Our feature photo this month is of one of the many daylilies blooming about this farm at this time of year. This delicate beauty with visiting ants was found growing amid a patch of spearmint by the corner of the old garage. We had two thunderstorms followed by pea-sized hail in the same day a few weeks back, which left strafed and tattered vegetation everywhere. We do get hail from time to time, but being hit twice in the same day by a heavy load of hail accompanied by high winds is unusual for our area. Leaves, flowers, fruits and buds suffered damage. Only a few plants suffered total annihilation, so we are fortunate. Plantings will recover, although they will be set back a bit this season.
News from the farm
A clear and cool beginning to this last day of June, the thin crescent moon floating in the Maxfield Parrish colors of twilight. Later came the warm, golden sun pleasantly beaming down from a light blue cloudless sky. Shafts of light filter down through the apple orchard, dappling the long grass and wildflowers below. Tree, shrub and flower sway to the song of the Wind, as she skips down the mountains to the hills and valley below. Her fleeting footsteps can been seen in the rippling grass at it shimmers in her path. An old friend once described Wind as an entity with various emotions they had come to know quite well over the years. Sometimes in a hurry, sometimes lingering, but always on the move, whispering her story to those who take the time to listen. Today our visitor is feeling playful, lingering about the gardens and gently plucking her harp out on the porch. Along with the music from the wind chimes, a curl of breeze finds its way through the window near where I am working, tugging at my elbow to come out and join the greater world outside.
Spring’s warm start has encouraged cherries and blueberries to ripen a little earlier than we normally would see. Cooler, wet weather in May and part of June slowed growth somewhat, and we possibly have some mummy berry occurring in the blueberries due to cooler conditions after rapid growth in earlier warm weather. We are sorting out hail damage on top of possible mummy berry, but still have an abundance of fruit. I will be busy picking blueberries over the next few weeks as cherries have already peaked here. Oregon State University has a very good article on mummy berry for interested readers. See “Mummy berry could spook your blueberries” at the link below.
Grapes, depending on the variety, are between flowering and the small berry stage. Our table grapes, many of them very old vines, are always ahead of the pinot noir.
Hazelnuts have well-defined nuts on them, still in the green stage. We have roughly an acre of derelict hazelnuts, which is mainly wildlife habitat now. We may collect these at some point.
Gophers are busy tunneling and leaving mounds, as gophers will do. I collect the mounds for rooting grape vines and outdoor potting soil. They in turn will filch my potatoes, considering it an even trade for disturbing the protective cap on their tunnel system.
News from The Cats of Salmon Brook Farms
Our feline correspondents this month are our Three Sisters cats, Wynken, Blynken and Nod. The girls have been quite busy keeping track of the comings and goings outside the windows, and especially love the view from their crow’s nest. The girls would like to report that there appear to be more hummingbirds this year, but fewer honeybees have been spotted.
The seasons pass by so quickly now, and the girls will be 3 years old in August. They have proven to be difficult photographic subjects for the local paparazzo since they matured out of kittenhood, preferring to take control of the camera themselves! The Flying Nod’s preferred tactics are landing on my shoulder from behind, and covering my eyes with her paws. Fortunately, she is the lightest of the three.
Our Northeast Regional Correspondent Otis and his companion the lovely Izzy will be returning later this summer to give readers an update on his area and the activities Mr. Shrew.
Music News (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)
I would like to start the news with what was a pleasant surprise for me. I walked into the kitchen where the radio was on a few weeks back, and came across an NPR segment about the disappearance of human toll booth collectors in Florida, but not at one particular one, Card Sound Bridge. At the end of the segment you will hear Laurie Jennings, a musician from Florida. She had written a song called Toll Booth Romance. This segment, recorded at a Florida PBS station, made it all the way to Oregon Public Broadcasting! Have a listen to the segment at the link below.
Laurie Jennings and Dana Keller will be performing on the west coast these next two months, including Oregon. Please visit their website at
For those Johnny Cash fans and readers of Science News, the late Man in Black now has a tarantula named after him, Aphonopelma johnnycashi, the Johnny Cash tarantula. See Science New March 5, 2016 for the full story!
I am making some progress, along with some setbacks, in terms of my own health. It has been a long, slow process of recovering from caregiving, and it will have to run its course.
I am still on hiatus from performing, but continuing to play and enjoy down time with my guitars while I continue to recuperate. 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. You are a wonderful community.