Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for May 2017

Our feature photo for May is of the line of apple trees near the house, earlier this month when they were all sporting a profusion of blooms.  This particular day opened with an assortment of cumulus, cirrus and altocumulus clouds painted in textured strokes of white mixed with the pastel colors of dawn on a canvas of early morning blue.  The scene continually shifted as the day progressed on into evening: thin, high cirrus clouds, towering cumulus, developing stratus and distant nascent nimbus.  The scent of earth and new vegetation clung to moisture-laden air moisture as flashes of lightning appeared to the southeast of us over the Cascades, followed by the low roll of thunder. Although no storms passed directly overhead, the quiet stillness gave one the feeling that the evening was waiting for something.

Feature photo for May 2017. Click on any photo in this post to enlarge for detail.

News from the farm

The month of May arrived, cold and wet, at our little farm in the Cascade foothills. Pacific chorus frogs provided nightly music, the annual symphony to accompany life continuing in all it cycles.  The days grew steadily longer, punctuated with sunshine and dry days, even as the temperature fluctuated. Seeds that had been started earlier in the season under plant lights and on heating mats in the old garage grew steadily, and most of them have now graduated to life in the greenhouse on the porch, hardening off before continuing the next phase of their life in the main garden. The apple trees were particularly showy, adorned with more pink and white blossoms that I can remember. I recall a poem by Robert Frost“Good-bye and Keep Cold”. Perhaps the long, cold winter has been good for them, and we will be rewarded with a good harvest.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44265

Crab apple tree covered in blooms.

Developing plum.

The brightly colored trumpets of daffodils slowly gave way to the deeper and quieter colors of irises. Roses and daylilies are now assuming their strategic position as color guards in the garden, standing tall above ox eye daisy, dandelion and buttercup growing wild in the yard.  The roses still show signs of black spot fungus from the cool wet spring; later blooms will be more exuberant, ruffled skirts flaring wide like flamenco dancers.

These many irises of this type are all descendants of a few given to us by friends. Hardy souls with a light, sweet, musky scent, I manage to divide and move some around every year, expanding their territory.

The first daylilies of the season

Clear mornings bring a creamsicle colored eastern sky as well as the deep lavender and rose colors of receding darkness in the west.  Mists begin to rise and coalesce, and either drift away up over the mountains, or very quickly spread like spilled milk into an overcast sky for most of the morning. Sun breaking through the cover stirs up a good breeze that sails us into the afternoon, and the daytime temperature may reach into the 80s on some days.

Blooming chives add color and seasoning to the kitchen garden outside the door.

Work in the garden can continue after dinner during these longer days. I feel the air temperature drop as the sun sinks further behind the hills to the west, which has now taken on the hues of early morning.  I stop and observe the color change unfold above as the night progresses. The growing moon with its thin, bright crescent and illuminated silhouette, appears like a giant eye trained on the greater universe, set against the Maxfield Parrish colors of last light. All is as it should be at this time, a moment to record in mind’s eye, a memory to cherish.

Table grapes in progress.

Pinot noir in the test block on rope trellis.

Pinot noir in the main block on conventional wire trellis.

We have a short row of a mix of Early Muscat and Gewürztraminer. So far, all vines are doing well and progressing nicely.

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Our resident feline correspondents are busy this month working diligently on their assignments, although in their case, it is often difficult to distinguish working from loafing.  Correspondent Nano has contacted the Sicilian feline correspondents regarding a story they have been working on this spring, the story of Lucky, and how he came to live at the olive farm there.

Correspondent Nano, always watchful.

Before turning this section of the newsletter over to Sicilian Feline Correspondent Lucky, Mr. Nano would like to introduce readers to editor, author, teacher and musician Lorraine Anderson.  Lorraine can be found at Earth & Eros, http://earth-and-eros.blogspot.com/   Lorraine updates Earth & Eros twice a year at the solstices, and can also be found at http://www.ecoeditoronline.com/

Without further ado, Mr. Nano presents Sicilian Feline Correspondent Lucky, who has filed the report for May.

