Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rainy Winter-Spring

Favorite Native Food, Miner's Lettuce, So Fresh and Yummy

East Mill Creek Full of Water

Red Alder (Alnus rubra) with Drooping Catkins, Cones, and Emergent Leaves

Willow (Salix sp.) Flowers

On our travels home, the latest Pacific storm was brewing. As we wound around curves on Highway 299, silence would suddenly envelope the car, only to return as we rounded the next bend. It seems the bulging folds of earth would sometimes shelter us from the wind, and at other times offer no protection. By the time we arrived in Eureka, the pre-showers were spattering the windshield, and we used our umbrella to travel the half block on foot to our restaurant.

That night, as we snuggled under a down comforter and flannel sheets, the wind raged outside, whistling through the single-paned glass. Drew and I commented that we were glad we weren't in the yurt that night. The wind remained strongly southerly all day, extending flags out fully horizontal, and as is customary when we return from a long trip and have a lot of things to carry in from the car, it began seriously raining as we climbed the first ridge out of Ferndale along the Wildcat.

That wind and heavy rain continued to gust, and pulse, and pour all night long our first night home, christening us back into the full yurt experience. With bags under our eyes the following day, we awoke to blue sky cloudbursts, and the sound of rushing water. We visited our swollen creek after breakfast. The second night home was downpours, alternating with thunder and lightening, trading places with hail, and gusts of wind keeping us awake again. Today, more on and off showers, some sun. Such is spring in Petrolia. It rains and we all run for cover to huddle around the woodstove, and then the rain quits, and we realize we can rush outside to work on a garden bed, or plant some seed flats, or go look at the creek. Rainbows and bird song are part of the equation too. The meadowlarks have been singing their tinkling melody, and the hummingbirds are buzzing with courtship hums.

The garden and orchard are just beginning to come to life. I've still got a lot of edible goodies, like carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, beets, fava beans, and greens, which I wasted no time making use of at my first opportunity. The plum tree, like all of them in Humboldt County, is in full bloom, while the peach is just tentatively peeking out its first pink blossoms. It seems the almonds bloomed while we were gone, because it's leaves are waking up already. Today, I planted my keeper onions and my first round of cabbage, and I began preparing a bed for shelling and snap peas. I also made my monster seed order, in which I even decided to try to grow my own tomatoes again.

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