Wednesday, April 29, 2020

End of April Pics

Not the very best month for photos, lots of fog and gray skies and a pandemic looming 24/7. These are a few of the things we saw this month that haven't already been posted.

These two goslings were so cute.  I just wish they would have posed for me.
An unusual blue sky day here and a 22 degree halo.
Looking for art anywhere, even on the head of a mushroom.
Very first rose of the season. What a beauty!
Lupine on the side of the road blooming wildly.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

garden report 4/26/20 pandemic year 1

we are fortunate enough to have a nice place in which to shelter, including a nice garden. not shown are two small tomato starts,  a zucchini start,  and a bed seeded with carrots and beets.
in the foreground are broccoli plants. bean seeds are planted to the left under the weird trellis. the next bed has young kale, lettuce, and a hidden row seeded with carrots. behind that are kale plants ready to eat, onions, and peas.
a volunteer ???. we will know more when it flowers
columbines have spread widely on their own

more columbines way over on the other side of the front yard.  we did not plant them here. the little green shoots behind the rocks are giant dahlias.
owly with flowering succulents

Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday Music: Asimbonanga

Sometimes it's just good to listen to a piece of music that lifts our spirits, a song of celebration. I think we first heard this song shortly after Nelson Mandela died in 2013. It had been written for him many years earlier. Asimbonanga, means awakening in the Zulu language. We like to listen just to remember the exuberant moment of awakening. We are waiting for the new awakening.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Time

This is now, an apple tree in the moment of past present and future.
I asked Roger, "Is it tomorrow yet?"

Monday, April 20, 2020

Quiet Walks

We're still going for our very quiet walks out in the neighborhood and cow pastures. Very few people out there and hardly anyone on the roads at all. Quiet, very quiet.

There's not much to share these days. Our world has gotten even smaller than usual, which seemed impossible just a month ago. Now we can't even bring our own shopping bags into the co-op, and we only go once a week, and WE DRIVE because we buy more groceries than we could possibly carry home. It's crazy. Our little life routines have been upended!

Here are a few of the things we've seen out on our neighborhood walks.

We live pretty close to a dairy farm. I saw this cow sleeping in the pastures. She looked so-o-o skinny. I googled around and found that beef farms "beef" up their cows to make them meaty. Dairy farms don't do that. I was surprised to see all that boniness.
A neighbor down the road a bit does some beautiful flower gardening out in front of her house. On one side of the driveway it is full of daffodils and tulips. A lovely balance to the gray skies on this day.
We fell in love with these flowers and hope to find out what they are. They are so vivid and beautiful.
And then we heard knock knock knock, over and over. Roger spotted the beautiful little Downy Woodpecker pecking loudly on the High Voltage power pole. For such a little bird, it makes quite a sound.

The quiet walks, that's what we have these days. Before the shelter in place, it felt normal to take these walks. Now we keep our distance from the very few people who are out there, and wash our hands like our lives depended on it when we get home.

How are you doing? Managing to stay sane? Only advice I have is DON'T LISTEN TO THE MADMAN.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Friday Music: Sarah

We first heard this song while streaming something on the computer, some TV show. There was something about those lyrics, "Sarah, will it ever be the same" that really tugged at me. I had just started corresponding with a woman named Sarah who was quarantined on the cruise ship the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan. It was back in early February when the Covid-19 virus seemed like a distant fear and not one knocking on the doors all across the globe like monster goblins on an endless Halloween night. I was wondering back then if it would ever be the same for her and now I am wondering if it will ever be the same for any of us.

When we first met we were kids
We were wild, we were restless
After a while, I grew coarse
I grew cold, I grew reckless
I hold this memory
I've pulled you so close to me
Whispered "will we always have this?"

Lately it feels like I'm sleeping
And I just can't wake up
Pacing the floor, want to call, but I can't
So I hang up
Sharing a seat on the train
With a lady who's crying
Has ruined her make up

Now I see just how young, how scared I was
My eyes closed tight, throwing punch after punch
At the world
Sarah, is it ever gonna be the same?
Sarah, is it ever gonna be the same?