A view of the Sicilian countryside. Photo credit MG/JP.

There are times when sheer luck and circumstance save the less fortunate of us from an untimely demise.  My own astute and compassionate human rescuer spied me stumbling about on the streets of our little town here in Sicily. My odd behavior having caught her attention, she observed me as I repeatedly fell off the sidewalk into the street, noting that I was hugging the curb as a reference point.  This determined angel, whom I was unable to see or appreciate, swiftly came to me and lifted me up, saving me from certain death. I was so frightened, however, that I scratched and clawed her, trying to escape. Fortunately for me, she had an iron grip as well as compassionate heart.  I found myself incarcerated, although I later learned that I had been rescued and instated on their farm as Lucky, Prince of la Casa delle 36 Zampe, as the House of 36 Paws is known in Italian.  And Lucky me, I have not one, but two doting humans!

Lucky in younger days. Photo credit MG/JP.

After several trips to a medical facility and two surgeries to remove my eyes that had been damaged beyond repair, I am now free of chronic eye infections. The kind veterinarian, now known to me as my Auntie Rita, took very good care of me as I learned to adjust. It has been more than four years now, and I am quite acclimated to my indoor and outdoor surroundings; I have even climbed trees!  Lulu, my house-mate and fellow correspondent, is the most attentive and playful of my fellow feline companions, and is an expert at the game of Cat Rolling, a game where Lulu rushes me and makes me roll over. I am aware there are at least four or five other feline correspondents living outside on this farm, and I have a hard time keeping them straight.

Little Lulu as a new refugee at the House of 36 Paws. Photo credit MG/JP.

My duties as the Prince of the House are many. My most important function is napping in one of my many favorite spots, followed by making demands of my humans as only a cat of my ranking can do.  Keeping Bob, Hilda and Little Girl, the three big dogs, properly respectful of me requires more energy, resulting in additional napping. Little Girl and Hilda have learned to give me a wide berth; Bob, however, knows that he must greet me quickly then retreat before I give him the royal greeting, a stiff nose-biff.   In my spare time, I oversee tending of the olive trees and the garden, investigating the many fascinating sounds and odors outside.  The bees are having a go at the second batch of blooming lavender, among other things. The olive trees are loaded with blossoms this year and we hope nothing goes wrong before the fruit is set. A bad rainstorm would really impede the pollination.

Lucky investigating an olive tree! Photo credit MG/JP.

Although I am blind, my hearing is highly acute; the many sounds of the farm, including birds as they call and flit through the trees and lizards and small mammals as they rustle in the grass, paint a detailed acoustic image of my world.

Lucky, hard at work investigating the garden. Photo credit MG/JP.

My fellow correspondents take me on short excursions through the fence to land they tell me is owned by a neighboring human. My own people watch over me as best they can.  I am, however, very good at hiding from them. Not a day goes by when I don’t hear their plaintive cries of “Lucky, Lucky where are you?”  I have a very good life and I am indeed Lucky in both name and happy circumstance.

I would like to close my report by introducing readers to our friend and house musician Patrizia Capizzi.  She is a dear friend, talented musician and animal lover. Readers can find her at https://www.youtube.com/user/MyBlueBossa

– Sicilian Feline Correspondent Lucky, reporting from the House of 36 Paws.

Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

Readers, please do take a moment to visit Patricia Capizzi’s site listed above.

For those readers who are new or catching up, the Salmon Brook Farms YouTube channel now has content, and our first Tiny Farm Concerts one song music video was posted at the end of March.  I am 14 years older and a good bit more grey since my first and only CD was released back in 2003, but still in the saddle.  It has been an interesting ride, with more to come!  I have received a request for a video of “Believe in Tomorrow” from the “Keepsake” CD, so that task will be in my work queue.   Having just come through Memorial Day weekend, I opted to post a video of “Remembered Goodbyes”, which is also on the original CD.  The CD version of this instrumental also features Jim Lamontagne on fretless bass.

