If you don't live in Texas, you might not know about the fires that have been raging in Bastrop County, just east of Austin this last week. Around 4600 acres have been burned, and nearly 50 "home-like structures" destroyed. So far, it hasn't been as bad as the 2011 fire which lasted two months and destroyed over a thousand homes -- and I guess that's something to be thankful for. But it's still been a terrible time for the folks who live over there. The fire was extensive enough to send smoke billowing into Austin earlier this week, and we could see it in the distance, even though we live pretty far west of the city. This was the view from our front porch on Wednesday afternoon:
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Those aren't ordinary clouds on the horizon -- it's smoke over Austin in the distance. And it hung around all evening:
The fire-fighters say they think the fires are about 40% under control now, but a lot of people are still displaced and wondering if they'll have homes to return to. And with the extra-dry conditions we're having this fall, more fires are still a possibility. I can't believe I'm saying this, but -- pray for rain.
Since we moved out here to the sticks (sorry!) this semi-rural area, we've seen several foxes around our neighborhood. It's always a thrill to see them out running around, since mostly they stay hidden. But lately we've had one napping in our backyard patio area.
I guess it's a good place for a siesta -- very secluded, and this time of year we're not out in the garden as much as we would have been a few weeks ago. At least, not in the middle of the day.
He comes mostly in the late morning and afternoon. I suppose all the rest of the time he's out hunting.
He's really a gorgeous creature and lots of fun to watch. (From a distance and through a window, of course! Which is why the shots are all a little fuzzy.) He looks sort of like a terrier, but he's also very cat-like -- especially when he seems to be sleeping with his eyes just a teensy bit open.
I'm pretty sure he knows we're here, and occasionally he'll glance up at the window while we're watching him. But he's really very nonchalant about the whole business -- a pretty cool customer.
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I'm not really sure how it got to be the second week in September already. That just doesn't seem possible, does it? I think my confusion has something to do with the fact that I spent much of last week helping the Hubby put a vinyl tile floor (and some new shelving) in the garage. Not really my idea of fun, but the new stuff does look better than the stained concrete underneath.
Actually, the tiles themselves weren't hard to install. They just snap together -- sort of like LEGO blocks for adults. We just put them where we wanted them and then tapped them down with our toes. Easy-peasy.
The hard part was emptying everything out of the garage, and then putting it all back. The project took several days, and was completely exhausting.
Oh, and you might ask: where's the blue? Well, the tiles are black and silver, but I was wearing bright blue work gloves the whole time.