This morning finds me and my son at the "Casita," our nickname for the house in South Texas where my husband stays when he works in this area. It is on a ranch smack dab in the middle of South Texas, and smack dab in the middle of nowhere. The only way you can get more out in the middle of nowhere in Texas is to go out to West Texas. We are at least 30 miles from the nearest community, and there isn’t much there—not even a grocery store. For a people person, this would be hellish, but for hermits like my son and me, it is heavenly. Let me explain why…
This morning I got up shortly after daybreak and stumbled into the living room. Right outside the glass door was the most magnificent whitetail buck. He had at least twelve points that I could see through my bleary, caffeine-deficient eyes. I moved closer to the door to look at him and he looked up at me, then went back to feeding on the acorns about ten feet from where I stood. I went to the kitchen to make coffee and out the kitchen window were two young bucks with huge antlers, so big they seemed incongruous on those young bodies. They would feed for a bit, then turn to each other, lock antlers, and spar for a bit. I was watching as I made my coffee.
I woke my son up and told him there were three feral hogs in the front yard, so he quickly got up and "addressed" that problem. Of course, this scared away all the deer, or so I thought. I looked out the kitchen window and noticed a doe fawn lying in a dog pen near the house. As she had also been there last evening, I thought she was trapped. My son went out to the pen and she stood up and shot out of the open gate I had not seen earlier. Ten minutes after he came back inside, she was back in the same spot, lying down and chewing her cud. I suppose that’s just her napping spot!
By the time my coffee was ready the deer were back, about thirty in all, and the green jays were busily flitting around and squawking. I took my coffee to the rocking chair on the porch to watch the show. I wish I had a good camera on hand so I could take a picture of the green jays for you, they are the most beautiful birds—lime and jade green, royal and navy blue. They are very, very busy and very, very noisy, as jays typically are. I have to remember to bring my binoculars next time because this is birding heaven. I also need to bring some nails and a hammer so I can nail some fruit to the fence posts. That draws the green jays out of the trees and, if there are orioles around, it will attract them, too.
There is one show that I have not been able to see as of yet. There are two gray foxes living nearby and often seen playing in the trees in the front yard. At my house, since I have chickens, foxes are not welcome. But here, they are almost like the ranch mascots. My husband has seen them, said he sat on the porch one evening and watched them until dark, but I have not been so fortunate….yet.
Life at the casita certainly is not for everyone, but I sure would like to see more people give something like this a try. It quiets the mind and the soul. It gives you time to think and to appreciate. Even in small towns like San Saba, Richland Springs, and Cherokee, life can get hectic and overwhelming. Some time to be outside and quiet might be the antidote for that. I hope you will give it a try, even if it is just a few minutes in your back yard. SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail.com