Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let the sun shine

The three children who were not sick in bed and I went to Sugarloaf Mountain State Park today to check on the status of a wonderful waterfall which of course runs better when it's been raining a lot, as it has. Since rain is predicted again for tomorrow (not enough to ease the drought, since reservoirs are at about 30% of normal now), we figured we'd get in and out during the dry.

And we did, although I remember the last time we were there having that odd, liquid light also. Middle of the day, lots of trees, but just. . . not really bright. That was okay, though, since that meant hand me down sweaters made by mom. Seeing my children in sweaters worn by their older siblings just makes me want to eat them up, especially this one, the last little one. Even though she didn't want to put up the elfin hood, she was yummy:

Things 2 and 4 found the entire experience rather meditative

(Insert sound of me and Eldest daughter laughing and falling about here), and if you noticed that I looked a little tired in these pictures -- trust me, I have not put up the ones that really show the effects of the last few nights -- the dog has been getting us up multiple times during the night to go out and do his business. Seems that the heavy drinking is not in fact a sign of kidney failure, but of canine diabetes. Fortunately I have lots of experience with insulin needles due to a couple of exciting pregnancies, so I'm the one shooting him up every day.

The fact that he ate an entire cheesecake that Thing 1 inexplicably left in her room today is probably not something I'm going to share with the vet during next week's glucose tests, though.


In more cheering news, when we came home, this is what the enormous walnut tree in the neighbor's yard looked like:

Doesn't the chicken coop look like something out of a movie about dust bowl farmers? I'm not one to willy-nilly cheer the chopping of large trees, but this one has dumped an enormous amount of leaves on the chicken wire over the chickens, making it dark in there, but more importantly, it shaded a huge part of our yard. Urban farmettes live and die by the sunshine hitting their yards, and this effectively doubles my growing area. It also means I don't have to dig up and move the Fuji apple tree right by the coop into a sunnier spot, as I had planned to do. Maybe I'll pop a fig tree back there instead!

So the next time it's really sunny, I'm sending the oldest kid up into the front yard street tree with strict instructions to trim out enough leafy branches that the sun at least dapples into the yard. The new persimmon and apricot trees are beginning to bud out, and I just put out six of a variety of rasp-and boysenberries out there. Come on, sun!

And tomorrow, I'll have pictures of an actual finished knitted object. Amazing, even to me.


allisonmariecat said...

Your trip looks so fun! It's good the Things have a sense of humor about these outings :)

Fig tree...drool...

Susan said...

Sugarloaf Mt. State Park looks gorgeous. We've never been there. Great photos. I'm a little sad about the walnut tree. I just love their leaves. But double the growing area sounds great.

Kristin Sherman Olnes said...

Despite the fact that you came home from a lush forest to a stumpy stump--you saw the bright side of things--more light for your chickens equals more eggs...I would have been so upset by the lack of effort in pruning the tree in a way that was more natural--finding the chi of the tree. I admire your optimism and humor and your continual willingness to try something new. Yes, go for a fig!

Lori said...

beautiful photos - i can't wait for spring hiking