The Orchard, our distributor, has placed some of our music from the Keepsake CD on YouTube.  Anyone wishing to see the entire track listing and stories behind the songs should visit my personal page under MUSIC in the menu at the top of this post.   Depending on what country you live in, the music placed on YouTube by The Orchard may be blocked.  Readers can also access some songs from the CD via the old IUMA archive site.  See https://archive.org/details/iuma-lavinia_ross

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

http://home.earthlink.net/~redwine5
https://salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com

The month of May brought many storms, and many rainbows. This particular rainbow lasted a good 30 minutes.

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68 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for May 2017

  1. Timothy Price says:

    Lots of nice blooms, and I see you have day lilies already. I haven’t noticed ours are even thinking about blooming yet. I love Lucky’s Sicilian perspective. Beautiful playing on “Remembered Goodbyes”. But you need to grin when you pick that there guitar. 😉 Is that a Martin?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, as always, for stopping by Tim! I had to laugh when I read you comment about needing to grin. So far I haven’t managed it well, if at all! I get deep in concentration on the music. I see the same expression you do, and know it could be better. It wasn’t going to happen today though! The next video may have a cat sitting on my shoulders while I play. That might do it! By the way, that is your beautiful photo I bought from you that is up on the wall behind me. I think of you and Laurie in your New Mexico paradise when I look at it.

      Yes, that is a Martin HJ-28, and was a 40th birthday present to myself (way back when). The story behind the guitar is that Rick and I and another musician couple, B & S, went up to New Hampshire to see Norman Blake perform at a combo restaurant, bar and music shop. The music shop was situated above the restaurant. During intermission, we all went upstairs to see the guitars, fiddles, etc. B was playing this Martin, and tried to put it in my hands, saying I would like it. I didn’t want to know, as I knew I would want to buy it. I broke down and tried it out. I put it back, but thought hard about it. Rick picked it up and went over to a corner to play it. I decided to buy it, and got the owner. She took it out of Rick’s hands, saying it was sold. He said, “I hope you didn’t sell it to my wife.” I flashed my charge card at him from the other room. There was no way that special instrument was escaping me. It has been a trusty performance and recording guitar, and sounds best tuned down in open D, which is the tuning I use for that instrumental.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Timothy Price says:

        I love guitar stories like that. I have a rare Jose Ramirez black concert flamenco guitar (black = having Brazilian rosewood sides and back). It has a serial number and is supposed to be 1 of 100 made in 1990. My guitar teacher in Madrid, Spain, Miguel Rivera, had originally bought it when Manolo Sanlúcar (his teacher and they also performed together a lot) bought one. Miguel then sold it to another guitarist. The other guitarist wanted to sell it, so Miguel brought it to a lesson, told me to take it home and play it awhile and see if I liked it. I loved it of course, but I couldn’t afford to pay what it was worth, so I figured out the max I could pay (a fraction of the value of the guitar), and withdrew that much in cash (pesetas). I took the guitar and the cash to a bar where I met Miguel and the owner of the guitar. I told the owner I had x amount of cash and the guitar. I wasn’t trying to rip him off, that was all I could afford, and asked him take the cash (still a very hefty sum) or the guitar, and I’d be happy either way. He chose the cash and I still have the guitar. Miguel was flabbergasted and at every lesson after that he would shake his head, tell me he couldn’t believe I did that, because Spaniards don’t deal that way. I always reminded him that I’m an American and his buddy had a free choice of taking the guitar back and selling it to someone else if he felt he could do better. When I got the guitar appraised a few years ago, the appraiser said it is indeed rare as he had a really hard time getting info out of the Jose Ramirez company. Apparently, those 100 guitars were besides being the only black concert flamenco guitars Ramirez ever made, they may be the only black flamenco guitars Ramirez ever made.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. a BIG hug to Lucky, that was a very touching story…. and I love your wonderful flowers, specially the irises, they always look as if they know a secret… and by now they haven’t shared it with me ;o) it’s great to listen to your music while reading your blog, thanks for making my day brighter with your post and your songs…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Always good to see you, Phenny’s Mom and Dad! Those irises are lovely aren’t they? I call them the Marilyn Monroe’s of the flower world. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading this post and listening to the music. I am glad it brightened your day. Give a hug to that handsome and devilish Weimaraner, Phenny. 🙂

