Friday, May 24, 2019

Skirmishes and victory flags

So I've been mounting incursions since my last post, trying to retake territory while the conditions are favorable. Rather than my scattershot approach of grabbing grass that's heading out from whatever bed I happen to be passing, I focused my forces in little pitched battles. The victories, though small, are decisive, which does wonders for the moral of the troops (me!).
Ollie or the sheep boys benefit from the pulled grass
First, I cleaned out the narrow bed between the front sidewalk and the lawn.
Post-weeding, where the pots are on the left; more on Jackson later
Next I tackled the driveway edge along the railroad ties.
After starting with a big clump of weeds in the lower right
Much better!
Cleaning up that edge of the driveway made me ponder the feasibility of tackling what really bugs me.
As you drive towards our house, you see this ugly green beard extending down from the island bed. Not only does it look unkempt, it is stubbornly entrenched – and growing. Most of the weeds are false dandelion, which are nearly impossible to pull up by the roots, throw their seeds everywhere (just like true dandelions), and have a cumulative toxic effect in horses (not sure about sheep). Rick has sprayed them with RoundUp in the past but they aren't much affected (not sure about the rest of us!).

Well, there's no time like the present! The weather is still favorable, with clouds and occasional showers to keep the ground from drying out. I've shot across the bow; we'll see how far I get. Chuckie is cheering me on,

and the iris are waving cheerful banners:

That pink one surprised me today; I thought all the colors we were going to see this year had been revealed.

A doe has been hanging around the house in broad daylight; I took these photos of her today:


She has a visible udder, so she must have a fawn or two hidden in our upper pasture.

Skirmishes do continue elsewhere. I've weeded some in the garden, and planted two more tomato plants. My beans and beets germinated well, but so far only one zucchini has appeared (my guys would say that's plenty).
More is going on, but I'll save that for another post when I know more. I'll close with Wednesday's beautiful sunset, captured in various directions as it progressed:




That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Biomass

As I grab grass and wrestle weeds at home (by the armfuls, and with great urgency while the weeding is easy), and drive from home to work and home to Brian's school and back, I keep getting gobsmacked by the plant mass that has exploded in our area. The combination of an early hot, dry spell followed by this period of cool, wet weather has kicked things into overdrive. I predict our hay guy's second cutting is going to be incredible, as he got the first cutting of newly-planted orchardgrass off during that dry spell and now his fields are getting optimum moisture. That's great for us; hmmm, maybe I could breed a couple ewes this fall? 😉
Sarai is getting a little scoop of oats every morning until it warms up again
Speaking of "plant mass," we visited Schreiner's Iris Gardens last Sabbath. This is a near-annual pilgrimage, although we didn't make it last year. To our surprise, they are charging a per vehicle parking fee now. Nearby Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm does this and gets hoards of visitors every year, so it certainly makes financial sense and adds to their revenue stream. And the visual delights are worth the price of admission! Here's a small sampling:
You know you're getting close when you see fields of flowers (crimson clover in foreground)









Speaking of weeding, I ended up going through my blogroll blog by blog this morning and deleted probably half of the ones on my list. Some addresses were no longer valid, some hadn't posted in ten years or more. It set me back on my emotional heels and left me melancholy, thinking of the passage of time, of water under the bridge, of lost connections. It also makes me think of what I'm doing with my "one precious life," what impact I'm making, what legacy I'm leaving. We're not here just to be part of the biomass!

I'm still working on creating a positive legacy with this:
One thing this "Selfie Generation" does well is pose!

It was another busy weekend of going here and there. I finished spinning a second sample of Jamieson & Smith combed Shetland top, and then pulled out the first sample I'd spun to ply. But when I started to dissemble the spindle, this happened:

I broke this spindle years ago when I was in Spokane visiting my dad, and he helped me glue it back together. I will glue it again, but at that moment I was away from home with time to fill and nothing else to fill it with, so I bunted!

Waddya know? It worked!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, May 17, 2019

Loving this weather!

Our cool, gray, damp weather continues, which is just fine with me for all kinds of reasons. For instance, clouds:

And cooking. Am I the only one for whom hot weather is a disincentive for being in the kitchen? But when it's cool I want to bake and cook. So I did both today, and while I was at it, I used up over a dozen eggs. (I had over eight dozen in the frig so it was an act of self-defense.) I made a marionberry kugen for potluck tomorrow and chocolate cranberry whole wheat bread pudding for dinner tonight, to go with a big kettle of vegetable salsa chowder.

And weeding. Right now all the grass that shot up and headed out during our month of hot, dry weather is easy(er) to pull out of the iris bed, so every morning I take an armful of fresh fodder down to the boys in the Ram-ada Inn and let the beautiful blossoms shine a bit more. It's going to take more time than a few minutes every morning to get ahead of the weeds, but it feels good to make some progress.


The pasture iris are completely unfazed by the grass, blooming where unknown hands planted them decades ago, a cheery greeting by our front gate (along with some Centaurea Montana, or perennial bachelor's button):

If you check in over at my less active horse blog, then you know Lance has added yet another diagnosis to his laundry list of problems. I took this photo while exercising him today, neck shaved (on both sides) so Rick could ultrasound his neck joints, mane and neck rubbed from spring allergies:
and those are just some of his problems, poor guy 
Unrelated to the weather, it's been awhile since I've shared any of Brian's music. He's taken one year of choir and two years of handbells at school, but that's poor compensation for giving up violin after 12 years of lessons. But lately he's gotten it out to play at church with the praise team and to accompany the bell choir on a number for their spring concert. Since some of you have enjoyed hearing him in the past, here are two full pieces from the spring concert and a snippet of his playing at church.

Musically yours, from . . .

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Benediction

Last night while we were eating supper, I spied a partial rainbow and jumped up to take a photo (my guys are used to this).

As the sun lit up the scene, I had to take another photo.

Then the setting sun left the trees and kissed the eastern clouds with pink.

Blessings,