Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for August 2018

Our feature photo  for August is of a resident crab spider that has ambushed an unwary visitor to this lovely rose.   I have often found these spiders inhabiting floral truck stops in the gardens, waylaying assorted pollinators that have come seeking refreshment, and sometimes a place to spend the night, amid the beautiful but potentially deadly blooms.

An unwary visitor has been captured by this flower’s resident crab sider.

News from the farm

The air has been hazy with dust from agriculture, and smoke from field burning and distant fires.  There is little to no rain, and what seems like endless days in the 90s.   Rooted in place, trees, shrubs and other plant life stoically wait out the dry season, the only indication of their stress noted in their dry, drooping leaves.    We spot water the most needy, conserving water and well pump.

We have four young pinot meunier vines that were given to us. They came from a heritage block up around Newberg, Oregon. A place has been found in the vineyard to grow these youngsters who will require water until they are established.

August is the primary month to view dust devils, those carefree vortices seen spinning lazily across farmland after grass seed, wheat and straw have been harvested in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  Impressively large machines harvest, plow and pulverize the soil, sending the dust of Oregon swirling up into the atmosphere until early summer’s azure blue has taken on tones of tan and grey.   The clarity of light noted earlier this summer is now gone, and will not return for some time.  As this month of heat and dust comes to a close, we are grateful for this year’s bounty of fruit and vegetables, and anxiously wait for the grape harvest and this year’s wine.

Pinot noir before covering with insect netting. It is a heavy yellow jacket year here.

Insect netting was quite effective last year, and worth the investment.

We have a short row of Early Muscat and Gewürztraminer. The grapes shown here are Early Muscat.

It is cooling down sooner in the evenings now as the last light fades and the stellar community reveals itself, as a symphony of stridulators performs in the growing darkness.  The rising veil of night in the east comes earlier;  the calendar shows we are only about three weeks now from autumnal equinox.

Sunset on the 29th of August.

The same sunset, a short time later.

A week earlier, I saw one of our grey foxes one evening when I was finishing up watering the garden. A sleek healthy fox had flushed a dove, and was chasing it down past the garden where I stood not 50 feet away. The fox was not quick enough, and the bird escaped the jaws of death yet another day. Looking longingly after a lost meal, our fox sat down, unaware of my presence, turning to look at me only when I called to him. He moved only when I went out the gate, disappearing back into the woodland, long brushy tail streaming out behind.

We have been enjoying eating fresh plums and apples right off the trees these days, as well as blackberries, raspberries and tomatoes.  We are grateful for all that we have, and consider ourselves very lucky to be here on this farm.  Life is good.

Raspberries, variety “Amity”.

Raspberries, variety “Autumn Bliss”.

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Resident feline correspondent and head of the local correspondents desk Mr. Nano is still on vacation this month, sleeping off the summer heat and enjoying the breezes coming in the window.  Miss Wynken of the Three Sisters will file another report in his absence.  She has chosen a few excerpts from her daily logs for August, 2018. Without further ado, Miss Wynken will present her report.

Correspondent Miss Wynken gathering news from one of her many window stations.

Correspondent Miss Wynken contemplating her report. “What do I tell our readers?”

Saturday, August 4, 2018: A breeze sprung up in mid morning, and a front appears to be coming in from the south. A long swath of altocumulus and cirrus, a clear zone, and then another band of interesting development, including some kind of cumulus convection cell that grew in the shape of chanterelle mushrooms. Flared tubes with delicately gilled throats, rising up and capping off in a frilled top, were a reminder that mushroom season will be here again in a few months.  I see these unusual cloud forms from time to time. The waning moon in last quarter, white with faint grey marbling like sea-tumbled quartz, was sailing west on an intensely blue river of sky between the swaths of frontal cloud.

Sunday, August 12, 2018: 52 and mostly cloudy at daybreak, which opened up soon enough into mostly clear skies,a pleasant breeze and a high somewhere in the low to mid 80s. I watched a squirrel come barreling down the driveway, followed closely by a blue jay who was pecking the squirrel’s behind. The windows stayed open until the late afternoon sun heated the house up; the arrival of dinner guests who had been traveling in a hot car were pleased to come into a cool place. It was a day busy end to end with small things.  By post-sundown, a patch of hazy clouds to the southwest had grown, and more had flocculated in the direction of the setting sun. A partly clear night in progress here as another day has slipped though my paws like sand.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018:  A pleasant 52 degrees under hazy skies at daybreak. It was extremely hazy but not humid today. I did not smell smoke today or this evening, yet it looks smoky; the dark forms of conifers on the surrounding hills appear as if through a veil.  I am becoming used to heat in the 90s, perhaps because the daylight hours are shrinking and the heat does not build for quite as long.

