Music and Farm

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for February 2014

News from the farm:
In spite of the ever changeable weather patterns, Spring is just around the corner on our little farm in the Cascade foothills.  Her emissaries, the daffodils and snow drops, opened their blooms on February 1st over by the old garage, which has a good southern exposure.  If color was sound, the golden trumpets, white tear drops and green swords of foliage would sing the ballad of the end of Old Man Winter’s reign, the return of the Sun and the fair maiden we know as Spring.

Rain came recently, a welcome, gentle rain that continued all night.  I thought I heard the Wind during the wee hours of the morning, the sound of which could make one believe in Banshees.  It woke me up, and I looked around, half-expecting to see an uninvited wraith in the shadows.  Dark clouds scudded across the sky in the first blue light of day, adding to the effect off other-worldly things happening during the night.  An old friend once said Wind talks about travel – tells you where it’s been, and all it has seen along the way.  Often just passes through in a hurry, but sometimes not, and will want to stop and visit.  Storm is the angry sibling of Wind.  More energetic, but less well traveled.
Among the many changes that came in February was the parting with some of our foster cat family members.  On occasion, some waif, or two, or more, lands upon our farm’s shores.  We try to help as best we can.  I have not yet found the sign post pointing our direction, like the ones hobos left for each other back in the days of hopping freight trains and noting where the friendly houses were where they could get a handout.  Somehow, they find us.  An emaciated, 6 lb tabby cat mother we called “Silvie” came to call, and eventually brought her kittens out of hiding.  We took them in, and have been spaying, neutering and vaccinating the lot in preparation for finding homes for them.  Silvie (now 9.5 lbs) and her orange tabby son Tio Pepe were recently placed in a good home with a friend, leaving the Three SistersWynken, Blynken and Nod – waiting for an adopter.  Like their snow-capped volcanic counterparts in Oregon’s Cascade Range (named Faith, Hope and Charity early on by settlers, but are now known as North Sister, Middle Sister and South Sister), they are snow white with rocky-grey streaks showing through on their peaks.  Beautiful girls with lots of personality!

Rick pruned the vineyard in January, but the coming of February means I must get out the orchard ladder and start pruning the fruit trees and blueberries.  The Oregon State University/NCAP sponsored Blueberry Production Workshop is coming up February 11th, and will focus on mummy berry, spotted winged drosophila prevention, and pruning.  Always something new to learn!

Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page): 
We will be performing again at the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market in February and March.  Come on out and get fresh winter vegetables, nuts, meats, cheese, mushrooms, artisan baked goods, handmade items, etc, in addition to some folk music!

I’ll also be at Fireworks in Corvallis the first Saturday of every month.  This venue has done a lot to support local musicians.  Good food and friendly atmosphere!  Eat here often, even when there isn’t any music playing.  Help support a good supporter of local music.

Please visit the performance schedule page at

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.

Bookings and home-grown produce:
Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms


8 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for February 2014

    • Thank you! Those were the words of a old friend from back east, someone who spends much time by his own brook. Blueberries do well here. Main problems we have had with our own patch are gophers, birds and deer. Deer browse new shoots in spring, and the occasional buck has scraped their antlers on one or two in the fall. Gophers attack roots and birds go for the fruit, but on the whole we do pretty well with them and I can’t complain too much.


    • All their personalities are so different, those little ones! Another friend may take the Three Sisters after she gets settled in her new house, keeping them together as a group, as I would wish for them. They are very close, the Sisters. Many people ask about deafness and white cats. The veterinarian here says that in the area, the white cats he sees that have these gray stripes on the head have a slightly greater tendency to go deaf by one year of age. Not a hard and fast rule, just a tendency he sees. Nothing in the literature he has found, yet. Little Nod may be showing some signs of being harder of hearing than her sisters, but I can’t really tell yet for sure.

      It’s been a little over 6 years since the last feral female gave birth on the property, and hopefully it will be just as long or longer before it happens to us again. We are in a rural area, and animal dumping or abandonment is prevalent. It’s not just cats and dogs that suffer. See the article below. It is heartbreaking.


      • Do hope the three girls go together. Even if she does succumb, deafness shouldn’t hold Little Nod back. That’s the danger of being an animal lover, either people know it and dump animals with you or the animals themselves sniff you out. We have seen too much suffering of all kinds.


    • Thanks for stopping by the Three Sisters and their family post! Tio Pepe and Silvie are still doing well in their new home. The Three Sisters are still here with us, but may have a new home in January with another friend who just lost her two old kitties who were in their 20s when they passed on. They always have a place here with us if no good home is found that can take all three. The girls are very close siblings and I prefer to keep their little family together.

      Liked by 1 person

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