Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The buffalo roam

This is the start of several hectic weeks to come. Saturday, as I have mentioned before, was our workshop/Bee Friends quilt meeting. We meet from 9 - 3 (or so) and sew, sew, sew, break for the meeting, eat lunch, sew, sew, sew. I got one and 3/4 blocks done on my spider web quilt. I was also the program for the day and told the group about making a portable design wall and what they could do to make their own. We were supposed to make them there on that workday, but there are so many ways to make them that I didn't want to limit anyone on their creativity by telling them exactly what they had to bring before they had the chance to see how to make one. They will probably bring their items and make it at our July meeting if they run into any problems. I just know that I would make my design wall skinnier (current one 2" thick) and maybe taller and skinnier? I don't know. I may have to make one that I am dreaming about and see which one I like best. I do know, from experience, in order for it to be transportable, it has to fit inside your car!! That is the number one rule in making these.

Got off track about the week, I will continue forward. Sunday, I left here around 4 or 5 p.m. and headed to San Angelo. I was needed to take my mom to her doctor's appointments on Monday morning. I get in the car and what is there to greet me? The check engine light. I don't have time for this so I drive to San Angelo anyway. It doesn't overheat. I just didn't have cruise control. When was the last time you took a trip without cruise control? My right leg started cramping from being in the same position about 3/4 way through the trip. I always use the cruise control on trips - even short ones to Midland (20 miles). I remember this happening once before, earlier this year. It seems to me it happened then not long after having my oil changed, too. So, maybe they move a wire and when it moves around while I am driving it jiggles it enough to cause the light to come on. Last time it remedied itself and I am hoping it does the same this time. Keeping my fingers crossed. I get to San Angelo and go to the state park where my mom lives the majority of the year. She is a park host and her RV is where I will be staying the night. Earlier this year one of her air conditioners blew out and earlier this summer the entire electricity to her RV blew and fried the plug to the breaker box. We don't know if there was a rolling surge that caused this or the air conditioner. I go inside her RV and make sure it will be cool enough to stay there for the night and decide it will be after I lower the temp on the one air conditioner she has left and turn on a couple of fans around the place. Now, I am good to go. I have a place to stay and an invitation to dinner.

On the way to my sister's house for dinner, I spot the buffalo. Very rarely do I get to see the buffalo out at the park and usually it is the one single cow that has been banished from the herd.
Tonight, I see about 12 or 13 - I don't count - all along the fence on the side of the road. They are just amazing to watch. My blog name "wallowing" is due to the fact that I live by a former buffalo wallow - where the buffalo used to come as a large herd and lay on the ground and roll around in the dirt. After 1000's of buffalo doing this time after time, the ground becomes a shallow bowl that collects water during the rare rains we get here in the desert. Then the buffalo come and wallow in the dirt and rain water and make the dip/bowl even larger. As a result I live by a beautiful "lake" in the middle of the "wasteland"/desert. Hence, wasteland wallowing. There are two buffalo statues around "my lake" as a reminder that this site once used to be a buffalo wallow. That was the name of the place when I first moved to Odessa and I still refer to it by that name even though they renamed it a couple of years ago to Memorial Garden. It is a beautiful park.
There are several mommas and two new calves that are the lighter brown. There are also a couple of toddlers. They look just like miniature grown up buffalo, but they are a whole lot smaller and skinnier ( sorry didn't get a picture of them or know exactly how old they are. the mothers were watching over them also,). As it was, I spotted the group beside the fence, made a kind of u-turn using part of a drive and headed back to take their picture. Oops, passed by them so I do another u-ey and head back the other way. Now I am on the opposite side of the road and that just won't work. I make another u-ey - just not as good as the first time. This one turned into a y-ey since I misjudged the turn, headed back and went very slow. At this time I have to turn on my signal because traffic is picking up and I want them to know that I am going extremely slow driving by the curb. I pull up next to this momma and she shifts her eye to check on her baby that is following her. I snap her picture and move on to the baby.

The baby is following pretty close behind mom because he/she doesn't want to get left behind or trampled by the rest of the herd. You can see the face of the next buffalo following behind the baby. It was really a great privilege to see this many buffalo. As many times as I have been out to the park, I had never seen so many of them out there and never seen the new babies.
When I was leaving the park Monday morning I spy two wild turkey. However, backing up just a little to try and get a picture of them sent them scurrying off into the underbrush and away form camera range. You probably don't want them on your Thanksgiving table. They looked skinny and stringy. No thanks, I will take my well fed fat tom turkey from the feed lot. I like all the white meat.
Two car lengths ahead were a small group of buffalo, yet again. Not all of them were there from last night and I can't be sure these were even part of last night's group. I can't get as close to them without driving on the grass and I don't want to do that for fear of getting a ticket from the park rangers and also of messing up the grass. (Not to mention the possibility of scaring off the buffalo or causing them to stampede toward my car. Okay, I know they are not going to stampede my car. To do that they would have to break down the fence first and I would definitely have time to drive off before they could reach me. At least I think I would have time)
Not long after lunch on Monday I headed back to Odessa and helped out with the Permian Basin Volleyball League. After about 7 or 8 hours of that I finally make it back home and into my bed Tuesday morning sometime around 1:30 a.m. A couple of back to back nights of that and I definitely know that I am too old to keep such late and long hours.

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