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Friday, November 9, 2018

The Iceman Cometh




"Although even here they keep up the appearances of life with a few harmless pipe dreams about their yesterdays and tomorrows"...Eugene O'Niell

It's interesting how the phrase "Pipe dream" has made it into todays lexicon. If you asked 10 people where it came from I bet you would get a few different answers. To be honest I always thought it meant a dream of something far off, like you are looking at it down the length of a pipe. But of something maybe attainable as it's their, but it's at the end of the pipe, and whatever journey it takes to get to the end goal. 

Unfortunately, reading a little late 19th century literature to look for a good reference on the arrival of the first frost of the season, I actually discovered the etymology just refers to an opium induced dream state. I like the optimistic version of it better that I made up in my head. 



I don't think this video of the bees flying on the Colchicum late on  November afternoon day is actually playable. 


This is a pig on the waterfront in Olympia Washington, he just looks so daper enjoying the view of the harbor 

This is Olympia Washington and the Capitol Building from Pervical Landing.

So I was at a communications camp for work in Olympia Washington and it was a really great time to learn about being an effective outreach tool, public speaking and effective communications in Environmental Education. Good time and I attached a few pictures. 

Got back just in time to experience the first real frost of the season. It was legitimately frozen solid as I walked out the door this morning, which was kind of refreshing. Of course now I have to be a little worried about the tender South African and South American bulbs I've been playing around with. But I'll keep ya posted on that. 

Low 29 degrees, Sunny and clear and the same in the forecast for the weekend. 

Cheers, 
Mark

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Still no frost on the pumpkins


"WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock."
James Whitcomb Riley.




Still no hard frost, but the pumpkins are carved and waiting for the Evil Night of dread and terror when the children take the streets in search of candy. 

This is the view from the patio looking toward the rock garden, kind of hard to believe that it's a day away from November and all the flowers are still looking like it's Mid-July.


So we had the first real decent rain storm move through along with the field associated it, there was even a tornado that touched down a few miles away. I think that is the signal to button some stuff away for the winter. The bulbs in quart pots will be put into the greenhouse and the outside beds will get a nice mulch. Then we wait for the spring thaw! That is if we ever get a frost!

Cheers, 

Mark

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

One door closes and another opens



"Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all."
Mark Twain
Still no frost on the pumpkins, in fact the lowest temperature I have seen this fall season has been 38 degrees. This is of course good as I am ripening some vegetables in the garden still and playing the grasshopper a bit longer till the Ant takes over. I finally got caught up on a lot of the Fall projects I was needing to do. General farm maintenance and such, I re-sided the rotting old tractor shed, which should allow me more room in the wood shop this winter. I started painting the well pump house to match the new siding on the tractor shed and soon discovered it was rotting out as well. I decided not to bother with the fixing that problem this year as I think it can wait for better funding and more time next year. I have heard the saying said so many times "Don't let perfection be the enemy of good", I think I like the way that Mr. Twain said it better.  Honestly, some things are better left to sort themselves out and no sense in worrying over the things that can be dealt with at a later date. 

Just a few pics of some stuff I saw as I walked around the garden last night. I still have the greenhouse bulbs out in the can yard waiting for a decent shot of rain, then I'll weed the pots and tuck them into the greenhouse for the winter. So far it looks like that shot of rain is going to start this weekend. 

I rescued a bunch of Sowbread corms from an old abandoned homestead down by the river this summer. Got quite a few nice leaf forms and flowers ranging from white to deep pink.  

Colchicum psaridis a greecian species doing the fall thing. 

The old illahe homestead viewed from the Rock Garden as we approach the end of October. 

Sometime I need to lay out all the historical stuff I know about my place, the Title deed says it was built in 1934, but the way the foundation was added onto, and the fact that there is a photo of the old sunnyside school taken from my front porch in 1914, leads me to believe it was actually a prune drying shed that was added onto. A while back I interviewed a few of the old timers in the neighborhood and learned some great stories about the little community of Sunnyside. In fact, I'm feeling like that will be a good winter project while the bulbs are waiting for the bloom period. I'll blog the story of the community of Sunnyside.

Rain in the forecast, temps in the 50's, it once again feels like a right proper fall in Oregon.

Cheers,
Mark



Friday, October 12, 2018

Legends of the Fall


“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” 
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

I'll be honest, I was thinking a lot about this past week and some of the political and social injustices I've witnessed and having had a beloved relative pass this week and having been mistreated by folks who lack compassion and understanding about such things. I was feeling like I should talk a bit about injustice. All one needs to do is google, quotes on injustice, and you realize quickly that all the worlds great authors and orators wrote about the subject. Then you start to realize that this is a subject that has been discussed at length throughout generations and over millenia. Finally one starts to realize that injustice is just a part of society, civilized or otherwise it subsists in our culture, it exists in nature, and perhaps by human nature it's ingrained in us that you must either endure it or impose it on someone else. So speak up about injustice, call out evil, be it the management at your work place, the leaders you see running this country into the ground, or the treatment of an person or a creature. We all have a responsibility to rise up against evil and not let it perpetuate into the future generations. 