Another orange-red sundown this evening. It is still near 80 out there at this time as another day comes to a close, and the stridulating insects of late summer play their symphonies out there as the daylight fades and the cooler realm of night rises up from the east.

Thursday August 16, 2018:  Small birds perched sideways on lemon balm stalks collected seed. I noted a brief interaction between a goldfinch and a hummingbird, the surprised goldfinch getting out of the way of the hummingbird.

A summer night in progress, complete with August’s nightly symphony of insects, signaling September is not far off. A waxing orange-red crescent moon sails across a smoky sea. Even the bright planets appear reddish, and far fewer stars are visible through the haze.

Tuesday August 21, 2018:  Another orange sunrise, hazy morning down in the low 50s, rising into the mid 90s by mid afternoon. A warm breeze blew most of today, with a pensive, wandering feel to it; its path revealed in the rustling of leaves, shrubs and dry grass . Everything is so dry, waiting for rain that will be a while in coming.

Saturday August 25, 2018: A variable cloudy day, rising into the mid 70s by afternoon. The feeling is more autumn-like out there, and it is easy to envision first frost within a month. The bright orange, golds and reds of New England do not grace the hills here. Tired, drought-stricken leaves slowly turn a faded yellow and brown, quietly slipping away with the daylight hours. The rains and winds will come, stripping the remaining leaves off the branches.

Sunday August 26, 2018:  The earth is damp this morning; dew covered webs of ground nesting spiders cover the yard in a silver gossamer patchwork. A light breeze gently ripples through trees and vegetation, a whispered prayer for rain.

Monday August 27, 2018:  I awoke just after 7:00 AM to overcast conditions. A relatively warm 57 degrees; all was wetted down from a very light rain sometime during the night, not enough to really do much good except keep down the dust and bring an arachnid Brigadoon into view. A rain-drenched city of spider webs, particularly the ground spider webs that resemble tiny faerie trampolines, was now visible. Eventually they will all fade from view in the heat of the day, concealed until the next damp window of visibility.

We wish our readers a pleasant evening ahead, and safe travels to all wherever their destination in life may lead them.

-Resident Feline Correspondent Wynken, reporting for Salmon Brook Farms

Bright sunset clouds on August 29th. Nature’s most beautiful skyscapes, and wildlife, can be seen at the bookends of the day.


Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

On our way over to a show in Yachats, on the westbound side of Route 34 we passed a small wooden sign with red letters which read, “PIE 3.14 miles”.  Unfortunately, there was no good place to stop on that side of the narrow road, which winds its way through a sparsely populated section of the Coast Range, and take a photo.  We did pass a real pie shop out in the wilds further down, and figured there must be a sign somewhere on the eastbound side about 3 miles down.  Sure enough, we did see one, managed to turn around without getting ourselves killed, and got the photo below.  Some mischievous soul had added  “.1427” after the “3”.   My brother the mathematician informed me that the sign was incorrect, and that the decimal expansion of pi is approximately 3.14159265.

There really was a pie shop down the road, although we are not sure of the exact mileage. Click on photo to enlarge.

If you are in the area and wish to see me play live, please visit the Performance Schedule page in the ring menu at the top of this post.

For those readers who are new or catching up, do visit the Salmon Brook Farms YouTube channel. Our first Tiny Farm Concerts one song music video was posted at the end of March, 2017. I am 15 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!

For those who have missed previous posts and wish to view the channel content, here are links to the previous two videos.  There will be more videos when I can get back to this project.

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.

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.

Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms

Developing blackberries, variety “Black Magic”. The changing of the seasons and so many good, healthful things to eat make the end of summer and early autumn my favorite time of year.


78 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for August 2018

  1. Timothy Price says:

    Those crab spiders are tough little guys. You have great looking grapes. We have a lot of grapes this year growing in the apple trees. For some reason our wild raspberries didn’t do anything this year. Surprising since all our other fruit bearing trees and plants are loaded for the first time in 12 years. It’s always nice to see and hear from the kitties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank for stopping by from Off Center & Not Even / T & L Photos, Tim, and for the kind comments! Yes, those crab spiders are tough little guys and gals, and our roses seem to harbor quite a few of them.

