J S Ellington

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We Might Be Rednecks....

Apr 8, 2017

Jeff Foxworthy would probably feel that my husband and I qualify though we don't have a working TV sitting on top of a non-working TV. Speaking of TV, we rarely turn it on. We have too much we enjoy looking at on all sides of our property.

Our favorite thing to do is sit and have hot tea on the front porch or the back porch (both enclosed with resident rescued dogs) and watch the bunnies, quail, roadrunners, thrashers, cardinals, woodpeckers, an occasional skunk, an occasional rattlesnake, sparrows, finches, owls, hawks, and the list is almost endless. All of these animals make their home right here on our 5 acres. Wild boars can be a problem, and there is other wild life in the area, such as deer and coyotes, but they don't come onto our property much as far as we can see. We only mow about 2 acres of our property. The rest is wild and raw for the animals. 

Are we rednecks because we don't fertilize, edge, and plant flower gardens? Maybe, but we love our wild plants. Here are some flowers that mother nature favored us with, just resting in the shade.Nature's Flower Garden

We have planted a fig tree, a couple of plum trees, a nectarine, a Hunsa apricot, a couple of blueberry bushes, and a blackberry. They are all young trees, not making much of a crop yet, but what they do make the woodpeckers pick clean. We don't mind at all, and we don't do anything to prevent their free access to the fruit, because it affords us the pleasure of their company.

As for rattlesnakes, they are considered our friends! We only kill one if it is a necessity. If they come out of the wild area we have provided for them and into our yard proper, we can't afford to allow them to be there. As stated before, we have 2 dogs living between the air conditioned/heated front porch and the front yard and 3 dogs living between the air conditioned/heated pack porch and the back yard. We were broken hearted to lose the 6th of our rescues just last month.

Below are pictures of the huge mesquite tree in our front yard and one just to the east of our yard. This property completely burned before we bought it, but these 2 beautiful mesquites and another, even larger one, were damaged but survived.

Mesquite in the FrontMesquite to the East of Our HouseOne or two of the mesquites, probably quite old, were killed by the fire, but we were too "redneck" to cut them down as the birds use them constantly, especially the woodpeckers. For 2 seasons in a row, we had 2 black-bellied whistling ducks roosting there for a few weeks. They were most likely migrating. 

Anyway, One of the dead mesquites is a tortuous work of art in my opinion. Come to think of it, the live ones are too. That's one of my favorite things about Abilene, Texas. Even the elite property owners revere the mesquites and many allow them to remain in their yards when new houses are built.

Beautiful Dead Mesquite To the south of our property is all cattle pasture. You can't probably see the cattle in the distance in the photo below, but they are a curious lot and often crowded up to the fence in an effort to see what's going on. Occasionally, cowboys on horseback are out there working the cattle. It is a glorious sight from the comfort of my front porch.Cattle Pasture Just to the South

Below is a photo of our dirt road. It is a bit tricky after a rain not to get stuck, and our vehicles are always covered with the fine clay silt that settles after someone drives down the road. Another concern is that very often birds or animals will decide to dart across the road just as our car approaches. They are all precious to us, and so far we have had no casualties.

Third from the bottom is an image taken from inside my front porch, showing the cattle in the pasture.

Two images below are of my paintings inspired by views I found on our road. The bar ditch is built up from the road so that gourd plants and other natural foliage often cascade down from the field above to the dirt road below.

In case you haven't already gotten this impression, let me just come right out and tell you that I love my Texas. It is the reason for my series by that name. 

Stay tuned! I have more inspirations for paintings from the beautiful views here north of Abilene, Texas, than I have time to paint, but I am at the easel as much as I can manage it!Our Dirt Road

 

cattle

A Friendly Little Sunflower

Texas Rose


sunflower Texas Abilene mesquite wildflowers coyotes skunk woodpeckers cardinals cactus dirt road Janie Ellington paintings fence post winter rye cattle wild boards deer I Love My Texas series

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