Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for May, June & July 2019

Our feature photo this summer is of Queen Anne’s Lace. It was difficult to choose a favorite flower from the season’s parade of blooms, although at this time of year, this familiar wildflower with its lacy white umbrels can be seen practically everywhere along with the ubiquitous oxeye daisy.

The hardy yet delicate-looking Queen Anne’s Lace.

A neighboring field of oxeye daisy

News from the farm

With the month of May, came the time of irises and rhododendrons, heralds of summer.    Each year is unique in how the oscillating weather patterns play out over the season, affecting bloom time and growth.  The residual  coolness this year prolonged the time we enjoyed some of our garden residents, as well as the symphony of chorus frogs whose music graced the late spring nights.

We planted this beauty last spring.

A few of these irises were given to us by a friend. There are now many of them.

Daylilies followed, along with spearmint in spires of pale lavender, attracting clouds of bees and various insects.  Each passing year I watch the procession, never tiring of what nature sends us.

The color of summer, captured by a sun-dappled daylily growing beneath a crabapple tree.

The barrel of reblooming daylilies, hard at work.

The rains have since ceased.  Late summer is harsh as the daytime temperature rises, cracking open the hard clay earth.   Grass, a collection of hardy souls here in the Willamette Valley, goes dormant when not watered, taking on a whitish-tan hue, becoming brittle and cracking underfoot.   Our gardens and plantings need spot watering and heavy mulching to stay alive.  Some garden areas have gone feral while I have been occupied with other needs, needing no help from me,  just yet.

Feral California poppy and sweet pea amid a bed of untended irises.

The dark green, hungry-looking maw of a developing feral sunflower that came up amid the roses.

That sunflower now has many colorful heads and little visitors.

One of our red roses unfolding. The mulch is sawdust, and helps with needing to water less often.

It is the seasons of dust devils in our area, those carefree vortices spinning lazily across farmland, spawned in the late summer heat after grass seed and wheat farms have harvested their crops.  I noted my first one this year on July 23rd, while driving across the valley.  I find myself patiently waiting for autumn’s cornucopia, and the first rains.

For Pacific Paratrooper – Michael’s tree is now taller than me!

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Mr. Nano, ever watchful.

The Feline Correspondents Desk is back at work after recovering from a respiratory illness earlier this summer that affected most of the crew, passing cat to cat, taking several weeks to recover from it.   Mr. Nano, head of the Resident Feline Correspondent’s Desk, will provide a short essay for May, June and July.

Spring tarried a while this year, long and cool, accompanied by the nightly sounds of chorus frogs as darkness set in.  She sent the rains, the moon bobbing along on her nocturnal cloudy seas, and the morning’s rain drenched flowers.

A clump of Dutch iris after a storm in May.

Our days grew longer as Old Sol approached his northernmost post, peering over the horizon, spilling golden light across a green land, sending the myriad drops of water on leaf and blade of grass into prismatic brilliance.   Those who have witnessed sunrise, seen the gold upon the green, the sparkle of a new day, know an ephemeral wealth far greater than any jewel cut by Man.  No day can be replicated, only appreciated in mind’s eye and felt in the soul.

Some cloud sport downward tails, appearing much like the trumpets of chanterelle mushrooms as seen looking up from the forest floor

I watched the glow one evening as  molten golden-white clouds took on the longer peach and rose colored rays post sundown. The grey fox was sighted out back, leaping and prancing with his long brushy tail streaming out behind.   Humans had only been walking through his area a few minutes earlier.

The longer rays light the clouds in a post sundown sky.

The tree swallows followed summer’s longer days, wheeling in the early evening sky, catching insects on the wing.  Grass grew long and coarse, a house finch sat on the overhead electrical wires and sang his heart out to no one in particular.  Goldfinches arrived, darting about the roses and out in main garden.  A mole came up out of one hole, and went down another, a great blue heron flew overhead, long legs out behind, wings like oars methodically rowing across the river of sky, out towards the lake.  Each species goes about life according to its own needs, in its own time and space, separate yet shared and connected, gears in the great clockwork of life.

Chive blooms from earlier this summer.

Now well past solstice, the days grow perceptibly shorter, and the transition of day into night seems different somehow, perhaps reminiscent of my own aging bones, knowing the road ahead is shorter than the road I have already traveled.  The same barn lights glow softly on neighboring hills as night’s deepening veil rises in the east, and the last rays disappear below the horizon, as they always have done.  Stars emerge, one by one, lighting the blackness of space, beacons for imagination.  Another day has come to a close.

A spectacular sundown from October, 2018.

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

– Resident Feline Correspondent Nano, reporting for Salmon Brook Farms

Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

For those readers who missed the spring post, I will be posting on mostly seasonal basis now. Hopefully someday, I may be able to actually catch up on the many projects, including updating the pages associated with this blog, as well as stay in touch with all of you. I will keep the performance schedule updated regularly.

The westbound PIE sign as seen on May 7th on the way to the Oregon coast. This time there was no traffic behind us, and Rick was able to slow down the car while I took this shot out the window.

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.

The source of PIE, further on down the road. We did not check the odometer.

I have been enjoying playing over on the Oregon coast regularly.  Rick has been an excellent driver, roadie and sound man.  I grow his tomato, eggplant and pepper starts, and make wine for him from our grapes in autumn.

View from a scenic area on Route 101. Filtered light played on a thrashing silver-grey sea, the wind cool and refreshing with the light tang of salt. The Pacific has her own spirit and mood compared to her sister, the Atlantic, scents and sounds particular to her.

We stopped here for a quick look around.

We will come back and hike the trail.

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 16 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

Safe travels to wherever your destination in life may lead you. This photo was taken from the plane on my way into LAX from Phoenix last year.


153 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for May, June & July 2019

    • Thank you for visiting the Music page, Michel! ❤ Except for the blog page, and performance schedule page, the other pages in the ring menu you see at the top of every page are only updated infrequently. I am overdue in updating them. 🙂


Comments are welcome, but all are moderated. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Looking forward to hearing from you! In order to avoid problems with the default SPAM blocker Askimet, please do not post two comments in a row. Let me approve and respond to them one at a time.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.