Our feature photo this month is of the daffodils that started blooming along the south garage wall in January! A few leaves are sporting a little white paint from my working on the building. This is the first year they have not been bent over with snow. We usually get something in early January, but may be surprised yet by an March or April storm! There is something peaceful about watching snow fall and collect, especially in the quiet of a woodland area. When I was young and had my horse, I would go down to the stable while it was still dark in the morning, just to watch the snow fall in the wooded area in the back pasture as dawn unfolded. Eventually the noise and bustle of the daytime world would take over, and I would return home. But for a while, the magic of snowfall on a winter morning, quiet and solitude….
News from the farm
The last few days have been more typical of western Oregon winter weather, meaning rain, fog, and uniformly grey skies. The sun attempts to burn through the ground fog and low cloud cover from time to time, revealing a kaleidoscope show of greys, silver, to blinding white and pale gold punctuated by patches of light blue sky. If the sun succeeds, the rising mists will coalesce into opalescent rivers that wind around the foothills, sometimes appearing smooth as a frozen lake if one is up high enough. The landscape has received sufficient water now to have greened up the grass nicely, and wild onion chives are poking up everywhere out back, shooting up above the grass in a race for the growing light of the approaching spring. They are quite strong and flavorful in a meaty sort of way, and I will collect what I can. The grass will eventually win, as it does every year. Grass will grow, overtake, and dominate the earth until the intense, dry heat of summer subdues it into dormancy, entombed by hard-packed clay that will bake brick-hard, and fissure under a relentless sun. Even gophers will choose to tunnel more frequently in areas where we spot water, and therefore the ground is softer, wreaking havoc around plantings. We are also in a race of our own, finishing up building repairs, pruning and garden beds before spring. There is no shortage of work here, no matter what the season.
Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)
It may be winter, but the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market is in full swing now, and I will be there again in February and March (check the Performance Schedule page of this blog). If you are in the area, please stop in on Saturdays between 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and support our farmers and artisans who provide our community fresh meats, eggs, cheeses, mushrooms, winter vegetables, baked goods, honey, crafts, etc. every week!
We had a great time playing at Cornerstone Coffee in McMinnvile last Saturday. Many old friends and some new ones came out for the evening. I’ll be back there again on July 25th, IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) weekend. In the meantime, I’ve been invited to tape a show for McMinnville Public Access TV this spring. Stay tuned!
In your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep your own local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.
Bookings and home-grown produce:
Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms
If we all do some small part to making the world a better place, it surely will be. We all owe this world something for the good things we experience in life. As the character Paul Edgecombe said in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Green Mile, “In the end, we all owe a death. No exceptions.” Our actions up until that time are the legacy we leave, and how we will be remembered by those whose lives we touch. Kindness, humility and grace are no small feats in life, and are a constant striving towards a perfection we may never achieve.