Category Archives: Weather related

Sign, sealed, delivered…with rain

Almost to the hour, a long-needed dose of rain started to fall as we officially entered the fall equinox.

Our seemingly extended summer outdid itself in record-setting days near 90ºF for weeks on end, especially since the last post.  Any hints of rain or moisture seemed to vanish into some other reality, or released more as vapor than solid precipitation.  Watering became a daily need until after Labor Day, when the sun angle was lower and there were noticeably fewer daylight hours.

Blessed with three days of substantial rain, delivered mainly during the nights, with a couple of strong squalls during the day, we are now enjoying some beautifully mild temperatures.  As I write the sun is getting low on the horizon and there are many tiny insects buzzing, whirling, and floating in the bright light, also highlighting the many gossamer strands of cobwebs.  And there are about ten raindrops glistening as they fall from the stray cloud that is just passing overhead.

It smells heavenly, and myriad plants are looking more relaxed.  A bit of a paradox for some of them, as the change in season also diminishes their stimulus to grow indefinitely.  Most of the squashes have succumbed to the familiar mildew, yet a couple of them keep pushing out some new growth, making the plants look rather hilarious.  The tomatoes are following suit, and most have already been harvested.

Sept26-2014a

Relief on the way with fall rain. Tomatoes and squash are succumbing to the change in season, while the nasturtiums have come back onto full glory.

Things were looking pretty good for awhile for a new crop of green beans and a succulent row of lettuce….until last weekend, when the Bambies found their way into the garden again, and munched down the bean plants plus a few tender tomato sprouts.  The beans themselves are looking a little bigger, so there may be some for picking, but somewhere in the last 2 days they returned and munched down the baby lettuces, so there is fall’s crop gone.  At least they don’t like beets or basil

Four-legged browsers at it again!  Where there is a will there is a way....in.

Four-legged browsers at it again! Where there is a will there is a way….in.

Hoping others are having a bountiful harvest! it’s time to make some pesto before the basil declines with wet and cooler weather!

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In between the gaps…a gallery

A glimpse into the menagerie of the community garden and general house yard through fall and winter 2013/2014.

Always like to show off what our browsers can do when they put their minds to it.  Push down that netting to get the delectable bean leaf tips! They've developed finesse so they don't get their teeth caught in the netting...

Always like to show off what our browsers can do when they put their minds to it. Push down that netting to get the delectable bean leaf tips! They’ve developed finesse so they don’t get their teeth caught in the netting…

Apologies to our beautiful praying Mantis, who is probably eyeing an insect or two under the netting.  What a beaut!

Apologies to our beautiful praying Mantis, who is probably eyeing an insect or two under the netting. What a beaut!

Tasty greens sprouting for fall crop.  Mature beets further right even overwintered well under the snow pack.

Tasty greens sprouting for fall crop. Mature beets further right even overwintered well under the snow pack.

The typical way we keep the squash, melon, and tomato harvest aired and dry during the mild, not-too-rainy days of fall....stored under my eaves.

The typical way we keep the squash, melon, and tomato harvest aired and dry during the mild, not-too-rainy days of fall….stored under my eaves.

A record-setting snow-then-freeze episode the very first weekend of December 2013, followed by a record-setting snowfall in early February 2014, made us very aware of how little we can predict anything anymore, or when our gardens are tested to the maximum adaptability, and how miraculously resilient plants can be.  The witnessing of when a healthy, mature plant “decides” it will not struggle to survive the next year, but yield to the new energies of the next generation of seedlings.

Where's the bench seat?!

Where’s the bench seat?!

How Deep? 020814

14″ AFTER the snow has packed down for 3 days…

The birds had to learn to eat snow on their feeder for a few days.  Thank goodness for seeds on the old flower stalks, although the snow buried a lot of those.

The birds had to learn to eat snow on their feeder for a few days. Thank goodness for seeds on the old flower stalks, although the snow buried a lot of those.

And spring brings the energy of renewal…

2014-Kiwi Arbor-a

Kwan Yin being sheltered by a bower of the Siberian kiwi vine.

 

A year gone by, surely you jest!

The summer Solstice energies always help things get growing...sometimes too fast...bolting radishes!

The summer Solstice energies always help things get growing…sometimes too fast…bolting radishes and arugula!  Garden is awake!

I don’t even try to mentally grasp at the reality of a whole year gone by since last posting. It does feel like there are several timelines moving simultaneously, and depending on what I am doing there is rarely a sense of linear time, except for specific moments “in time”. This is the true reality, non-linear time that is, so a year feels like a month or two, sometimes, and at times a week feels like two months ago.

