News from the farm:
Western Oregon received a rude awakening from Old Man Winter in late November and early December. He rode in on dark, well-muscled clouds that snorted snow and howled like wolves. Anything that could find shelter did so. The usually intrepid little Dandelions who bloom most of the winter here were sent scurrying back to their roots for cover, and our little farm in the Cascade foothills saw single digit temperatures and a lingering covering of fine, crystalline snow after the storms passed through. Although the extreme cold snap has passed on now, I have yet to see one of these cheery golden faces pop up in the fields and vineyard. Daffodils, however, went about their business undeterred, remaining in defiant stasis at a few inches high while Winter stampeded and raged about them. Now 6 to 7″ tall, many are sporting buds, and seem quite pleased about it.
Temperatures have now warmed back into the 40s, feeling quite toasty compared to earlier this season. Old Man Winter has returned to his usual moody and soggy self, and we are grateful for the return of the rainy season. It has been a drier than normal fall and winter here, with drought predicted for this summer. I have heard an occasional frog or two, including one that had taken refuge in the old garage. Farm residents underfoot are slowly poking heads above their shelters, enjoying the relative warmth and rain. Rick encountered a large salamander wandering about the front steps last night. A check on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife amphibians page points to our visitor most likely being a Northwestern Salamander (aptly named!). When not encountering the occasional wandering Nutria or other wildlife, Rick has been occupied pruning the grapevines, one of the early annual chores here on the farm.
Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page):
Rick has mostly retired from playing out these days, so it is just me saddling up, and loading up, old Seabisquit the Subaru (just passed 415,000 miles!), and preforming fairly locally. Please visit the performance schedule page at salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com
In your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep 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.