Since Sunday was International Rock-Flipping Day, Libby and I made haste to Roundrock so we could flip a few. (You can see my official post about it here. Also go to the Flickr page and see what others found in their flipping adventures.)
Somehow we managed to get on the road an entire hour earlier than we normally do. (I think we’re learning to travel light and have grown better at packing for the day.) The only chore I envisioned for the day — taking a census of our pecan trees — was what we didn’t do. (Was that grammatical?) Aside from that, our day was wide open, and assuming the horseflies did not run us out of the woods, we hoped to get some swimming in.
The weather didn’t look like it was going to cooperate, however. As we passed the truck stop not far from Roundrock, the lighted sign showed that the temperature was not even as high as the speed limit. It would be a brisk day in the water if this didn’t change.
The very first thing I looked for as we passed into the line of trees marking the border of Roundrock was whether the truck was pelted by horseflies, and I was pleased to see that it was not. Grass and scrub is growing thick on our road though, and that tells me that the vigilance of Good Neighbor Brian at keeping trespassers off our land is working (though I never really minded them driving in — and thus keeping the road more open — as long as they didn’t take anything, break anything, or leave any trash.)
We paused only briefly at the pine plantation to see if any of the survivors there showed signs of being cut as well. They all looked fine, so we pushed on. Great puffs of greenish pollen blew over the bow of the truck as we drove through the scrub growing on the road. I’m glad I’ve never shown any allergy to this stuff (otherwise this blog might be about urban adventures rather than forest adventures). The pond was down a bit, but we didn’t stop there either. We drove on to the lake.
Watching the weather maps, I guesstimated that rain may have fallen at Roundrock only twice in the two weeks since I had been there. Thus I didn’t have any hopes for a recharged lake, and therefore my hopes weren’t dashed when we saw that it was down a bit more. (It was still plenty big for swimming in, though the temps were still not cooperating.)
There are two places to turn the truck around when we get this deep in the forest. One is near the shelter area. It involves using 4WD and a bit of backing and wheel wrenching. The other is in the pecan plantation below the dam. It’s spacious but can be perilous if the ground down there is wet, which, of course, it is since the dam leaks. Nonetheless, I chose to turn around in the pecans since I wanted to have a quick look at how they were doing. (I think I already knew then that we weren’t going to walk among them doing the census.) The pecans actually seem to be doing well. Maybe it takes four years for them to get started. Several are looking robust, like actual trees, and that’s encouraging given how much disappointment I’ve felt from this acre of ambition.
Successfully turned around, we parked the truck back up the hill near the shelter and jumped out.
We walked over to the shelter and sat down.
We spread some peanuts on the big log.
It was beginning to look as though we would have a nice day in the woods after all, and I’ll tell you the rest of the story tomorrow.
- Jewelweed seedpods explode when touched.