Many wonderful happenings and blessings in life have manifested over the last year, and there is not a lot of time left for keeping garden updates. I surely have mentioned that it is enough work just taking care of the garden after a job! The entry of a companion into my life has broadened my horizons once again, and his generosity in embracing me into his very active life has provided new opportunities to travel, as well as a busier schedule than I was used to. When he sustained a skiing accident in mid-February, my life-roles expanded further into helping him heal from pelvis and hip fractures. Fortunately he is very ambulatory these days, but healing will continue for up to a year, all said and done. Complete recovery, but a slow journey. This spring it was all I could do to bring my focus to engage the CG and get it up and running. February became May before I knew it.

Rereading last year’s entry regarding spring weather in 2013, which I don’t remember one iota, it doesn’t seem so different from this year. We’ve had a long stretch of mild, dry weather in May and June, now being balanced with a touch of late June rain. As usual, the tomatoes are still cloaked in their finest red jackets, probably till July 4, or when the new deer fencing goes up.

We had one of the most severe winters I can recall in my 35-year tenure here, and it was interesting to see plants survived two cold events. The first event occurred the first week of December, 2013, when the southern Willamette Valley received about 1 foot of snow in a couple of days, accompanied by sub-freezing temperatures that lasted for nearly a week. I had the pleasure of stepping into a foot of snow with only my Chacos on, arriving home at 2:00 am from a week-long vacation in Mexico. This was the event that probably killed off many old hedges around town and all my Spanish lavender (the English type held up fine).

Then came the huge snow load of February 7th, when it snowed upwards of 15” in 48 hours; yes, record-setting for that rate! However, it wasn’t overly cold during that session, but the lavenders were completely covered. The snow probably insulated the seed pods, which did sprout a plethora of seedlings in front of the CG, almost like a little carpet. These will eventually be planted out again to replenish the Spanish type (Lavandula stoechas). The old L. stoechas and L. viride in front had to be removed, and were replaced mostly with the hardier L. angustifolia.

If Quan Yin is just over 3 feet tall...

If Quan Yin is just over 3 feet tall…

The bambi/es made their presence known early on this year, before the CG was even put in, dessimating my roses twice, so there are absolutely no flowers, and inhaling two of our newly-acquired tomato seedlings for the CG. Roses I am not so attached to, but….

A bumper crop of Lakemont seedless white grapes after a hard winter.  Was it modified pruning, or signs of plant maturity?

A bumper crop of Lakemont seedless white grapes after a hard winter. Was it modified pruning, or signs of plant maturity?

The odd weather affected flowering of the pear and columnar apples in the house yard, so there is absolutely no fruit this year. On the flip side, I have never seen so many grape clusters on a still-young grapevine, and I have done cluster thinning for the sake of the plant. And, for the first time, my Siberian kiwi is fruiting.  Now 5 or 6 years old, there appear to be a couple dozen small fruit. They aren’t lying about kiwis needing to be at least 5 years old before they start maturing, but I was starting to hold my breath because there were only a few blossoms last year that did not yield fruit. This is like a bumper crop!

Here’s to a bountiful year!

Success!  After 5 to 6 years, and a hard winter, several dozen Siberian kiwi fruit have manifested.

Success! After 5 to 6 years, and a hard winter, several dozen Siberian kiwi fruit have manifested.

Sliding through the June portal

Having rain on and around summer solstice is often a guarantee of a hot summer here, and this time summer is not waiting until July 6th to show up!  Heat wave came on immediately after the rains let up; the yard actually feels a bit jungle-ish, with everything so lush. Humid! I would say that the little basil are the only complainers.  They can’t figure out what is coming or going, as their elusive heat kept shifting around.  Transplant time for them coming up!

Magical mesclun mix!

Magical mesclun mix!

Giant radishes!

Seriously large radishes not to be mistaken for beets!

While being gone several days to Mt. Shasta over the Solstice, where it was really dry and dusty, the squash and tomatoes decided the warm moisture was their cue to grow by leaps/bounds.  Melons are still a bit slower, but firmly established now.  Lettuce, spinach, and most of the mesclun mix is bolting, so there is an element of normalcy. We have a lot of work to do this weekend and a bounty to give away!  I spy some hefty looking beet-roots on the end of a row, also, so some first pickings and sorting needed there, too.  Bush bean blossoms announce their next phase, while Bambie has expanded her buffet to include tomato plants early in the season. We won’t even discuss what the weeds think about it all!

And we all shine on!

The jungle is forming!

The jungle is forming!