      Like

  3. What a beautiful newsletter for May! Always so nice to hear from there 🙂 I love your farm life and especially your lovely cats. Yes, the end of Spring time and Summer will be with us, actually I don’t like hot summer days… I wished always to live in Spring or Autumn! Dear Lavinia, your voice and your songs fascinate me, and I love to listen non-stop… wherever I go, I carry with me your CD, you are always with me. Thank you for this amazing post, have a nice day and wonderful June days. Love and Hugs, and kisses to your cats, nia

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Nia, thank you for stopping by and all the kind comments! I too love spring and autumn. Summer can get a bit hot and dry.

      The cats and crew all send you and your family love and best wishes. I hope Princess cat is feeling better, and we send healing thoughts. I look forward to your beautiful photography, hearing more about your life in Turkey, and of course, the cats of Istanbul. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Herman says:

    Hi Lavinia! Thank you for showing us your beautiful and amazing garden. It must be a joy walking around in such a lovely place.
    I enjoyed your music clips and your conversation with Tim. I have to go back to work in the studio. I’ve been sick the last days and it was too hot inside to touch a keyboard or any other gear. Thank goodness the temperatures are dropping down and I’m feeling much better again…
    Mr. Bowie sends his regards to correspondent Nano and the crew of Salmon Brook Farms. We enjoyed reading his story too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments, Herman! It is a joy to walk around here, especially in spring. Glad you enjoyed the clips and the conversation with Tim. I hope he comes up with a recording of himself at some point. I would love to hear him play!

      I am sorry the weather has been so hot and you haven’t felt well. Hot weather must be rough on Mr. Bowie, too. We are back to more typical Pacific Northwest cool spring weather here again. It never got out of the 50s here yesterday. Mr. Nano and crew slept most of the day. The cats and crew all send a big “meow” to you and Mr. Bowie, our favorite British Shorthair. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Seems like things are looking up in your neck of the woods. Vines looking mighty good too. Our babies are all grown up now and we are hoping for a real harvest this year. A nasty frost at the end of April caught an awful lot of Southern France out with reports of 80% losses in some areas. We were relatively unscathed, thankfully.

    Lucky is a fine feline in deed — seems to have everyone under his paw.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You make me dream, Lavinia , when I see your productive garden and all the fruit trees . We had also this glorious show of the blooming bur alas two mornings in April killed all bloom and fruits with frost : not any fruit this year ?
    And you have also vines of famous cepages ! California is blessed . and you have a brook nearby with salmons! You will have to show it to us once .
    Your little blind cat is happy to have found you on his way . He is really Lucky! 🙂
    I loved reading your post.
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank for for stopping by and visiting, Michel! And thank you for all the kind comments! Sometimes we get frosts or hail here in spring which damage blooms or developing fruit. Usually something comes through. I am sorry you had an April killing frost there in France.

      The name of the farm, “Salmon Brook Farms”, was carried with us from our previous home on the eastern seaboard. The town we lived in there was once known as “Salmon Brook” in its early days, and had a brook running through it named “Salmon Brook”. Our record label Rick started back there was also called “Salmon Brook Records”, so we continued the name here in Oregon. We have no brook on our farm, but we do live not far from the Santiam River, which does have salmon and steelhead trout.

      Lucky is indeed one lucky cat to have been rescued by friends. He lives on an olive farm in Sicily with MG and JP. We are honored he sent us his story to share with readers.

