Ranch Life

From city life to country life. Our joys, challenges and vexations. You are invited to jump in and share your experiences and offer advice with encouragement.

Location: Texas, United States

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where have all the birds gone?

They either perished or got caught up in the storm. Those that survived are now residing in Arkansas.

Their bird feeders are untouched except for the hummingbird feeders which have daily visitors. How did those little guys survive?


Friday, September 19, 2008

During Hurricane Ike


Video during Hurricane Ike

Video during Hurricane Ike

Video during Hurricane Ike

Saturday, September 13, 2008: HURRICANE IKE
At 4:29AM, they awoke to a loud BOOM. Transformer blew. No power.
Winds have picked up but not much rain. They went back to bed to awaken at 5:30 to find their world has changed dramatically. How to describe a hurricane 90 miles inland? No waves, of course, and no palm trees – unlike the movies. Unfortunately, their trees do not bend like those along the coast.
Their oaks, hickorys, pines, cherry laurels, olives, sweet gums, elms and her beloved Rain Tree are whipping and bending and blowing in every direction. The orchard is full of young trees and doing OK, so far. Lots of debris flying through the air. There is a huge branch on their front porch. Where did that come from?

Daylight is coming, bringing with it more visuals of this storm. The cameras are out and she is video-taping from the front porch and the back porch. Hearing loud snaps & cracks, trees are falling and splitting. Then, she remembers! What about the dead tree standing next to the hen house? Would her chickens and guenias survive? It is not safe to check on them. The storm is blowing too hard. The rains have begun……blowing sideways.
And the storm goes on and on and on.
She screams! There goes the barn roof. The metal looks like a piece of cotton as it is lifted and torn in the wind. What about the horses? She made the decision to make a run for the barn. Poor Sierra is standing in a stall filled with water and her roof gone. She is terrified. Nothing can be done about it. It is too risky to move her. After a quick pat of reassurance, she runs back to the house keeping an eye on the 110 foot Sweet Gum tree that was shifting with each 90 mph wind gust. Then he decides that the horses would all be less stressed if they had some hay to munch upon. So, off he goes, while she keeps one eye on him and one eye on that dancing Sweet Gum.
And the storm goes on and on.
Angie and Autumn are sending text messages from Maine and Virginia. That is their only communication of Ike’s progress.

The house is groaning from the stress of the wind but it is a good, strong house and they have no fears for their safety. The pond is almost full, more trees fall and the storm goes on.
After hours of wind and rain and stress, the storm seems to lesson. They go upstairs with their wind-up weather alert radio. Angie texted to tell them the last strong band was about to hit. It did. She video taped it at the same time some incredibly stupid woman, who indentifies herself as a school teacher, is calling into the radio station demanding that she be given power because she needs a shower.
The storms finally passes and they go out to survey the damage.
The barn roof has left 1/3rd of their newly delivered hay wet and possibly ruined. Sierra is led from her flooded, roofless barn stall to a nice, dry stall upon the hill. All the stall windows are opened and the horses get to look out upon their changed and wet world.
Trees are down, power lines are on the ground, fences are broken and bowed, debris everywhere and just such a mess.
However, they are lucky out here at Burnt Biscuit Ranch. All the critters are fine and their people are fine too. And the chickens? That dead tree did fall. It fell away from Autumn’s House of Hens.
And, now, the clean-up begins.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike has left the Ranch without power, downed a few trees, stripped part of the roof of the big barn and littered the property with debris. There is a lot of cleanup going on, but a generator is providing small comforts. The cold front has come just in time! More to come - but power may be out for another week, so keep checking back for an update. ~posted by daughter in VA~

Friday, September 12, 2008

Storm clouds approaching Burnt Biscuit Ranch

Boarded up and ready for Ike.

Their boys are checking out the visiting mares and geldings.

Hurricane Ike is just now arriving at Burnt Biscuit Ranch.

This day was spent boarding up the windows. Son Bryan came and helped with this onerous chore.

He is proud of their handy work. She is dismayed because she cannot see out the windows. How can one of the worst hurricanes to hit Texas be appreciated if it cannot be seen?

They did leave a few little peep holes for her. Thanks, guys!

She spent the day cooking for when they will have no power. Their friends in Magnolia lost theirs at 7:30pm. They spent a great deal of time this morning making the neighbor's horses comfortable in their home away from home. At day's end, all stall doors and windows are shut down, cats are locked away in the tack room and the chickens & guenias are in their coop. Cuddles and his ladies will have to fend for themselves in their pasture.

Tractors, cars and the golf cart are placed far from any trees that may fall.....no easy task as Burnt Biscuit Ranch has hundreds of trees. She backed her Suburban up to the internet satellite dish with the idea it would protect it from being blown away and far from any trees that might fall. She was so proud as she pointed this out to him. He pointed out to her that her Suburban may only be damaged when hit by the satellite dish.

The wind has picked up considerably but no rain as of 9:30pm on Friday night.

They will sleep with flashlights nearby. Candles are set up throughout the house in hopes they will not be needed.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The calm (?) before the storm.
They began tracking Ike a week earlier while in Virginia to meet their beautiful new grandson.
Little did they know then that Ike would be such a driving force in their lives today.
Up at dawn, they began their preparations to secure the livestock and their home for the impending storm. Ike would come ashore in Galveston but Burnt Biscuit Ranch is in line for a direct hit, meaning the eye of storm would pass right over their little world of livestock, domestic and otherwise.
The furniture & plants from the porches were removed to the barn. All the barn equipment and horse halters, lead ropes, etc. were stored in empty stalls, tack room, hay barn and other storage areas. Sheet rock is piled nearby to cover the windows and the chainsaw is readied to cut up downed trees.
A call from a neighbor at midday was a call for help. She has 5 horses that needed to be stalled so five stalls were readied for more horses.
25 gallons of gas is ready to power the generator for when power is lost. Potable water and drinking water is stored for when water is lost - the pump needs electricity to power the well.
Food is prepared in advance and a bottle of wine is put on ice to get them through the hours or days when they will be cut off from the world of TV, phone & Internet service.
Her biggest worry - her rain tree.