Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick & Lavinia Ross, Salmon Brook Farms – Summer 2021

It is high summer here on our little farm in the Cascade foothills, on the other side of solstice.  The long, cool, but insufficiently rainy spring ended,  throwing us rather quickly into not only hot weather, but into extreme heat coupled with drought.  There is nothing much to do except spot water plantings, try to stay cool, and ride out the season, hoping the garden and trees do too.  I look forward to September and the coming rainy season, and if I listen carefully, I can hear Autumn’s slow, steady footsteps as the sun begins his journey south.

Hope 2007-2021

Hope 2013

Our Hope cat, July of 2013, in her prime.

Our cats have been aging along with us, and with age comes many age related illnesses and conditions.  We have lost a few of our seniors and elderly cats since this blog was started.  As Greg Lake said, “death is life”.  Along with the spring, we said goodbye to our little Hope cat.  She had developed intermittent intestinal problems which were finally diagnosed as cancer.  We opted for palliative care.   Knowing I only post four times a year, our friend Doug Thomas offered to post Hope’s memorial on his site the day after she was euthanized.  Doug and I thought it might also be a helpful post for others agonizing over the decision to euthanize their animal companions when it is time.  I’ve never found it to be an easy decision, and never will.  We are grateful for compassionate veterinary care.

Named after one of my aunts, Hope was one of several kittens born to a feral mother under our old house.  Homes were found for all, but Hope and her brother Marcus remained with us here as indoor kitties.   Skittish and not trusting in her early years, she grew accustomed to indoor life, eventually sleeping on the bed, and waking me with a paw in the face.  Hope will always be remembered for her endearing personality, and unique barking meow.  I’ve included a few photos from her life.  Rest in Love, dear Hope.

Hope, May 2014

Hope, May 2014

Hope, December 2014

Hope, December 2014

Hope, December 2014

Hope, December 2014

Hope, March 2016

Hope, March 2016

Hope, April 2021

Hope, April 2021

As one life passes, another is born.  All manner of life sprang up around us, as it does each year.  April’s apple blossoms and dark skies soon gave way to the time of irises and transitional skies, rainbows and roses.  Ghostly crab spiders could be found waiting in ambush for their next meal.

Apple blossoms and dark skies of April

Crab spider in bloom (left side) wait for prey.

View to the east towards the Cascades, June 8th.

One of the first irises to bloom.

Out by Elbert’s Garden.

A new wildflower was sighted, I think it may be sort of Mimulus as best I can tell.

A close up of the bloom. Some kind of Mimulus?

A better view of leaves and stalks.

Blackberry. Though invasive, its nectar is part of the main honey flow in the Willamette Valley. Bees, birds and animals, including humans, feed from these plants.

Pandemic restrictions are slowly lifting, and music has started up many places.  My schedule is beginning to fill again, at least for the time being.  If you happen to be in the neighborhood of where I am playing, please do drop in and say hello.

I leave readers with an old Irish blessing.  Until we meet again.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

A buttercup at wood’s edge in late afternoon.