      Love to you and Janine,
      Lavinia ❤

      Like

  7. As always, another grreat newsletter – that goes without saying!! Lucky sure has come a long way. What an amazing come-back, eh? Still keeping everyone on their toes maintaining the crops. The farm is ‘bursting out all over’ with blossoms – and right on time. I can’t imagine what a long range, panoramic view of the grounds must looks like with all those colors!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments, GP! Yes, Lucky is indeed a very lucky kitty, and has come a long way since his early days. The colors come and go on the farm, each in their turn. When all the trees bloom the air is filled with the heady scent of so many of them. It must be intoxicating to bees. I know it is to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jason, thank you so much for stopping by and the kind comment! I think there are apple varieties on dwarfing rootstock that can be successfully grown in large barrel planters, which may work in your urban garden setting. We were fortunate this farm came with 13 apple trees. They are beautiful in spring, and festooned with the most wonderful fruit in late summer and autumn. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Scotland, and the kind comments, Mr. Tootlepedal! I am glad you enjoyed the music, and that it takes you back to earlier years. There is so much wonderful music about, that I am honored when someone does stop to listen to mine. I learned of Eddi Reader from your earlier posts, and discovered that I love her music very much. I thank you for that. She is a treasure. 🙂

      Like

  8. Hello Lavinia! It was lovely to catch up over here. The line of apple trees with that beautiful blossom had me completely captivated. I love your description of a slowly awakening spring. How lucky you are to have temperatures in the 80s and to be able to work outside in the evenings….we are getting into our hot, humid and mosquito ridden months 😦 I hope the colder winter will mean a good grape harvest for you? As always, I loved reading the feline correspondence! What a wonderful story about lovely Lucky. Climbing trees too…quite incredible!
    I’m off to You Tube now to listen to your music!
    – Kate xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good to see you, Kate! Thank you for stopping by and the kind comments, and thank you for listening to the music! Looking forward to your next post on gardening in Florida. We’ve missed you! 🙂

      We are fortunate not to have very many mosquitoes here in our part of Oregon as it is too dry in summer. The temperature can swing 30 to 40 degrees over the course of the day, and nights are cool and dry in summer here. The apples should do well with the cold winter, we hope. We’ll get good grapes provided we don’t get severe hail this summer, and not too much rain at harvest time.

      Lucky’s story is pretty amazing, isn’t it? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by and the kind comments, Arlingwoman! The trees are so beautiful in spring, and with so many blooming all at once, the air was thick with their perfume in the earlier part of the month. It has been a long, cool, winter and start to spring. We are enjoying this prelude to summer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous looking apple trees, Lavinia! The small one we have is about 7 feet tall and produced 11 good looking apples. We tasted nine so far and albeit a bit small they were delicious. Lucky is one lucky cat for sure. What a lovely place to grow old in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments, Anarette! There is nothing like an apple from one’s own tree! Nothing wrong with small apples, which was the only kind that was around when I was growing up. That was the norm for size back then, just right for a one person serving or a child’s lunch box dessert.

      Lucky is a very special kitty, and was very lucky to have MG come along in time to rescue him. His guardian angels were looking out for him. MG and JP’s olive farm is very lovely, and is a wonderful place for all these rescue animals to grow old in comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have enjoyed reading this newsletter so much, Lavinia! Your descriptive writing just gets better and better! I saw all those clouds and lightening flashes so clearly in my mind’s eye and then was able to admire all the photos of the flowers and blossom on your farm. Thank-you for the introduction to Lorraine and her blog and also to Lucky who definitely is very lucky! Thank-you for the video of ‘Remembered Goodbyes’; lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Big part of your heart is definitely wit cats. That is so good to support those who cannot do that themselves! Blind house animals can live quite well, I don’t think it is a tragedy in their perception. Some cats just are so lucky as Lucky!
    We enjoy blooming, too, and everything is planted. Finally. It seems the weather is way warmer where you are.
    I actually discovered a great device to scare away squirrels. That is after 6 years of ongoing struggles I am able to simply plant what I want without any fences, nets and meshes, without any peppers and other mixes because they destroyed everything regardless of what I did before. Such a relief! It is a testing phase, but I intend to apply for a patent if I will be able to manage the cost. I need some market research, too.
    Your garden is huge, and it seems it gives you everything: pleasure for eyes, food for soul and body and so much love!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for stopping by Inese, and the kind comments! MG and JP over in Sicily do a lot to take care of stray animals that come their way. Lucky was very lucky to have them find him on the street.

