Lifestyle/Features | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

I also read this morning that now is the time to see hummingbirds if you live around here…

Beginning in late July and going through October, ruby-throated hummingbirds congregate along the Gulf Coast to build up body fat before heading to Latin America. Their numbers peak in September as females and juveniles join the males that arrived first.

“Essentially, all the ruby-throated hummingbirds that breed in the eastern half of the United States and Canada, estimated at a population of 7.3 million individuals, migrate along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico each fall,” says John Arvin, research biologist for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.

So now is the best time to watch for the little beauties, the males with bright red throats, the females with gray throats, and sub-adult males with a hint of red on their gray throats. At our home, we’ve already had three males. Arvin tells us there are probably three or four birds for every one bird we see.

Now is the time to see hummingbirds | Lifestyle/Features | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

Personally, I have never had a lot of luck around here with feeders for any kind of birds. There is just too much naturally occurring food available for them to entice them to a feeding station…Even in the depth of winter. For years I tried feeding. All it ever accomplished was planting a bunch of bird seed…Which had a bad habit of actually growing. So finally, I just quit trying and began enjoying the birds as they ate what was actually already growing.

On another note…I am still working on my online presence. Consolidating my numerous  websites into a easier to manage whole. So if you don’t here from me for days on end…That’s the reason.

My work in progress right now is boyd-family.net, my genealogy and family history site. If you visit =, please forgive the broken links and dust as I figure out another publishing system…

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Ausust One Muse – The Heat Is On

First things first — Happy Birthday Sherry. I know you never read these muses…but hell, I’ll still say it here. The best present I ever got…

Now to the subject of this muse…Heat.

It’s hot here, it’s hot across the south, it’s hot on the Blue Ridges of North Carolina and Virginia. The prognosticators are calling for 90’s all over. We have been topping out in the upper 90’s for a week. I have heard rumors of heat indexes approaching 110 (I haven’t investigated…I really don’t want to know).

So in honor of the season…
Glenn Frey – The Heat Is On – Music Video 



UPDATE:

July heat was just the beginning for Houston area | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
As the warmest time of the year approaches for the Northern Hemisphere, Southeast Texas is feeling the heat.

July may not have been an exceptionally warm month — largely because of some cloudy, cool days courtesy of Hurricane Dolly — yet all but two of the past 20 days have seen temperatures rise to 95 degrees or higher.

The mercury even hit 100 on July 14, the first time that happened in Houston since Aug. 14 of last year.

July ended with an average temperature of 84.9 degrees, 1.3 degrees above normal.

Forecasters say the heat will intensify this weekend, as high pressure dominates in the atmosphere, keeping clouds largely at bay. One plus is that the humidity might be lower as a result. Friday’s high was 97.

“But it’s still going to be pretty nasty weather,” said Chuck Roeseler, a senior forecaster at the Houston/Galveston office of the National Weather Service.

Such is life in Houston in August.

With temperatures nearing 100 this weekend, Houston’s heat index could come close to 108, the threshold for issuing a heat advisory, Roeseler said.

Relief may come next week — on Tuesday or Wednesday — when a low-pressure disturbance could bring precipitation. The likelihood of more cloud cover should also act to moderate temperatures.

Hello Dolly…

The drive home yesterday was blustery but dry with lots of high clouds and rain showers off in the distance. Hurricane Dolly’s approach to the Texas coast was being felt first far north of the expected landfall. The first bands of showers croosed Galveston Island early yesterday morning.

The drive in this morning was wetter…A slow gentle rain falling the whole way in. The prognosticators are predicting more all day. As I watch the radar out of Brownsville this morning it appears the storm track is running a bit north of the predictions.

My swimming hole in south Texas. South Texas will be getting much needed rain today and tomorrow. If my grandfather was still out on the ranch in McMullen County, he would be happy to see the tanks filling up with water once more. For all of the years I knew the man he kept track of the rainfall wherever he lived…recorded daily on the wall calendar in the living room. He kept fiberglass cistrens for collecting rainwater for the garden in South Texas.

The old home place in Orchard. When he lived in Orchard he had a windmill and a large cement water tank that was used for the garden and nursery he ran then.

Grandpa’s tanks were used for more than watering plants and livestock. Growing up I spent many summer afternoons cooling off swimming in the tanks. The picture above shows the stock tank in south Texas. To the right is the home place in Orchard Texas now so grown up the tank is no longer visible under the trees. I have many fond memories of both places…