October's South Texas Chronicle
Friends, October 7, 2011
Leslie and I were astounded to see a woodpecker parked, scrunched up on our humming bird feeder in the back yard yesterday evening enjoying the sweet nectar – he filled up and was there more than a minute. That’s a sign of how dry and bad it is here on the south Texas coast.
Wild horses are suffering, too. They had the annual give away of wild mustangs last week and had only 20 ponies for the folks who came to the event. Usually they have 100 or more mustangs culled by the Bureau of Land Management to keep the wild herd stable. The BLM folks require the new owners to have a paddock and resources to take care of the animal which is then free and off to a new home. With care and training, these are good horses and even the Border Patrol has recently added a mustang patrol division to their forces. There’s a lot of rough country along the border. Sure footed mustangs can go where trucks and SUVs can’t and the horse can tell the rider when someone is near even if not in sight. Back to the old ways. Horses were used 50 years ago and only now return to active duty. And yes, that’s the reason for the naming of nearby Mustang Island.
All the farmlands are empty now. The dead stalks of the last crop have been chewed up and plowed back into the dirt. The fields are now a hundred shades of brown – there’s nothing green in sight. Well, if you know where to look you can find green grass.I headed up north last week back to the windmill farm. The report in the paper said these 192 giant windmills produced more power than they anticipated this Summer when we were close to black-outs. In fact, this field of windmills made more electricity than the 600 wind turbines out in west Texas. (That’s the value of sea breezes.) They are stunning to observe and have put the little town of Taft, Texas, on the map. Population there is 3, 300. It’s a train stop, cotton gin and warehouse, an old town surrounded by cotton fields and these huge windmills. The high school sits on the edge of city limits and has a very nice football stadium with excellent seating for the whole town and the town they are playing – and there, sprinklers waving in the wind, is a piece of green grass so lovely – the football field. High school football here is bigger than the Baptist church. I can’t help but read the stories around the teams and games in the newspaper and get interested. Refugio (replace the “g” with an “r” and it’s pronounced Re fury O) is another little town of about 3,000. They have won 26 district football games in a row. They only punted once last year and were undefeated. Last week they played a powerhouse, undefeated team and won 82-6. Shiloh Wetzel had four touchdowns in just the first half. Their coach is a man I’d like to meet.
Thanks for your cards, letters and support. Thank you.
I’m working on the 2012 Datebook this month and will have it ready in early December, maybe sooner. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, we’ve all got a good string of days ahead, right up to the big Gobble. And they say it will rain here this weekend…keep your fingers crossed.