January 16, 2008

A Blustery, Blissful Day, Away from Care and Strife

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:26 pm by czygyny

I find my fun in ways most folks don’t. I would rather dig holes than watch television, pull weeds than shop, and a day spent outside is a day well spent, indeed.

Today was such a day, a beautiful, sunny day. And it would have been perfect if not for the incessant, frigid, upwards of 40-50 mph, winds! Our wicked winds come from the north. Blasting, piercing, drying, static-producing, skin-withering, migraine-inducing north winds.

In the winter it drives through your clothes like icy needles, in the summer it heats up with a vengance as it sweeps down the mountains. The only good things about our north winds is that it keeps the frost at bay, and drives all of Sacramento and the delta area’s pollution back where it belongs. Hey, keep your rice stubble smoke down there with you, where it belongs! Oh, yeah, it’ll dry your clothes on the line quite nicely, if you’re one of those, like me, who love the smell of line-dried clothing. Even if you end up with scratchy towels, just bury your nose in it and breathe in the fresh. Other than that, it is right up there with the sound of dirt-bikes for irritation quotient.

So, today we were out in it all day, cleaning out areas that have been in need of work, finding enough stuff to make a dump run. It was a fine day for ridding the property of the last hidden caches of leaves, the piles that have eddied behind storage sheds, stacks of pots and in between buildings. The wind has dried them out nicely, and when I pointed the leaf blower at them, the fierce breeze took them far away. A simple, and somehow satisfying trick.

My poor face shows the effects of the day-long exposure to the screaming zephyr, bright red, wind-chapped cheeks. Not so good on 50ish flesh, makes me look I’ve had a drink, or two. That wind is still howling and beating on my darkened window, envious of my warm, calm room, trying to find any entrance to spoil my comfort.

Things I have hanging on the outside of my house bang and thump, the little metal and plastic lock on the electricity meter goes ‘tap, tap, tap…’ like a tiny bug-sized woodpecker. That one, of course, is right outside where I lay my head to sleep. Today, I saw quite a few trees that the wind and storms have leveled in just the last week. Thankfully my four stately valley oaks were not among the fallen. They raged and screamed in the wind today, shouting and waving about, their bare branches offering little refuge for the birds milling in the fray.  I think they’ll be glad when the winds die down, too.

The picture above is from my garden last year. This is one of two raised-bed annuals boxes I built out of 2″ x 12″x 20′ pressure-treated wood. They are four feet wide, just the right width to be able to tend to easily, yet wide enough to make a visual statement.

I stick with this theme every year, although I might try something a bit different next year. I would like to have this one much like it is, in bold reds, yellows and purples, but I want the other one in more pastels than I have been able to find in the nurseries. Time to thumb through the ever growing stack of seed-catalogs. Boy, once you get on ‘the’ list, then the catalogs just start pouring in!

Starting my own nursery will be another possibility for a new career (or part of many other money-making-stay at home projects). I need to find out what certificates I need to acquire and any other legal stuff I need to know. Perhaps that AA in Ornamental Horticulture I received 30 years ago will finally come in handy? I have hundreds of different types of plants, just the cactus collection alone has at least a hundred different kinds, then there are the perennials, succulents, shrubs, house plants, terrarium specialties, natives, herbs, etc. Something to think about. Mail-order might be the order of the day.

Echinopsis cactus
Who wouldn’t want to have these lovely cactus flowers in their garden? This echinopsis is planted right in the ground, and has weathered 22 degree nights. When it blooms it is a knock-out! It requirements are a well-drained soil, sharply draining gravel mulch around the bases, and seem to do best when crammed in between large well-set rocks. They grow much better in the ground than I can get them to grow in pots, and given filtered, dappled afternoon shade.

Tomorrow more great fun is planned!

We’re rototilling!


1 Comment »

  1. undercanopy said,

    Sounds like you had a tough but exciting day in the garden. From the pictures, I can see that you’re doing a good job. I also have some cactus flowers in my garden. They only bloom during nighttime, however.

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