      Good luck with the squirrel device and getting it patented. Although we have squirrels here, I don’t see many around the farm which could be due to natural predators. We have many hawks, owls, coyotes, foxes, even cougar in the area, although I have not seen a cougar here on the farm. We do have a lot of gophers and mice though, and they do eat their share.

      We are lucky to live in a climate here in Oregon that is good for growing things. It does provide us with much in season. 🙂

      Like

  12. Well, my dear, this is a wonderful, newsy, soulful and interesting newsletter. You and Lucky are competing, though, for who has the most interesting tidbits to share. what adventures Lucky has had, and still maintains a plucky (p-Lucky?) spirit!

    Meanwhile, your nature writing continues to delight the heart, Lavinia. For evidence, I draw attention to the gorgeous Exhibit A, presented here:
    “The brightly colored trumpets of daffodils slowly gave way to the deeper and quieter colors of irises. Roses and daylilies are now assuming their strategic position as color guards in the garden, standing tall above ox eye daisy, dandelion and buttercup growing wild in the yard. The roses still show signs of black spot fungus from the cool wet spring; later blooms will be more exuberant, ruffled skirts flaring wide like flamenco dancers.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by and the kind comments, Cynthia! Lucky is indeed a very lucky kitty with an interesting story to share. MG & JP have no blog site for sharing the olive farm cat stories, and CM & RM (Mr. Otis and friends) are in the same boat. They are all dear friends with stories to tell. 🙂

      Thank you so much for the kind comments on the writing; I enjoy attempting to describe my world as I see it. There are so many good writers about that I feel honored any time someone does stop by to tell me that they found something there they enjoyed too. Your wonderful comment has made my day today. Thank you! 🙂

      Some golden cheer for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh Lavinia .. a super post! I just love that first photo .. the tree smothered in blossom and the wonderful cloud activity .. a real beauty! Your grapes look particularly happy and what great shape they have. I’m inspired to get prune mine soon … As for Lucky, he sure is isn’t he? Love seeing him up that tree .. makes my heart swell. I’m going to listen to your music now lovely lady 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Julie, and the very kind comments! The beauty of this farm and the surrounding area is always inspiring. We have had plenty of rain all winter and spring, and things are still pretty green and lush out there. 🙂

      Lucky is one very lucky cat to have had MG and JP come by at just the right time to save him. He does pretty well at climbing trees with no vision, doesn’t he? ❤

      Thank you so much for listening to the music. I feel honored when someone does take the time to stop by and listen. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Lavinia, Thanks for another great update from your farm. I particularly loved those beautiful iris. And your analogy to a Maxfield Parrish sky. I often think the same — those evenings I look out or stand on my back porch – that this is exactly what inspired him! And what a wonderful update from Lucky – a very Lucky kitty indeed. I don’t know how they let him out – I would be sick with worry with his being blind, but I suspect it’s safer there on a farm.
    Take care and enjoy June and all the fruits (hahaha) of your hard work. Jeanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you stop by, Jeanne, and thank you for the kind comments! Yes, I would bet Maxfield Parrish got at least some of his inspiration from looking at the sky during those moments of intense coloration at the beginning and end of the day.

      Lucky is a very lucky cat! I don’t think Lucky’s farm is on a busy road, and they do keep a close bead on him when he is out.