      Our raspberries, which are everbearing varieties, shut down in the heat of August, and are just looking a bit happier now. Amity seems to tolerate heat a little better than Autumn Bliss. The Black Magic blackberry is a new variety I am trying out. The wild blackberries did not do as well as last year, when I pulled 25 qts of them from the back lot. Summer was just too hot and dry, and many shriveled on the canes. The ones ripening now may be the best we get.

      The kitties are getting older along with us. Willow got her first bath, and was not pleased. I suffered minor bodily damage. 🙂 She is roughly 22 years old now, still enjoying life and getting around, but with the leaky bladder and not cleaning herself as well, she needs a little extra care now. The Three Sisters are the youngest at 5 years old. Marcus and Hope are 11, Nano is around 12, Lucio is 13 and Abby turned 16 in April.

      I’ll catch up with your blog in the morning, Tim. You have a wonderful bunch of kitties and critters, and I love those amazing photos you take of your area, especially the Sandias.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post was the first to greet me when I entered my WordPress world today. What a pleasure to read. The berries look wonderful, the grapes, too. And what funny things happen in the life around you: a sign for Pie; a blue jay pecking a squirrel’s behind! I hope rain comes to cool and ease the earth, once the harvest is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Herman says:

    Hi Lavinia! I’m always enjoying and looking forward to read your posts. It’s a very interesting journey in your beautiful and amazing garden. It’s so wonderful to see all the changes of Mother Nature during the different seasons.
    It looks like Mr. Nano is having a very good vacation… But that’s no problem, Miss Wynken did a very good job with her report on what’s happening on the farm. It’s so lovely to see all the cats living together.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my dear friend! Mr. Bowie says “Meow!” and sends his regards to the cats and the humans on the farm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from Hands On Bowie,Herman, and thank you for the kind comments! Miss Wynken sends a big “Meow!” to you and Mr. Bowie. Mother Nature’s seasonal slide show keeps her occupied. She does missthe rabbit sightings on the north border, though, and wonders if something happened to her friend this past month.

      Mr. Nano is having a very good vacation, lying about and snoozing on his back, feet in the air! He loves the summer breezes coming in the windows. The cats are all well. Willow is roughly 22 now, and needs extra attention these days as she does not clean herself so well anymore. She still loves her life, and we keep her as comfortable as possible.

      We are keeping the cherry tree and cherry tree garden watered, although in the heat it shut down. It will look beautiful again in spring.

      Sending you and Mr. Bowie a big “Meow” from all of us here. Mr. Nano sends his personal best wishes to his Belgian brother, Mr. Bowie. Wishing you lots of dark chocolate and espresso, dear Herman! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Derrick J. Knight, and for the kind comments, Derrick! Miss Wynken is blushing. 🙂 If I ever win the lotto, I will come play music in England. 🙂

      The sun seems much stronger out here in the west than what I remember from living back east. Although I do love the lack of humidity, and therefore far fewer mosquitoes in summer, the prolonged periods of no rain and continual temperatures in the high 80s and 90s get a bit tedious for us and the garden. Plants tend to shut down and not grow much when the heat is excessive. I’m finding plants that I would have thought do well in full sun actually need some shade, especially in afternoon out here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if my cats are as in tune with the weather as yours are!? If so, they’re more reticent about sharing their observations with me. Here in upstate New York, we had very hazy sunrises for a few days and the weather people said the haze was from the fires out your way! Your photos are all beautiful but I especially like seeing the lush bunches of grapes (and the kitties!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from Love Those Hands At Home, and for the kind comments, Kerry! Your kitties probably have a notebook somewhere they aren’t sharing. 🙂

      Grapes do very well here, and tend to survive the drought, sending roots 5 or 6 feet down. The prolonged heat does affect veraison, the time of ripening. Hot vintages tend to be higher in alcohol (grapes are riper sooner and have higher sugar content) but lower in acid, which helps give the wine balance and stability, and helps delineate flavors.

      The kitties all send their best to you and your family, and especially your kitties. 🙂

      The smoke from fires can drift a long way, and the fires have been so bad in recent years I am not surprised you got haze there in upstate New York.


    • Thanks for stopping by from Tootlepedal’s Blog, and for the kind comment! The grapes are ripening ahead of schedule. This is considered a hot vintage year here. I think we will be fine in the wine department if we catch the grapes at the right point.

