In love with Bastrop, Texas and the Lost Pines Life

Tammy Brown

The Lost Pines  Life

I have the incredible good fortune along with my husband to be the new owners of  “Little Piney,” 23 beautiful acres in the Lost Pines of Bastrop County, Texas.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this area, the Lost Pines is an isolated pine forest at least 100 miles from the Piney Woods of East Texas.  The Lost Pines is forested with a variety of loblolly pines found nowhere else in the world.  It is hilly and green, lush and dense, reminding me of the East Texas Big Thicket where I grew up.  Tragically, much of the Lost Pines area was burned in a huge forest fire in 2011, but in this resilient community, landowners are rebuilding and replanting pine trees.  I live in an area that was spared.

As I have explored both my new land and my new community, I have found myself with many questions.  As I have met the friendly people in town, I have been surprised to discover many newcomers like myself.  In fact, when I asked the man behind the counter at the feed store, he confessed that he too was new to the area.  The owner of Piney Creek Chop House told us the story of his move to Bastrop and how he came to be in the restaurant business mostly out of his love for Bastrop and the desire to help the old downtown be a destination for locals and visitors alike.  Last night in town I met a lovely couple from Boston who just moved here to open an  outstanding new store on Chestnut Street—  Eclectic Perfection.

So, as I am bursting with enthusiasm for everything Bastrop, I decided to start this blog to share my Bastrop finds and lessons with other Bastrop newcomers as well as old-timers who might enjoy a fresh, delighted eye on their community.  Those passing through can look here to read about the not-to-be missed charms of Bastrop.  I will be sharing my adventures in birding, wildlife conservation, and country living, and posting about local restaurants and businesses.

I’m sitting on my front porch right now listening to the sound of songbirds and crows.  I’m waiting for the sun to lower to do my next chore—fire ant destruction.  I chose to tackle this today because I have yet to decide how to attack the much bigger problem of gophers. Sprinkling acephate on a fire ant mound is simple compared to gopher control.  Bastrop Feed and Supply on Highway 95 recommends Surrender Fire Ant Killer containing acephate over Amdro. which I have always used before.  I hope it works—it smells so bad that I had to drive home with my windows down.

i’m looking forward to my chore because it means I will walk the cleared trails and small pastures one more time today just as the osprey and great blue heron come down to fish at the lake, the hawks begin to circle again, and the turtles surface and swim on the lookout for their evening meal.  The slanting west sun casts long shadows from the pines and the air cools quickly.  I’ve begun to appreciate a seldom used word, “soughing”.  The soughing of the pines…the soft sound of the wind in the woods.

I just got a text from my husband who is in Florida playing softball.  Words of encouragement…”Kill the _______!”  So here I go.

PS.  Advice:  If you use the Surrender Fire Ant Killer wear a disposable mask like you would use for sanding, and of course, gloves.  The fine powder tends to cloud up toward your face and it is nasty.

Living near downtown Austin for the last ten years, I was excited if I saw any bird on my feeder that wasn’t a grackle or a pigeon.  In just three weeks in Bastrop, I have already identified 27 different species of birds here at Little Piney Woods.

The Eastern Bluebirds are here checking out our 6 bluebird houses.

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