Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A New (and last) Job

We had a couple days vacation.  But around 3 pm on Tuesday, the call came.  Even though it was out in now-where-land, and a fracking job, we needed to finish within 3 weeks.  So we took it.  Our new digs:

 View straight ahead:
 View straight ahead, yep, still nothing.
Poor Bella.  We had to drive 2 1/2 miles on a rutted dirt road (but Gary did a great job, nothing broke) and we finally got set up without water or sewer around 4:30.  But we did have power, a good thing as it was 93 degrees.  So I'm in heaven, and Gary is not.  He's happy he doesn't have to back out of this gate.  We have half a football field to turn around in. 

Our first night was uneventful, with our first arriving at 5:44 am.  Ooops, missed that one - alarm set for 5:45.  Got him later when Gary drove another mile down this road to the second gate guarder, Len and Ann and their two dogs.  They have been doing this for 3 years after his dad got him into it.  They have actually done this gate before and love it.  They are over a mile past us on that road above.

I was taking a shower, when Gary yells to me "Quick, a coyote! Wait, it's ears are too big. It's a Jack Rabbit!"  They are as big as a cocker spaniel, and this one let me get pretty close before hopping away. 

The Scissortail Flycatchers are mating and making a nest somewhere.  They are pretty birds, and all over south Texas.  Also recognized a Cactus Wren at the yard yesterday morning.  Interesting call. Kind of a gulp, gulp, gulp.  Made me look, and take a shot to identify him.  My connection is really slow to upload pictures, so I omitted him.
This afternoon, a truck driver pulled over to wait for another truck, got out with a long hoe, and began poking the bushes and under trees.  He was rattlesnake hunting.  I went to talk to him, and he had just caught (yesterday) a 7 footer, and showed us the 13 section rattle.  I'm glad it wasn't still attached. 

Last night everyone got out, and tonight they are all gone, too.  Yay, that means sleep till 5:45 am.  Fracking will rearrange that, but we are going to try 3 eight hour shifts instead of two 12.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Cha chinging again.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vacation Time Again

It's been relatively quiet this last week.  Since I had not left the site for over three weeks, Gary let me take a long walk.  I found an old penny, something's vertebrae picked clean and separated on the ground, and wildflowers.  Oh, and some gun shells.  Most of the wild land out here is used for hunting. 

One morning I noticed a hummingbird around the Jeep, so dug out my feeders and whipped up some syrup.  (1 cup of sugar added to 4 cups of  boiling water).  As soon as I added the cooled syrup to the feeder, and hung it up on our coach window, there she was.  And she was pregnant!  (at least it looked like she was).  With the sports mode on my Canon I captured her wings while in flight.

The male shooed her away and took a drink. 

The pyrrhuloxia females were fighting with their reflection in our coach mirrors and the air horns on the roof, creating a continuous mild racket.  Not too bright, but beautiful. 

Another first was this Swainson's warbler getting a drink from the moat that we made to keep ants out of the hummingbird feeder. 

Well, we had a few nights sleep before Wayne came by and released us from this job.  It was late in the day, so I asked if we could leave in the morning.  Sure, he said.  Since he had released us officially then, we didn't have to answer any more bells, and fell asleep carefree.

The next morning at 10 am the Gate Guard guys came to pick up the equipment and while Gary went to the Love's truck stop for fuel, I followed the guys back to the yard.  The truck stop was not busy, and about 10 minutes later, Gary came through the gate and we got parked, set up, and drove over to Pleasanton for a 'fancy' lunch at Chile's and then Walmart to restock. 

This morning I met another guarder, Bobby, at the trash bin and we talked about his experiences.  He has inoperable lung cancer but radiation is keeping him well enough to continue guarding.  He did say it was getting slow, as last year they couldn't get enough guards for all the wells.  He's going into San Antonio tonight for a medical procedure tomorrow, and the only other guard here has left for Tennesee for a week, so we will be first on call tomorrow morning if a job comes in.  Fingers crossed, because we want to get back to work ASAP.