      The skyward soil question is a good one, and one I have wondered about for years. I assume it generates some polarizing politics.


  5. Lovely update, Lavinia. I’m happy to hear all is well on the farm. The grapes and berries made my mouth water. We’ve been extremely dry and oppressively hot and humid the entire summer. I’m not ready for the cold yet, but I would like a little cool, crispness in the air.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It deilghted me to see your crab spider above. They are great hunters (or lurkers, shall we say) and I’m amazed by the number I see tucked into flowers here. Thistles especially seem to be favorites for them, perhaps because there’s all that fluff to hide behind.

    Even though this seems to be a normally dry time for you, it certainly can drag on, can’t it? You have dust devils; we have water spouts as the season begins to turn, and weather patterns change. I saw two during August. Now, a big “spout” seems likely as our first tropical storm of the season may be forming. September is the height of hurricane season for us, and everyone will be glad when it’s over. We like to say that September is our October: the time when everyone can relax.

    The grapes are beautiful, as are the berries. I just learned recently about the wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius), an Asian variety that was brought to this country by geneticists wanting to breed new forms of the raspberry. Everyone likes those fruits, it seems.

    It’s always fun to hear news of the kitties, and of course news from them. We’re in a rainy period now, even prior to any tropical system, and despite the fact that no one likes their holiday weekend dampened, I’ve heard no complaints. Once people have experience real drought, it takes a while for them to begin complaining about rain again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from The Task at Hand, Linda, and for the kind comments! Readers, Linda also has another blog at Lagniappe

      Yes, the dry season can drag on, and on. I look forward to the rainy season every year, except when I am trying to harvest fruit from the old persimmon tree, which doesn’t get ripe until late October or early November. Otherwise, I look forward to those wild grey skies, the sound of rain on the metal roof, and gopher holes spouting water like artesian wells.

      I would love to see a waterspout! I wish you safe passage through hurricane season.

      I looked up Rubus phoenicolasius, and they look very much like the “wild” red raspberries that grew in a sizable patch beside the road up on hill near where I grew up. My friend’s mother called them “wineberries”. They were quite good, although we got scratched up collecting them.

      Dixie’s iris is still doing well. I am hoping it will bloom next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good Morning dear Lavinia,

    Whlie I am reading your post, I can imagine everything, as if I am there… walking around with you and with your lovely cats…

    This summer was really too hot for us in here… and even still, now we have some heat wave and without any wind hits us badly…

    Your photographs are showing how beautiful your farm, grapes fascinated me….

    As always it is so beautiful to be here…. music, photographs and cats… 🙂 you know how much I love them…

    Thank you for sharing with us, I wish you all to have a nice Autumn and September days, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Nia! It will be morning here in less than 2 hrs. Thanks for stopping by Photography of Nia, and for the kind comments, Nia! I wish you were here to walk around with us, and visit with the cats. You are always welcome here.

      I am sorry your heat wave continues. We are coming out of the real hot weather now, but it is still very dry.

      I hope autumn brings all good things to you in your beautiful Turkish homeland, dear Nia. Much love to you and your family, and those beautiful little cats. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from 15 and Meowing, Ellen, and thank you for the kind comments! We have a lot of crab spiders here, often staking out a claim on a bloom.

      We have table grapes as well as wine grapes, and do have a little Concord among the Cascade, Delaware, Suffolk Red, Glenora Black Seedless and Niagara.

      I love to sing and play, especially for the cats. 🙂


    • Thank you for stopping by from Montana Outdoors, Montucky, and thank you for the kind comments! I love this time of year when all the hard work from spring and summer pays off in so many delicious things to eat, and drink.

      Miss Wynken and her fellow cat crew members are good observers. Not much gets by them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved reading this post, Lavinia! I can well understand how you could be tired of the very hot and dry days you’ve had this summer, especially as you have so much to spot water. Our drought has come to an end but we still haven’t had much rain. The nights are chilly but the days are still fairly warm. I was so interested in Miss Wynken’s detailed report of the weather and cloud formations you have seen this past month. I also loved her description of the squirrel having its bottom pecked by the jay! I hope both you and Rick are keeping well;
    Best wishes, Clare xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from A Suffolk Lane, and thank you so much for the kind comments, Clare! Our temperature normally swings 34 to 50 degrees over the course of a day, and has been in the 40sat sunrise, but still getting into the 80s and 90s during the day. Tomorrow is forecast to be near 90 degrees here.

