Busy Around The Manor

March 22, 2012

Man, it’s been non-stop around Hillside Manor this week.  Between the day job (that pays for all this) and working on the place, I haven’t really had a lot of time to get any posts out.

The bright side?  Most of the really big (expensive) stuff is done.  The porch is complete, which was the biggest of the projects.  I’m really glad I hired a local contractor to do this, as it came out a whole lot nicer than if I’d done it myself… not to mention it would have taken me a year to build this thing in the limited time I’ve had to spend down here.

Got the new floors in a while back, and will be replacing the PVC plumbing underneath with PEX pipe.  It’s supposed to be a much better material, and will handle freezing temps a lot better than the PVC (less leaking joints).  The next big thing will be to get at these interior walls.  That should be a handful, but it really needs to be done.  The place is in pretty good shape, but the walls are definitely showing their age.

It’s been a beautiful spring down here in the Hill Country.  Temps have been fairly moderate, and there’s been a little rain.  I’m not sure it’s been enough to truly break the drought, but you can sure see where it’s making a difference here.  The hills are looking pretty good, and losing that blasted look that it was showing back in the fall.  The rivers are starting to flow pretty well again, including the Nueces that runs right down the road from my place.  I know the tourist businesses are happy to see this.

Things are budding out now, and I’m able to start identifying the various plants and trees I’ve got on the place.  There’s a lot of oak, and good stands of Texas mountain laurel (a flowering tree with purple flowers that smell sort of like candy… really nice).  There’s also some native persimmon (not the big orange ones you see at the store).  If I can get enough of this juniper out of here, I think this place is really going to turn into something special… not just as my new home, but as a home for wildlife.

Speaking of wildlife, I’m still not seeing a ton of variety.  There’s no shortage of whitetail, especially since I’ve set up the feeder.  I’ve been working pretty hard on clearing out the area under the oaks, and hoping that this will open things up and attract the turkeys.  I did a hike up the ridge behind the house yesterday, and the hillside is cut up with deer trails.  Still no sign of hogs or axis deer, but everyone keeps assuring me that they’ll be here soon enough, and to be careful what I wish for.  All I know is that I haven’t been hunting in ages, and I’m jonesing for a shot opportunity right here on my own place.

But as we all know, put in the work first, and then you’ll reap the rewards.  I’m counting on that.


2 Responses to “Busy Around The Manor”

  1. JAC on March 22nd, 2012 21:57

    Phillip: The manor is splendid. As soon as you see an axis deer or a wild hog, give a brother a call.

  2. Phillip on March 23rd, 2012 16:39

    Will do, John. No problem.