Saturday, July 11, 2009

How now brown...?

Someone recently asked in a comment why our grass is so brown now. It wasn't that many months ago that some of my readers were turning green with envy over the lush grass my sheep were feasting on - and our horses were carefully being kept from! Well, contrary to popular belief, it is not rainy and green ALL year here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. And most of the grasses, as least here on our place, are "cool-season" grasses. They flourish in the spring, fall and winter, and go dormant, turning dry and brown, in the summer.

To illustrate, here is a photo taken from our deck on Friday.In the foreground you can see our greenish lawn (a mix of warm-season and cool-season grasses that we don't water, badly in need of mowing), the middle ground is part of Russell's pasture, and in the distance is the ewe pasture.

Yes, that is Breezy you see in the ewe pasture; I guess it has become the "girls' pasture" now. Such are the results of bringing a fourth horse to a too-small place with established horsey dynamics. Sigh. Kara said in her comment on my July 8 post, "I find that it is not the number of sheep, but the number of 'groups' of sheep that can be challenging." How true - and that goes for horses, too!

To break up the monotony of brown, and redirect my frustration over too many horses, here are a couple more photos of current blooms at Boulderneigh:
That's it for now from . . .

9 comments:

Sharrie said...

Well, I sure learned something today. When does the grass start to green up again?

MiniKat said...

Gorgeous blooms. When will the grass go green again?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Those cool season grasses perk right up towards the end of September, and start looking lush and emerald-green by the end of October. That will continue through at least May. As I recall from living in the Midwest, our long green season is their long brown (and sometimes white) season, and their shorter green season is our shorter brown season -- I'll take it! And even with the brown grasses, there are green forests, woods, orchards, vineyards and other crops, and lots of flowers (plus fruits and nuts). This really is a wonderful place to live; so easy to see why the pioneers called it "The Garden of Eden at the End of the Oregon Trail."

Mom L said...

I found the same amazing "brown" season in the San Francisco Bay area when I lived there years ago. The hills were brown and yellow when we moved there in the summer, but with the November rains came the beautiful green.

Nancy in Atlanta

Tammy said...

Thanks for the answer Michelle (it was me that asked the question ;-) I thought it might have something to do with the type of grasses, since you hadn't mentioned a drought of the kind of magnitude it would take to turn grass that brown here (all the way down to the ground). I didn't realize though that you have basically a brown season during the summer then everything perks up and stays green all winter. (It makes sense though...)Another question...does Breezy get to stay in with the sheep or do you rotate them opposite with each other?
Tammy

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Tammy, Breezy is staying with the ewes and ewe lambs all day, since she doesn't harass them. At night the sheep come in, and Breezy gets shut in a 12'x12' panel "stall" out in the pasture so she doesn't eat all day AND night; like most ponies she is a very easy keeper. I watch with distress as she mows down the dry grasses that would probably have sustained the ewes the rest of the summer....

sheepsclothing said...

Yep. We've got he same beige/brown look going up here. Our unusually dry weather in June seemed really nice at the time,, but has taken it's toll on the lawn and pasture!

MollyBeees said...

Still beautiful country no matter what the color!

kenleighacres said...

Ah, yes the brown of summer. It is amazing how fast it turns.