      Those cats keep such good notebooks! I learn a lot from them. 🙂 We are getting older along with the cats. We are staying well, and keep waking up on the right side of the ground. All good things!

      All the best to you and your family too, Clare, from all of us here! Looking forward to news from your part of the world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So pleased to hear that all is good in your world. The grapes are looking fabulous though seem to have a little way to go to ripeness. How long until you are due to harvest? Ours are ready to pick any day now. A great crop though smaller than it might have been due to the extreme heat and lack of water (seem to say this every year!). Quite excited as it should be the first proper harvest we have off our new vines.

    Love Miss Wynken’s description of the squirrel exiting, pursued by a Blue Jay! Things seem nice and calm in their lives too.

    We sadly had our last jazz concert at the end of August. We had to give up the catering and organising as our lives are just too busy. Shame as all concerts have been sold out. We’d love it if others would take over but most are happy to attend but not organise 😦

    Good luck with the harvest. Look forward to hearing what you produce.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from Animal Couriers, Annie, and for the kind comments. Miss Wynken certainly enjoyed watching the squirrel chase. Those blue jays don’t stand for uppity squirrels. 🙂

      Rick thinks about 2 to 3 weeks before our pinot is ready. Table grapes are starting to come in now. It’s a hot vintage year here, and I don’t think we’ll have any problem hitting 22 brix, especially with insect netting up (a bad yellow jacket wasp year here, too).

      Sorry you had to give up those jazz concerts. I know well about being too busy and life getting in the way of life.

      All the best to you and the Animal Couriers team from all the cats and crew here at Salmon Brook Farms. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a dream that one day I’ll see you live in performance! Meanwhile, that picture of the PIE sign was worth it, but glad you didn’t get yourselves killed turning around to get it. Your writing evokes the sounds and sights and smells and draws us right in, Lavinia. Sounds like you’ve had great sunsets, too! Thanks for sharing, and I also love the photos of the grape bunches.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Cynthia Reyes, the blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes, and thank you so much for your kind comments and support, Cynthia! You are one of the reasons I keep writing. You are an inspiration!

      More hazy skies from new fires, although thankfully for us they are far away. I feel for those in the middle of these fire zones, and pray for their safety. An orange sunrise here today. For us, beauty in the morning; for those living in the fire zones, it must be hell.

      The PIE sign was a wonderful find, and so typically “Oregon”. One of my favorite signs was spotted was passing through a small town with a population of (I am guessing) around 500. I saw a church message board near the road which read, “NEVER GIVE THE DEVIL A RIDE. HE’LL ALWAYS WANT TO DRIVE”. 🙂

      All the best to you and your family, Cynthia, from all of us here. I share the same dream. Perhaps we will meet someday. 🙂


    • Thank you for stopping by from Frog Pond Farm in New Zealand, Julie, and thank you for the kind comments!

      The grapes are doing very well this year. We would love some light rain right after the grape harvest. 🙂

      All the best to you and your family, Julie, from all the cats and crew here. Looking forward to news from your farm. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wishing for clear skies and some much needed rain for you Lavinia, yet still the way you describe your landscape makes me want to see those dust devils for myself! Your fruit looks bountiful and I’m glad you’re able to enjoy the ‘fruits of your labour’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Harvesting Hecate, Andrea, and thank you for the kind comments! The incoming fruits and vegetables are a welcome sight after a long hot summer.

      Dust devils are an interesting phenomenon, even existing on Mars. They go by different names in different parts of the world, and are called willy-willies in Australia. I’ve seen them ranging in size from small to large, and one farmer told me they will turn and come swirling at an observer out in field. I need to remember to bring my camera when I go by that area. It’s not too late to catch one. 🙂

      The incoming fruits and vegetables are quite a welcome sight at this time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I always enjoy reading your beautiful post and Miss Wynken’s report. I did not know about crab spiders although we have spiders in my garden making havoc to my roses. I love the photos of your wines and berries. I ventured on planting a grape vine this year – Razzmatazz, a new variety I was told and disease-free. It’s been pretty healthy with lots of leaves but I did not see any fruit. Do they bear fruit the first year? I’m new to this but I always want to plant a grapevine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Subli -All about the Philippines – its history, its culture, and its people, Rosalinda, and thank you for the kind comments! Miss Wynken sends her thanks as well. 🙂

      I have seen the Razzmatazz grape advertised in one catalog that came my way, by they are not allowed to ship grape vines to Oregon, probably due to the wine industry here, and the threat of disease. Grapes are in general easy to grow. They do need watering until they are established. They will send roots down 5 or 6 feet. We have rooted grapes by cutting canes and sticking them in damp soil. They can also be cloned by layering, or making grafts to phylloxera resistant rootstock. It generally takes 3 to 4 years to bear fruit, 4 to 5 to get usable grapes. Good luck, and let me know how this variety produces for you.

