I last wrote about horseflies just over a year ago. This is their season, and above is an actual (poorly focused) photo that I took. (I just haven’t figured out the zoom feature of Libby’s camera yet.)
When we were last out to Roundrock and #2 Son, Adam, was with us, we had finished our chores and were just horsing around when this horsefly landed on his shirt. I guess the air was cool enuf to make the fly sluggish, because she didn’t dart away when I approached with the camera.
I’m pretty sure this is a girl horsefly since I think I can make out the separation of two eyes on her head. Boy horseflies have what looks like one continuous eye. But more than that, girls are simply attracted to #2 Son.
Normally, given a chance like this, I would dispatch the horsefly, though Libby has told me she doesn’t like the abrupt swats of my cap she sometimes gets on her back when I let fly after a fly. I let this fly fly (it probably would have evaded my assault anyway) since we were just horsing around.
In our early days at Roundrock, before we had our road and could only park at our entrance, we were hiking up one of the feeder ravines north out of the Central Valley. We may have paused for a rest, or we may have been waiting for our older dog, Whimsey, to catch up with us, but I recall in the stillness (of not stomping on fallen oak leaves) the sound of galloping horse hooves. The sound was so incongruous in that setting that I immediately dismissed what I heard as the buzzing of a chainsaw in the distance or the drumming of a woodpecker or just about anything other than a galloping herd of horses.
But when we reached the top of the ravine and stepped onto the path that ran along the north fence (before we replaced it with our road), there were unmistakable, fresh signs of horses there on the ground. I think it was about then that I understood why this path had stayed so miraculously open. Apparently, the horsey set had been cutting across the northern boundary of Roundrock to get from here to there for a long time. I guess word got out that there was a new owner because the horsey folk haven’t been back. We did find a horse shoe along the fence here once, and it hangs on a tree by the shelter.
Unaccountably, Wednesday was my third highest visitor count ever. “Tortle” must be a relatively common search word.
- Rosh Hashanah
- Early wintering sparrows arrive.