Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wild persimmons and prickly pears - it must be August!
It won't be long and we will be able to put in a road. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has given us a stamp of "No Action Needed" to permit us to put a road in. This a a big milestone for Bliss Haven!

For now we have to hike in, and it's still pretty warm so it's been a few weeks we were out there... curious about what we might discover new.

We heard at least two Golden Cheeked Warblers, they haven't flown south yet. There was a cluster of many small birds like the titmouse and chickadee (two I could identify) who were quite agitated when I walked through a small grove. A titmouse male boldly confronted me while the others flew away, quite impressive. It was interesting to hear their fussy calls and then later hear them sing their happy songs.

As I exited the grove I startled a buck. He thundered out of a group of trees about 100 feet north of me so fast, but I think I saw three points.

Josh also saw a large raptor-- he feels certain it was an eagle based on the claws, but I only saw the red back and tail. The woods were very dense and shaded, so it was roosting. Probably a red-tailed hawk, they're common all over the US.

Saw lots of pig scat, full of seeds. The source of those seeds turns out to be the wild persimmons, which are ripening now. Sweet but bland, the seeds are smooth and large like tamarind... and such a very pretty black fruit, right? The pigs must eat them off the ground, we only found ripe ones high up in the branches.

 There was a lovely breeze this morning that confirmed how to position our future home on the site. We will survey out an area that we will be "disturbing" which is 12% or less of the total acreage. Most of the property will be left in its natural state. It will be interesting to try to use the persimmons and prickly pear as food, as well as the food that we'll plant. I recently posted my thoughts about the health benefits of home grown food at my blog DrJeanPD on This &That. Wilding -- food harvesting off the land-- is all the more vital.

The prickly pear are ripening now. I see a sorbet in our future!

There isn't much in bloom right now but this interesting flower -- not a thistle. It has the same habitat, though, blooming in virtually the same location as the thistles we saw earlier this year.

Eryngium leavenworthii 

Leavenworth's eryngo, Eryngo

Apiaceae (Carrot Family)

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