      All the best to you and your family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the info. I’ll just have to be patient. It’s like climbing rose. They don’t get full potential till the 3rd year. Best regards to you and Rick and your wonderful family of cats.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Lavinia, thank you for sharing your beautiful music with us. It’s such a treat and it nourishes the soul.
    Wynken is so lovely that I’m always stunned when I see her. And so are the grapes! I’m sure you have some delicious wine ahead.
    I wish there could be some kind of balance — that I could share some of the rain we’ve had/are having/are scheduled to have with you. We’re positively saturated.
    As always I enjoyed this wonderful update from you. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from Teagan’s Books, and for the kind comments, Teagan! Miss Wynken is blushing!

      We had a very light rain this morning. Not enough to soak the ground, just caress and hydrate tired leaves. It was a good day for cloud watchers; they have been feeding on the river of moisture coming up the Willamette Valley, and appeared fat and woolly-looking this evening as I was driving up I-5 on my way home.

      I am looking forward to catching up with you, and others. I just heard from Tim Price today, asking me how life was going. Too many directions at once, in a nutshell. 🙂 I enjoy your writing, and still think of you in Ray Bradbury’s chair in his office, scanning the room for a topic. “And then she began to write.”

      Hugs on the wing to you and Crystal from all of us here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL you’re too kind. Do take good care of you, Lavinia.
        We’re going from soaked straight to a hurricane. It shouldn’t be a problem this far inland, but if it hangs around (as it is expected to do) there will be infrastructure problems when we’ve already had so much rain that “falling trees” are a hazard. Power outages, downed trees blocking roads, and oddly water outages too. My anxieties have become a problem, so it’s bothering me more than it would have in the past. All will be well though. Big hug right back.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for your lovely visions of life on your farm. While Oregon is dust dry, we can barely get a sunny day here but for the rain and cloudy weather. Love the sunsets, and the bees. And raspberries! Miss Wynken is such a pretty girl, not to mention a talented writer. Enjoy September, Lavinia, and the lovely weather I hope is yours. Jeanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Still A Dreamer, and thank you for the kind comments, Jeanne! Miss Wynken thanks you too. 🙂

      We got some rain today, a short cloudburst. Just enough to wet things down, not enough to soak roots. Some beautiful cloudscapes today before the storm. At harvest time, a little rain is good, but not too much. The really hot weather is gone now, and we are in the transitional time.

      I am behind, as usual now it seems, with catching up with people. Thanks for bearing with me. 🙂

      All the best to you, Jeanne!


  15. Your work , Lavinia and Rick has been rewarded by a beautiful crop of fruits especially of grapes . I think the warm drought ha s been an advantage for the grape vine . Figure I succeded to save some grapes from the mushrooms and the birds . Your nets have been precious .
    As I already said your weather looks aiike the ours . But what to say nowadays . Some areas are flooded by hurricane and at their side this is the drought;
    Your post describe also two interesting elements of food chains : crab-spider – hymenopter and fox_-dove . The first exemple stands in a sweet place: a delicious rose . Bravo for the photo, Lavinia.
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from your blog site FauquetMichel, and thank you so much for the kind comments, Michel!

      The grape vines will sink roots 5 or 6 feet down, and can weather drought fairly well once established. I am glad to hear you have rescued at least some of your grapes from fungus and birds. Nets do work well for birds. We had to go to insect netting to keep out the wasps.

      I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to catch the crab spider at work, and to see the fox chase the dove. 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the photo of the crab spider on the rose.

      All the best to you and your family, dear Michel! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Lavinia – It appears we may be “related” in the sense we both have a sibling who are mathematicians. My sister Ginny is one also. 🙂

    After a brief reprieve courtesy of the summer monsoons, our weather has become dry, which is the norm for Colorado. The fall season tends to be fairly dry for the most part. Occasionally, we are surprised by an early winter storm. Fortunately we haven’t had any for several years. If one is to comb through the weather records and oral histories, the September-October snowstorms are cyclical events. This year, the fall color change reached its peak over the weekend. A bit early, partly driven by the hot weather and extreme drought conditions in May and June. Those monsoon rains did little other than to reduce the drought monitor from extreme to moderate. But, I guess you take what Mother Nature gives.

