What are you finding in your Mt. City yard?

by PAULINE TOM

Black vultures drew Salli Wilson’s attention to her neighbor’s yard on Maple Drive. Coyotes had killed a baby Axis deer. Coyotes often come into the Wilson’s backyard.

RonTom looked down as he stepped from our back porch to the herb garden sidewalk and saw a loooooooong snake. He summoned me to grab KissMe, our Great White Hunter with Red Spots, from another part of the yard. Ron snapped a photo with his iPhone and the snake safely slithered away.

Ron Tom of Mountain City took a picture of this snake outside of his home. Using “A Field Guide to Texas Snakes,” he has identified it as a female ribbon snake.

Ron scaled the snake’s image on my computer monitor, knowing the mat in the photo measured 26-inches. Ron calculated 33-inches as the snake’s length.

Best I can tell, using “A Field Guide to Texas Snakes,” our slender slender snake is a female ribbon snake (which closely resembles a Texas Garter Snake).

Ron handed me an article from the Austin newspaper reporting on a study presented to the American Ornithologists Union showing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are returning to North America earlier than in decades past. This could mean that hummingbirds arrive before their food supply comes into production.

Year-round, in Mountain City hummingbird feeders may attract hummers. In months when the Ruby-throated and Black-chinned are not here, Rufous hummers get reported.

Have you heard of a Copper Hummingbird Swing? Such was news to me when I noticed one at the fundraising auction held in conjunction with the recent Texas Bluebird Society Season Kickoff. I asked around. Folks say hummingbirds really do use them, and some vigilantly protect the swing. I found one, made in USA, on Amazon.com

I wonder how many tons of Amazon.com product will get delivered to Mountain City in 2013?

An old-fashioned 1960s style pink princess phone with push buttons on the dial surfaced to the top when I searched Amazon for a small heavy phone. It was not made in the USA. In China, the phone with two 6s and without a 5 made it through quality control.

Amazon gave 5-star service when I phoned, and delivered a replacement on my door step the very next day with an easy system to ship back the defective item.

Does the city get sales tax revenue on Amazon sales, now that we’re paying sales tax on Amazon purchases? I hope so. Stay tuned.

Did you hear that Rick Tarr, our immediate past mayor, had a stroke at home on February 11th? His son, Jason, posted word on Facebook on Sunday that Rick was released from the hospital, and is “doing amazingly well considering.” He thanked the church family and community friends for prayers, love and support. In less than 22 hours, that good report post received 127 “likes”!

Beth Smith sent word that the Precinct Two office will close Feb. 21 at noon and stay closed all day on the 22nd to move into the new building.

Montage stays open for tidbits. Email ptom5678@gmail.com or call (512) 268-5678.

Thanks! Love, Pauline

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