Our feature photo for April is of a honeybee coming in for a landing on an airstrip of crabapple blossoms.
Her baskets will soon be loaded with delicious, nutritious pollen, like her sister shown in the photos below. The crabapple trees in the front gardens were alive with the sound of these industrious little sisters; the lighting and breezes were cooperative in capturing their beauty. Nothing says spring quite like bees happily sipping nectar and gathering pollen on a soft, blue sky day marbled with cirrus clouds. “Gather ye pollen while ye may” the sisters say, with acknowledgement to poet Robert Herrick, and to any other bees who may have expressed similar thoughts on such a fine day.
News from the farm
The skies of April 7th were the theater for this year’s epic battle between Old Man Winter and Spring as Warrior Princess. We were awakened around 5:45 AM by strong winds ringing the alarm in the chimes, a call to stations; by 7:30 AM we had lost power and phone service. A double rainbow appearing in the west against a dark, heavy sky indicated more was coming our direction.
Many rounds of high winds and heavy rain were fired throughout the day, lifting the neighbor’s tarp-covered metal frame shed from two doors down and smashing it up against the fence next door. Their chicken coop, still under construction, took a direct hit; I watched as the tar paper on the roof was ripped off and blew away. Considerable damage from falling trees, loss of services and some loss of life occurred in this unusual storm for April in western Oregon. We were fortunate not to have sustained any damage here on the farm other than downed limbs; the greenhouses held to their anchors, although the contents were found dumped on the floor. By the end of the day, Spring emerged victorious, as she always does, leaving a Rainbow of Peace in the eastern sky.
She was quite shaken, though, by this unexpected intrusion into her time and place, and has shown restraint in unleashing all the green growing things in her care, unlike the previous April. Yet life is driven by the growing light levels as much as warmth, and will not be denied access to the world for long; leaf buds and blossoms have opened, leaving the farm soft, green and full of color.
News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms
Correspondent Nano volunteered to cover the April report, and has provided an interesting ghostly selfie of him watching over the farm. Not much escapes Correspondent Nano’s sharp eyes!
This April, he sent the resident photographer on assignment to investigate particular areas of interest and bring back photographic proof for his report.
Without further ado, we present Mr. Nano, Resident Feline Correspondent of Salmon Brook Farms.
The days have been steadily growing longer and brighter as the season progresses. Sunrise and sunsets have been been particularly colorful, although the photographer must be available and prepared to catch them in the rapidly changing light that occurs at the beginning and end of the day.
Pruning of the vineyards was completed in March, and bud break has finally occurred. These tender buds are now at the mercy of spring frosts, especially multiple spring frosts which can kill secondary bud development.
Although more typical of weather patterns over a decade ago, the unusually cool, wet spring has not only delayed the time of fruit tree blossoming in comparison with recent years, but also appears to have extended the bloom time of daffodils. The scent of so many different blossoms can be intoxicating on days when it is sufficiently warm enough to open the windows.
The fig tree, started several years ago from a cutting provided by our friend Lyn, has grown tall, and finally had to be planted outside. It appears to have survived the winter in its sunny, sheltered location, and has produced new growth.
As April comes to a close, we wish our readers a pleasant month ahead, good food and the warmth of family and friends.
– Mr. Nano, Resident Feline Correspondent reporting from Salmon Brook Farms
Thank you Mr. Nano!
Postcards and Letters
We received a beautiful postcard from our blogger friend Doug and his cats Andy and Dougy over “Weggieboy’s blog – surviving retirement with two cats”. Doug is an inspiration; I admire his fortitude and cheerful wit in the face of adversity. He has a disease called Wegener’s granulomatosis – now called GPA– that attacks the small and medium-sized blood vessels in the body, hence the “Weggieboy” part of the name of his blog. His Persian cat brothers Andy (named after the patron saint of Scotland, St. Andrew) and Dougy (named after Doug himself; Douglas is about as Scottish as you can get) provide plenty of material for a daily blog about life with his two feline companions, my two favorite Persian brothers. Readers can visit Doug and cats Andy and Dougy at https://phainopepla95.com
Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)
For those readers who may have missed our post last month, 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. April has been busy month on many fronts, and I expect to be catching up on this project in May.
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