Said goodbye to all the places I used to go
I said goodbye to all the faces I used to know
Nothing lasts forever
I guess by now I should know I should know
There ain't a thing I can say
That will ever repair it
And you who had so much advice
And yet couldn't share
Maybe someday we will look back
On this and we'll smile
But right now I can't bear it

Now I see just how young, how scared I was
Eyes closed tight, throwing punch after punch
At the world
Sarah, is it ever gonna be the same?
Sarah, is it ever gonna be the same?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Sky Messages

We were out for our mid-morning walk last week and saw a small airplane making a circle in the sky. It flew off and came back to add a line down the middle. I said to Roger, "Oh wow, I think he's going to make a peace sign." He did. Then he went on to make a smiling face and a heart. We were so glad to have witnessed such an act of peace, happiness and love. I posted these images on Facebook and really want to share them here with you.
Here is a link to a story about the pilot in a local paper. There are more (and better!) photos there and some video links as well.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Orchid Lives

Our sweet old kitty cat Bonsai with the orchid in April 2012
It's been more than a decade since our sister-in-law brought us this orchid as a housewarming gift. It was back in 2009 when we had bought the house in the Sierra foothills. I've been tending to it ever since.  I wasn't really familiar with orchid care at all when we first got it, but I learned over the years how fussy it is. It was never the healthiest of plants. You can see in the above photo it had some kind of growth on one leaf and another leaf that was browning with some other kind of discontent.

When we sold the house and moved to the coast in 2014 the orchid came with us. That's when it stopped flowering. It just looked miserable day after day, month after month, year after year. I still tended to it, gave it its weekly water. I googled around to see how to improve its conditions. In 2016 we bought new orchid potting mixture of some kind of stuff that does not look like soil at all. I carefully repotted it in a bigger pot. I talked to it kindly.

Nothing happened. Not a single flower. Not a single new leaf. Nothing for four years.

Our sister-in-law who gave us this orchid was diagnosed with cancer in March of 2019 and died in August. I contemplated burying the orchid in the yard on the day of her death. It seemed appropriate and right. Enough with all the useless suffering. But on that day I looked at the plant and decided to keep trying.

I kept up the same routine I had been doing for the past ten years. It seemed ridiculous, but it only took a few minutes of my time, so why not. And then this happened. I looked at the plant last month and saw life. There was a stem of flower buds coming from the heart of that plant. I couldn't believe it. One flower opened, and then another. This is what it looks like right now as I type this. I have tears in my eyes.

After all this time, the orchid lives.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Friday Music: Blue Ridge Mountains

We love listening to this song because it reminds us that in the future music will be in the hands of some really talented people. It's also such a sweet video, watching them do their music while in what looks to be a motel room. These four people (Carson McKee, Chase Eagleson, Sierra Eagleson, and Josh Turner) have done a lot of music together and alone. All quite well done. We hope you enjoy this. (BTW, this is not their song. It belongs to an Indie band called Fleet Foxes out of Seattle. These young performers do wonderful covers. )

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Words On Wednesday: Derelict Neighbors Part 2

You may not remember the post I did a year ago about our derelict neighbors. Here is a link to it to refresh your memory. A year has passed since that post and still no one has been to the house. That makes it ten years of abandonment. If you don't go to the linked post, here's a photo of the roof their house from last year.
When I was writing about this last year, I was writing about the amazingly overgrown blackberry vines in the yard and up over the windows. This year I'm writing about what I saw when I opened the blinds Saturday morning and looked out the window.
Uh-oh. Something made quite a mess up there. So, I actually found a way to contact the owner whom we have never met. She lives in the bay area and has not been here since we moved next door five years ago.  I sent her this photo. She thanked me and said she would get someone to fix it. She apologized for being so derelict about the house.
She called someone to come and take a look. He came, looked around, and attached this tarp to the roof. The repair person said it was damage done by a critter. I photographed the tarp and sent the pic to the owner. She was very grateful and happy. Then I opened the blinds on Tuesday morning and saw this.
Uh-oh, that is one ambitious, busy little critter. So, what do you think, was it trapped inside and ripped its way out, or was it outside and ripped its way back in?

I haven't sent the follow-up photo yet. Maybe I'm just wondering what is the point? And maybe I'm starting to feel bad for the critter. I could easily argue for its adverse possession, otherwise known as squatter's rights.

Monday, April 06, 2020

What We've Been Seeing Lately

I have been inspired by John at By Stargoose and Hanglands to share some of the sights we've been seeing here lately. We don't get out so much now, but when we do, there's often something that will remind us of the beauty of our world.

The skies over our suburban street
We went to marsh for the first time in weeks
Red-winged blackbird at the marsh. We so love their song.
The old and the new in spring
The rainy weather sometimes gives us rainbows
The Egret was wondering what those white plastic bags were all about
The moody skies of springtime here
The truck was driving very very slowly so the cow could be comfortably taken back to her pasture. We assume she had attempted an escape.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Friday Music: Life's A Long Song

It's hard to imagine that I was only 19 years old when I first heard this song and that nearly a half century has passed since. Roger and I were playing songs that began with the letter "L" on our iPhone when this song came on. I had completely forgotten that we even had it. It sent me back in time like a wild and wonderful flashback and also seemed so relevant for the present moment. Life is a long song... yes, it really is.