Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Landscaping Questions

Sue wants to landscape. I don't get it. We're on 100 acres with thousands of acres all around. That's the landscape, not lawns and lavender and ornamental grasses. Sometimes it feels strange even to mow the natural grasses or spray the weeds coming up the driveway.

There are thin lines between natural and aggrandized notions, between basic and junkyard blues. Why should everything be completed, mastered, man made? I like a great Belgian beer in its very own special glass, but a long neck is damned near perfect all by itself. The best thing would be to have everyone who wants to modify and finish the surroundings to go ahead and draw it up just as they would want it. Then keep the drawing!

Completion creates observers. Critics, too. Raw is just about raw. Begging participation. Makes me smile. Makes me want to get laid. To each his own.

The outdoor shower makes me feel the temperature and think about what temperature I want to feel at that moment. Not the same temperature that is my regular comfortable automatic go-to feeling. Cold COLD water from 305 feet down our well. Hot water like the sun throbbing, baking into the soil.

Fell asleep the other night while watching shooting stars. Why did I move inside at all?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coyote Convention

What was going on last night? There may have been 20 coyotes within easy earshot...singing from the road to Dry Creek. The pheasants seemed to gather near to the house...they wanted no part of those festivities.

Dave and Amy came over to talk wheat and sip drinks at the fire pit just after sunset. Purple skies and chatting about being out here and not in town. Their house is our fourth closest neighbor, about 1 1/2 miles away. We were laughing about the critters; gophers and coyotes, pheasants and the little red fox that we spotted and that Dave has not seen in years.

Being out here really isn't like being in town.
When you're in town, you don't see the Horizon Air 8:45 PM flight from Seattle coming in from sixty miles out. Yesterday morning at 6 AM I was up on a twenty foot ladder with my mask and goggles on, spraying wasp nests along the roof line and knocking them down with an eight foot stick. It has to be done. Just at this time of the year, in the heat of the day, there are too many of them. Oddly enough, they are entirely docile. I've been in the middle of dozens of them, going after the nests, and they have never attacked. Goodness...wish the wasps in Bellevue were so accommodating. Could not be more different. The Bellevue wasps are just plain scary, not live and let live like these. These are "paper wasps" that seem to have no interest whatsoever in stinging. I have had dozens land on me, buzz my face, and not a single issue. Takes some discipline to get over the fear factor, tough.

Amy has great vision. She spotted deer down by Dry Creek that Sue could hardly see when the deer were pointed out. Amy and Dave just had three bucks and three does in their yard.

People are so nice! Yesterday, I got a kite lesson from a great fellow who loves to kite and wanted to pass on his enthusiasm. I also got a tutorial in astronomy from the head of that department at Whitman College. Both were so excited by what they love! I sure hope that I can learn the basics. Cannot wait both to fly the new kite and to start following the cosmos!

The week ends tomorrow and then back to the city and work. Such a lovely vacation, but I do wish that it had been two weeks and not just one. Pretty cool to come to our own place and have one of the most enjoyable vacations ever...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer nights-

Dinner in the fields at Big Table, red and umber sunsets filling the western sky, flashes of green and dense purples. Shooting stars aplenty and warm breezes. No wind in the daytime, so my starting adventures in stunt kite flying still await, but the outdoor shower will be complete today and I plan to be singing in it!

Looking down the valley last night...three lights in the distance. One nice aspect to the bad economy is that the cluster development of six homes 2.5 miles out is on hold, plus the palatial homes that were planned four miles out are not being built. That means just the three lights for the near future. Ten coyotes yapping is better than more giant houses...

Saw that gorgeous red fox hopping through the tall grass. Like the shooting stars, the best glimpses are fast and too often missed...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Long Road

Waking up early, we drove from Seattle to Troutdale (3 hours) then began a slow meander through the Columbia River Gorge. Lovely waterfalls, sturgeon viewing (they are HUGE), lunch at Skamania Lodge. Very pretty sights and a rally of classic Chevrolet cars that we were seeing across several hours. 50's Bel Airs, 40's woodies, sixties Novas, seventies 'Vettes, even some much older twenties trucks and sedans. My favorite part was the windsurfers and kite surfers. If we do this again, we're staying put for a night in Hood River and I'm going to watch these guys for hours then find a tavern and watch them enjoying themselves afterward. What fantastic sport! So elemental...wind and water!

Been thinking on relating to elemental experiences, this farm (land), my firepit (duh!), starting to kite (wind), my boat (water). As I get older, these connections are becoming as important as relationships with people. Wow...those guys on the river!!!

We checked out Maryhill Winery. Cool spot (we could do the same natural amphitheater right to the east of the house...all I need is a bulldozer and a reason). Did not think well of the wine. All safe, lightweight, commercial stuff. Inoffensive is the word best I can say.

Beyond Maryhill, the drive through Hermiston and Pendleton and Milton Freewater just went on and on. Been there, done that.

I think I'll go and try to assemble the new kite. That wind is calling.