Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Antler Growth Begins

The pedicles on these two bucks as you can see are covered over as the new antlers begin to form.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Agarita Berries

Agarita is a variety of barberry. It grows westward from the Hill Country as far as the Trans-Pecos and back along the Rio Grande to Webb & Jim Hogg counties. Exclusive in this region, Agarita apparently grows nowhere else in the world. Its yellow blossoms appear from January to March, and resembles Narcissus in fragrance. Early settlers used Agarita wood for yellow dye.
Place cleaned berries in a kettle with sufficient water to cover and cook until berries begin to pop. They need not all pop. Let juice drip through a jelly bag (or cloth) squeezing only slightly. To make jelly: Combine 6 1/2 cups juice with one package of SureJell, in a kettle large enough to allow strong boiling. Bring to a hard boil and add 7 cups of sugar. Let come to a hard boil again and for only one min. Remove from fire and fill jelly glasses. Freeze or can juice for making jelly later. It has a different flavor all its own.
Mrs. Preston Laws (Margaret), Creedmoor H.D.C.
Clean berries in deep pan or pail. The leaves and dirt will sink to the bottom, leaving berries on top. About 3 changes of water completes the cleaning.
Use an aluminum or granite vessel to cook. Fill vessel two-thirds, just covering with cold water. Boil until pressure of spoon on berries against vessel shows them to be tender. Pour contents into jelly bag; hang up to drain until it stops dripping. Do not squeeze bag except very lightly.
To one quart of juice add two-thirds quarts of cane sugar (do not use beet sugar). Boil until it jells.
AGARITA JELLY(without added pectin)
Two cups Agarita juice (about 3 1/2 pounds agaritas)Two cups of sugar
To prepare juice. Use equal parts of washed fruit and water and place in non-metal container. Let stand overnight. Boil for 5 minutes. Mash, strain and squeeze to remove juice. About 1/3 of the berries should be half-ripe for good jelly.
To make jelly. Place juice over heat and let it come to a boil. Add sugar and boil about 5 minutes, until it gives the sheet test. Remove from heat, skim off, pour into hot jars and seal.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Home Grown Tomatoes

I know this looks strange but I heard about planting tomatoes this way and had to try it. Yes that is right they are put in a hole in the bottom of these five gallon buckets. You just put soil in the open end at the top and add some water. I'll give you updates from time to time showing how it goes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


On my way home this morning I spotted these turkey hens out chasing insects.


This is one of the big boys / girls, I'm not sure which. It is a little too far to see it's lips. It would be interesting to know how old this gator is.

More Cactus Flowers

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prickly Pear Cactus

This is a nice time in Texas.... when the cactus flowers start to bloom.
You can see that this flower is the first of many to bloom.

Nopalitos, the new leaflets on the cactus is a prized delicacy to many South Texans willing to remove all of the tiny thorns before slicing and frying like you would ocara or scrambling it with onions and eggs. Go to the vegetable section in your grocery store and see if you can find any.

Snake Hat?

When you go walking out in the "brush country" of South Texas it makes lots of good sense to wear your rattlesnake leggins. Now you'd better wear your snake hat and jacket too. Scarry, isn't it? Don't ask me what this rattlesnake is doing up in this bush, I've never seen anything like this before.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keith Poth pitches and hits his way past Karnes City Badgers 4-1.

Barry and I met in Poth yesterday, Tuesday 4-15-2008, to watch Keith and the Poth Pirates play the Karnes City Badgers. Keith pitched a great game and also drove in two runs with a key hit. His Mom, Kim, and Dad, Dean, were there as always enjoying watching their son in action. He may be #15 on the scorecard but he is #1 in their hearts.

Karnes City000 001 0 1 4 3
Poth003 010 x 4 6 1
Drew Holland, Labus (6) and Garrett Schultz. Keith Poth and Nathan Labus. W Keith Poth (3-3). L Drew Holland.
Records: Karnes City 9-11, 6-6; Poth 10-7, 7-5.

Josh and Zach Swierc / Falls City v. Poth Little League

Getting last minute instructions from coach...... Dad
Josh has to come in and put out the fire.

Zach tries to decide which part of the outfield he wants to pound the ball to.

Josh gets ready for the pitch...

Josh at the start of the game playing shortstop.

Zach sets up behind the plate.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bobcat makes a catch

If you look closely the camera caught this bobcat with a rat in its mouth.

Looking for shed antlers...

This is the best shed antler I've found to date. Looking for them is one way to get out and do some walking. It is a little challenging though. Deer never seem to drop their antlers where they are easy to find and too it gets a little spooky walking through the thick stuff knowing full well there are plenty of rattlesnakes out and about. I've been watching my trail cameras to see where each buck is the first time I see that one has dropped an antler. This one, the right side of Ace, was at a feeder about a half mile away from where I found it the first time he showed up missing his antlers. I'm thinking the best way would be to look for them horseback. This would have at least two advantages. One you would be higher and could cover more area. And two you wouldn't have to worry so much about stepping on a snake.