For real, not for long

Aaahh…there were almost audible sighs from the plants, as moisture finally returned us to a degree of normalcy.  The cracks in the ground have nearly disappeared.

Just to balance out all that summery weather that led us to rename the month as Mayust for awhile, a huge cold front has enveloped us with substantial rain, and cooler than average temperatures, so it is reminiscent of March for a few days.  We are not complaining, just smiling.  It was bound to happen if the tomatoes were set in the ground, right?  The squash and melon seedlings in the house yard are protected with plastic jugs, and tomatoes continue to show off their red jackets.  Some of us feel like it’s time for a switch back to some sun and warmth.

Growing jugs in the yard?

Growing jugs in the yard?  No, these are mini-greenhouses.

What is the jug hiding?

A peek inside…to find…

Very young melons, waiting for some warmth!

Very young melons, waiting for some warmth!

Waiting for rain…is this for real?

We love sun, but I think I can accurately say I can’t remember any spring in which we have had this extent of warm, dry weather, in the 30ish years I have lived here.  A complete switch from the last 2 to 3 years of cold, damp springs!  Trouble is, all that grey we had in late January into February wasn’t rain, but fog, so our water levels for the year are only 30% of normal at present!

It is almost unbelievable that we have tomatoes transplanted, and all the squash, melons, and cucumbers seeded before Mother’s Day, no less Memorial Weekend!  The much anticipated rain predicted for May 12th that was to bless our new plantings of the prior day, was postponed till the 13th, and then disappeared as we watched strong breezes break apart the front and send most clouds northeastward, and offer only brief spits of moisture, if any.

Seriously, it has been mostly shorts and sandals weather for the last 3 weeks, including some summer-ish nights. The ground in many places already showed the typical cracks more typical of late June or July.  Soaker hoses are being laid out for sudden action when plants are a bit bigger.

Though we cool off to more average temperatures in the 60’s, dropping into the high 30’s at night again, it is “life in the breeze lane”, requiring almost daily watering.

The house yard is looking good, coming into the first flush of blooms for the Tradescantia, and all lavender is prolifically laden with blossoms and bees!  It is always a joy to listen to them moving around in the plants while weeding or watering.  This year they will hopefully be able to enjoy watermelon blossoms one day on the seedlings planted along side some of the lavender.

Life is good!

A new batch of “red hats” that convert to evening jackets
for the young tomatoes.           Welcome to the CG for 2013!

May-12-13

Blueberry bushes are noticeably larger this year.
Good crop of berries set….!

New Timelines

Sometimes there are better reasons than others not to engage in spring gardening too soon, be they weather, or Divine intervention….
Primary excuses here:

Equinox! Spring?!

Tripping out of a timeline....to concrete...
The director's way of getting out of work?

Actually, I did the hand trick earlier in the day we were intending to gather together for the annual planning tea party!  Since then we’ve experienced 3 weeks of the wettest March on record, including all 4 seasons in single days.

We have heard the hopeful news that in early April, we will see some warm sunny days, and then it will be a rush to weed and turn soil, and clean up.

My hand (with a hairline fracture in the base of the left index finger), has been healing rapidly over 3 weeks, but has more time ahead to heal the ligaments and then re-strengthen.  It will be quite awhile before I can torque it with a shovel, or do 2-handed weeding.   Aargh.  Everything takes longer.  I will have to get used to the idea of being a director in a real manner…;-)

We are in amazing times of planetary evolution, much of which is not even fathomed by the limited perspective of the scientific community.  Since I work in the field, I can speak this.  Quantum physicists know it, though they are often ridiculed, yet Einstein had glimpses.  Astronomers know it, even if the don’t broadcast it.

There is no more “normal”, if one is aware and awake, be it the weather, occupation, health….life.  Time IS accelerated.  Gene Rodenberry was bringing forth real information through his StarTrek missions, as was Carl Sagan in writing “Contact.”  We are not alone in the Cosmos!

But enough of this…it simply has me reflecting from late last year, that in my own life I do not have the desire to keep up with “media” aspect of blogs (which are largely outlets for ego-broadcasts of their lives).  Another reason this site intentionally has been kept focused as an information outlet above all else.  It feels like there will be fewer entries than in previous seasons, partly because the CG is well-established, partly because my life-service is needed in other areas.  Words mean less to me, and are increasingly more difficult to process, as I move less in the mental world and more into the invisible world of feeling and Nature.  Which means…there may be postings of pictures….and wordless.

This community garden has always been a focus of infused cosmic energy, assisted by the natural Beings who support the plant and soil life, and will continue to be such a portal.  Live in the Light!  And Light is Love!