      Looking forward to all the fruits, each in their own season, here on the farm! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Joe, and the kind comments on the writing! There is no shortage of things to write about here, especially from the cats’ point of view. 🙂

      That was a wonderfully uplifting story on your site about your daughter’s graduation. I have enjoyed your blog as well, Joe! 🙂

      Like

  15. Beautiful apple tree in bloom. We slipped by a late freeze damage on our fruit trees. Now we are supporting branches loaded with plums, peaches, apples, and maybe even some pawpaws (the first year we have seen them set fruit). June/July are weeding season. By circumstance, I neglected to prune the fruit trees this year. Our goats love to eat tree leaves. Thus, each day that we are off from work, I cut out some suckers and waterspout branches to toss over the fence to them. I have read that this is a good source of minerals for them too. (Caution, do not feed them stone-fruit leaves, such as peaches, apricots, etc. as these have concentrations of toxic chemicals which the trees produce). -Oscar

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from hermitsdoor, Oscar! The apple trees were heavily blossomed in early May. June is proving to be rather cool and wet here. I see tons of young apples, but no developing pears this year. Grapes, cherries and blueberries are doing very well. I see plums, but not as many as last year. Things do cycle from year to year. It sounds like you will getting a bonanza of fruit on your own farm in 2017. Glad to hear your pawpaw is producing fruit! I haven’t eaten those since I was a child, and have thought about trying to grow them from time to time.

      Like

    • Thank you for stopping by and the kind comments, Andrea! The apple trees did put on an impressive show in early May. 🙂

      Lucky is one very lucky kitty to have had our friends MG and JP rescue him from the street. I am glad you like his story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. RYC : Thanks for your comment about my ” dreams ” about the twins ! 🙂
    I re-read with pleasure your entry and I can say you are a true artist, Lavinia, to sing the glory of the nature at Spring.
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michel, thank you for stopping by and the kind comments! The twins are very beautiful, talented children, and I enjoyed reading your post about them, and your dreams for them.
      Love to you and Janine ❤
      Lavinia

      Like

  17. RYC : I believe, Levinia , Oregon is almost at the same latitude than Amiens ( Northern France ) . Perhaps a little more towards North . Our climate have similarities. I remember a xangafriend in the past left to go in Oregon with her family . This state seems offering the best conditions to the gardening and nature in general .
    I know also a friend who live in Washington state towards the north but the weather seems more contrasted .
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michel, you are correct, our climates are similar. Pinot noir does very well here, and is the flagship wine grape of Oregon. West of the Cascade mountain range gets the most rainfall, and a cornucopia of crops grow here. East of the Cascades is much drier and more like high desert. Western Washington is relatively mild with plenty of rainfall, but the eastern part of the state is much drier and hotter in summer, and colder in winter, sometimes killing vines back to the ground.
      Love to you and Janine, ❤
      Lavinia

      Liked by 1 person

  18. At reading the beginning of your entry I told myself: it is sure lavinia is poet of the nature and as soon as I tought of a musical piece by Von Suppe : Poet and peasant which I played when I was in a tenager . Here is for you :

    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michel, thank you so much for the link to music you have played and enjoyed since you were a teenager. I am listening now, and love this piece by Von Suppe. And thank you so much for the kind comment regarding my writing. It means a great deal to me when readers find something they enjoy there.

      Love to you and Janine,
      Lavinia ❤

      Like

  19. As a result of reading this blog I am happier because of all the flowers, good news and cats. I am also able to appear more intelligent after giving “Cascades” as an answer to a quiz question last week. Thank you.

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quercus! So good to see you over on this side of the Big Pond! Always glad to be of service with flowers, good news, cats news and answers to quizzes. I thoroughly enjoy reading about you and Julia over there in Nottinghamshire. I continue to learn much about all kinds of interesting things from reading your blog. 🙂

      If Rick and I ever make it over to your neck of the woods, you and Julia will have to join us for fish & chips at your favorite establishment. It is way too hard to get good fish & chips here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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