Justice is not blind, justice is bought and sold at the highest levels of our courts, it's traded and bartered for favors by lobbyists, to old white men with power and wealth. To quote the seminal metal band Metallica, And Justice for all "Justice is lost, justice is raped, justice is done". 

Crocus kotschyanus 'Reliant' Clumping up nicely in a plunge bed.
Oh ya, flower bulbs, the autumn crocus collection is definitely doing it's thing, this has actually been one of those nice crisp, dry autumns where it doesn't even really feel like Fall has kicked yet because the leaves are holding strong on the trees, but they are starting to get those lovely reds, golds and every shade of orange and brown in between.

Crocus thomasii and C. carthwritianus 'marcel' the lovely false saffrons just do better and better for me every year and despite my attempts at becoming a legitimate saffron farmer, C. sativus doesn't seem to persist for me through a season or two. 


The weather has been remarkably wonderful as we moved into October, Dry and crisp for the most part, highs in the 70's and lows into the 40's for the most part in the evenings.

Cheers,
Mark

Friday, September 28, 2018

After the Autumnal Equinox Comes


"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there." Ray Bradbury Farenheit 451


 So I took a long walk around the garden this past evening, I had meant to put up a post on the flowers of the autumnal equinox as I have done in the past. But somehow time slipped by me and almost a week has past since we hit that perfect moment where day and night are equal in length.

So all the pictures in these two collages were taken on evening of September 27 when the length of day is now 11 hours and 52 minutes. And tomorrow it will be 3 minutes and 6 seconds shorter.
I really just focused on the Autumn Crocus and Colchicum that are in bloom, although I could have found a few more flowers if I had pushed the issue. I like the shades of lavender and pink, it seems to be a subdued color pallette for the coming of winter, almost as if the flowers are telling you it's time to fade away from the bright neon glow of summers Petunia's bedded en masse. Time to take a closer look at the intricate details of the flowers that will soon fade away with the first hard frost, and won't be seen again until the days once again begin to lengthen. I really wish I wasn't writing in memorandums here every so many months, but it's come to that point in life where the good friends and relatives are aging out.


In Loving Memory:
Oh to walk down those racks of vintage's in glass in the little Chelsea Lane store, near the duck pond in Bend where Auntie Raissa made her place. Thank you for so many memories from Pacifica and the Packaging Store, to Bend and Chelsea Lane. You may not have left a garden for your soul to rest at, but you left me so many precious memories I'll never forget you. Rest in Peace and may your soul be free.



Monday, September 17, 2018

Summers End

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.”
– Ann Patchett

The Autumn Colchicums with long summer bloomers


We all know that day, the crisp cool morning, the dew is heavy and you can see your breath as you walk out in the now dark early morning hours. By noon the foggy dew is burning off hard and by afternoon it's warm and the flannel comes off. Oh, these are the halcyon days. I've used that quote by Walt Whitman before, but I don't know if I went into the etymology. I mostly liked it because I used to follow a travel blog of some retired teachers, who bought a boat, named her the Halcyon and went about exploring the rivers, lakes and oceans wherever they could take her. 

The Halcyon,-I took this from wikipedia- From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beachwaves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days," when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful.
My Halcyon days often involve fishing, and off the Pacific Coast where storms can ravage, I envy old Aeolus and his ability to restrain the wind and keep it calm, because when it's calm like the past few weekends, you would have found me at Salmon camp, following the ways of the indigenous coastal tribes who knew that when you had a Halcyon day you went to get the Salmon and stock up for the winter ahead.


It's been a wonderful end to summer, Salmon camp was successful and the fall bloomers have started in well. The rain has been here and gone and back again. Which is the way that I most enjoy it, a day or two of dry followed by a wet one makes for the perfect, easy end to summer. It's also really nice not to have to water anymore!

While I do have a huge amount of fall projects I need to get done ahead of the real "weather", I hope to be back here every so often with some fall blooming bulb pics. 

Showers this weekend, followed by sun and nice weather in the 70's. 

Cheers,

Mark



Saturday, September 1, 2018

It is Finished


The shipping season has ended!

Thank you so much to the loyal customers who put in orders this year and welcome to the new folks that are enriching the garden. I for one am looking foward to the fall, harvesting the produce from the vegetable garden, some salmon fishing  to stock the freezer for the long winter I have a feeling is coming. The kiddo is back to school soon and the heat wave has broken, its starting to legitimately feel like fall is here. Every few days a different Autumn Crocus is coming on now. The Naked ladies are up. I'll be back to blogging about them after some salmon fishing trips, but here are a few for you to enjoy now and look forward to purchasing on next years list.



Colchicum lateum




Colchicum davisii
Temps in the low 80's and nice cool evenings, the yellow jackets are about the most annoying thing about this season as they seem to be think as thieves right now.

Cheers!

Mark