Our feature photo this month is a view of one of our crab apple trees exhibiting a profusion of white blooms against a marbled spring sky. Planted as small rooted sticks obtained from the Arbor Day Foundation back in 2004, this tree and its companion have grown tall over the years. Different varieties with different growth habits, one is pink and one is white, and bloom at different times.
News from the Farm
We continue to see signs of the nutria youngsters (see our January 2016 post) out back, but not near the house now. They appear to have moved on as more spring forage has become available and the temperature has risen, but we continue to keep the shed barricaded just in case one of them misses the good old days of occupying the outbuilding. Although I do miss observing the little fellows and was thankful for that time, I am quite pleased to have the shed back again, and to not be continually stepping in nutria scat.
Various creatures have passed through this farm, or have stayed a while before moving on. Some, like gophers, never leave. There will always be gophers. Many a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has been filched by gophers, happily counting the coins down in their burrows along with my potatoes.
The days are steadily growing longer on our little farm in the Cascade foothills. Spring arrived a bit early this year, sending forth shoot and bloom during the time Old Man Winter was still lurking in the shadows with his companion Jack Frost. Old Jack waits for a clear night sky to paint the canvas of green landscape in silver. Ice crystals brushed across the land under the cover of darkness and low temperatures will deliquesce in the morning’s golden warmth. I stand in awe of the brief moment of jeweled fire ignited by the sun. Jack’s work is both beautiful and deadly. The destruction of tender new life makes itself quite apparent by noon. We will be set back somewhat, but barring another such visit, the plants will recover.
With the help of our friend Lyn, a total of 51 x 60 lbs bags of cement was mixed and poured by hand for the new greenhouse which will house grape cuttings and larger starts.
Everywhere around the farm there are signs of spring. A natural tunnel formed by an apple tree, fallen over but still living, provides a path from one area of the farm to another. One of two old giant feral apples between the front and back lots. Click on any photo to enlarge.
News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms
Our feline correspondent this month is little Miss Nod, also known as Sister Bertrille, or The Flying Nod, as she likes to take a flying leap and land on my shoulder, which she says is a much better vantage point for viewing. Needless to say, I wear heavy vest when she wants to go for a ride. Miss Nod is the smallest of our Three Sisters cats, and one of the Girls of Salmon Brook Farms.
Her sisters Miss Wynken and Miss Blynken declined to be photographed this month, but indicated they will be taking turns sending in the feline news report later this year. Photos of the trio can be seen on the Cats of Salmon Brook Farm page, and throughout the archives starting with our February 2014 post, although Nod has requested an early family portrait including her mother Silvie and brother Tio Pepe for this post. I have also included a few others, with Miss Nod’s approval.
Miss Nod would like our readers to know that Mr. Lucio was unsuccessful at booking a flight to Tahiti, and has come through his dentistry with flying colors, although he is now missing one premolar. Mr. Lucio declined to comment for this post, and grudgingly provided a couple of photos for today.
Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)
I am still on hiatus from performing, but continuing to play and enjoy down time with my guitars while I continue to work through some health issues and rest up. I learned how to make videos in late winter and do some rudimentary editing. Technology continues to make leaps and bounds, allowing the small-time geek, tinkerer, and putterer like myself another means of expressing and sharing creativity. Expect a surprise in months to come! I won’t promise when, though. I am savoring this time of few obligations to anyone except myself, the farm, and it inhabitants.
In the meantime, 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
Thank you to all who have stopped by this site, offered their “likes”, comments and words of encouragement. I will leave you with an old Irish blessing. I do not know the origin of these words, but they are beautiful.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.