Saturday, August 20, 2011

Season Changes

The season changes with the squash vines. One day, they are huge, and lush, and growing six inches in a morning and the next—there’s a hint of powdery mildew on a leaf, the growth is finished, and the squashes themselves are developing a thick skin. On the same day, the color of the sky deepens from mid-summer blue to end of summer blue and the dreaded Welcome Back letter arrives in the mail. I always open the letter, decide if I’m going to the Golden Apples (the celebrate-the-best-teachers ceremony which begins the year), and hide it deep in the back of the schedule book. There are still a few glorious weeks of summer remaining.

Other signs:

§ Potato harvest

§ Beans drying on tarps at Sunbow

§ Hay bales and dusty air on the back roads of the valley

§ Macintosh apples are ripening

§ Blackberry picking

§ Chickens sleep until 6:30—oh yeah!

§ Peepsters are laying small eggs

§ The High Cascades are open—best backpacking of the year begins

§ The herbs are flowering and covered with bees

§ Honey Harvest

§ No traffic—all of the students have gone home for a few weeks

§ New schedule book and fine-tipped pen

§ Food dehydrator hums in the back yard

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red Buttes Wilderness

Azeala Lake--two nights, no people
Wound from branches
lonesome lake
Bristlecone pines-- really old trees!
Tiger lily and spirea
The "Trail"
Phantom Meadows
Buck Peak