Sunday, August 29, 2010

This Is Summer?

A spike-horn buck and a doe were taking advantage of the overcast and cool weather to scavenge for fallen peaches in the front orchard yesterday.  They usually don't show up until dusk, but maybe the dim light had them confused.  To add to general confusion, this is the "front" orchard and pasture, taken from the back of the house which faces away from the road.  That's Gray Rock up in the right corner paralleling the fence line.  All the fields are sere and brown now, so it's hard to blame the deer for wanting something juicy.

I started out yesterday in my usual tank top and bibbies, added a work shirt to go out to the chickens, and came back for a quilted jacket before going down to the barn because it was cold!  A strong wind blew and while I was milking, it started spitting rain...not enough to do any good, but now I've got a polka-dotted truck.  We can always tell the flatlanders from the locals by their pristine vehicles.  Back in the house, I shut windows and doors (any that the wind hadn't slammed shut already), and briefly considered lighting a fire.  It never got into the seventies all day.  My veggie man, Joel, made a delivery (just like uptown!) and of course weather was the topic of discussion.  The long wet spell and short summer are playing havoc with the grapes, and there's real concern that there won't be much, if any, harvest this year.  There are a number of vineyards here owned by nonresidents, folks living down in the Bay Area, who don't understand that all agriculture is a gamble in a game where Nature owns the house and holds all the cards.  No matter how carefully the crops are tended, some years are just bad years.  It's heartbreaking, though, to think of all the work, time, and money invested without possibility of return.

It's in the low fifties this morning, but it's for sure I'm not complaining!