    I hope Miss Wynken is receiving “overtime” treats for the extra reports she’s had to file. It’s only fair, lol. 🙂

    Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by from Through the Viewfinder, David, and thank you for the kind comments! My brother is also a DSP engineer. His mathematical background was good training for that.

      Yes, we must take what Mother Nature gives us. I do miss the colorful leaves of New England autumns, though. The weather in general is milder out here in western Oregon, and with all the wonderful food that comes in this time of year, I am happy to be here. I am glad to hear you get the colors in Colorado.

      Miss Wynken is milking these extra assignments for all the attention she can get. 🙂

      All the best to you and your family, David. I love hearing news of the girls, their horses, and cats. 🙂


  17. Dear Lavinia ,
    I went in the administration page of WordPress and indeed I found your two comments in the box ” spam ” . BU t i did not know how to approve them. I searched and infortunately I deleted them unvoluntarily of course. I saw too late a line giving a choice below which appears only when we pass the cursor on it. I am sorry . Without your mail I would not have realized this new system. Before we had to click on the right on the screen and some comments were to approve or not. It was simpler.
    Dear Lavinia , Could I ask you to write a short comment and this time I will take care to save it .
    Thanks to have warned me

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went and an made another comment on your site this morning. Occasionally WP throws people into SPAM for no apparent reason. Sometimes I think it happens when one is catching up with various blogs and there are more than some number of comments or likes in a particular period of time. I’ve seen other bloggers mention this has happened to them.

      Love to you and the family, and so good to hear Manon has come to live with you and Janine! ❤


      • Thanks again Lavinia . This time I had your precious comment .
        In hommage to Mrs Wynken so good observer of the clouds and loving the sing of the birds,here is a musical piece by Django Reihnard ( 1940) titled ” nuages ” ( clouds ). Enjoy!

        Love ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad the comment was there, Michel! Miss Wynken also sends her thanks. She is listening to the music now and sends her thanks for this fine selection of music. 🙂

        Love to you and the family, ❤


  18. It’s good of your brother to have corrected the decimal approximation of π. I’d have done so too if he hadn’t already chimed in.

    Notice also on this first day of October that it’s the 10th month, not the 8th that octo normally indicates. That’s because two months got added to the Roman calendar, thereby bumping September, October, November, and December two slots further down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by from Portraits of Wildflowers, and thank you for the comment, Steve! I remember learning about how the current calendar came to be, way back when, but hadn’t thought about the disconnect regarding the names of months in a long, long time. Thank you! 🙂

      October has arrived, slightly more colorful here than I remember in past years. The leaves have a little more orange mixed in with the yellows, and are staying on the trees longer. Although not as colorful as my native New England, it is still beautiful.

      I am working on the September post today, a bit behind schedule, but its been a crazy summer and early fall season here.


  19. Hi Lavinia and kitty’s too! It all sounds quite magical round your way. Wine, thunderstorms, prancing fawns and bowling mice 😀 Of course, you do have a way with the garden too. I loved the last photo shared of your Butterfly Bush. I especially loved to hear how the mice spent their evenings dropping nuts down the walls. LOL, I can’t help but picture Beatrix Potter’s enchanting artwork.
    September was a bit of a conundrum here weather-wise. It snowed 3 times, but melted within a couple of days. October flew by since I was able to visit Alys and Jim came with for a couples excursion to Carmel. Have you ever been? It’s a cute place with an old English vibe in many of the cottages and Inn’s. I then started a new job. I’ve been hoping ever since! But I love it! Take good care xK

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you Boomdee! Thank you for stopping by from western Canada, and for all the kind comments!

      You would have loved the bowling mice. They drove us crazy. 🙂

      Sounds like you have a good visit with Alys. We’ve never been to Carmel-by-the-Sea, but it sounds enchanting. I’ll put it on our wish list of places to visit.

      Best of luck on the new job, and keeping up with the unusual weather this year. I have heard “unusual” is the new norm for weather down here.

      I will post in a few days. It has been so busy here, I couldn’t get on out for October, so it will be combined with November.

      Love to you and your kitties and family,

      Liked by 1 person

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