Weather Change

I told you in the last post to pay attention to summer while it was still with us.

Now click on the arrow in the orange circle to hear a report of the moment.

No complaints. We can use it. The woods have been tinder-dry. Or, at most, one small complaint. We’ve exchanged long-lingering dust for sudden mud. Of the two… ah, well, it’s hard to choose, isn’t it?

Timing could have been better (this is not a complaint, just an observation), as we are in the middle of excavation for drains.

Rain drains

These are long drains, extending from the floor of the greenhouse, the lowest level of the house, downhill to the edge of the wood. They’re so long because, though the land slopes down from the house, the greenhouse floor is below grade. The drain field has to “catch up” by running a long way to maintain a downward course. With the heavy rains of yesterday and today, and some more expected tomorrow, the excavators will have a thick time of it when they come back next week.

My friend Barbara and I found a remedy for cloudy skies yesterday. We drove off down the valley, as we do from time to time. This day we made for the small town of Canby and the annual Dahlia Festival at Swan Island Dahlias.

Fields of bloom

Oh. My. Even amid showers, this is an intoxicating experience. Acres of dahlias in bloom stand up to assault the eye. Row upon row upon row of colors, some subtle,

Unnamed yet, from the trial gardens

some bold


washed across the cone receptors of my eager eyes. Golly, my optic nerves jumped into action, and sent the spasm to my optic chiasm, where the nerves met and information crossed over from one side of my brain to the other. In a trice, it went on through the optic tracts, entered the thalamus, and synapsed at the lateral geniculate nucleus! Shazam! My visual cortex, back in the occipital lobe, was ready to receive this blast and got to work making it into vision. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors. I think most of them were present in those fields, and all of them attempting to seduce the unwary gardener into rash, unplanned purchases.

The weather probably thinned the crowd, but those who came were the stalwarts who either don’t care much about the rain or came prepared to make their way through muddy fields. They wore a design sampler of weather wear:

Floral boots Dotty boots

Plaid boots


Though I took mine along, it’s a good thing I didn’t choose to slip into my boots.  I could never have competed with the stylists in the gardens.

Just boots

Homely though they are, these boots have their place. These boots are made for ditch-hoppin’. These are chicken yard boots. Sheep yard boots. Mud and hay boots. These are definitely not struttin’ boots. Not even, let’s admit it, not even faintly cute boots. They are, in the defining words of Merriam-Webster, homely: 3 a : unaffectedly natural.

I can’t seem to pull this week’s post together in any organized way. It’s raining. It’s muddy. The dahlias are bright anyway, and they put me in mind to have my garden in some kind of shape. That is, they put me in mind to wish I had any garden at all here, where we have construction dirt in ditches and heaps. I’m resisting the urge to fill out an order form, to fill the yet undefined beds with bulbs to be delivered next spring. I’ve learned in this year not to anticipate a finish date, not to believe in the possibility that items purchased now will find use or destination before they perish. I’ll stick with my mud boots for now.

One more song; click the arrow:

Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I copied the pic of those bright pink/fuchsia, whatever dahlias. I need to dye this up! Immediately or whenever I get the time.


    Tell Richard that I expect good drainage when I arrive. tee hee.

    With all of that, I think we ought to have right good drainage. It gives a person confidence, to see all those pipes out there. Remember reading about the Victorians dying so easily because of Bad Drains?


  2. hi again, its funny, actually the boots you mention as the not struttin boots, they are high fashion here in Tromsø in Northern Norway, where you see people showing off in downtown these kind of boots as very fashionable, looks a bit funny together with very fashionable dress, perhaps overalls are coming in the same way so fashion becomes comfortable, and my knitting wife enjoy your blog as well and found some new kind of yarn through a link to another knitter blog !

    So pleased to know I am on the cutting edge of fashion! That’s something new on the farm.

    Also, it’s nice to know we put your knitting wife together with another source of, hmm, temptation.


  3. Hi, Susan,

    I have a pair of boots JUST like those…and an even homelier pair, if there is such a word, which are sort of army green, quite ugly, actually, but good in mud and rain and such…

    Soon time to get out the -40 winter boots! Hopefully not too soon…though we’ve had weather hovering at or just below freezing on several mornings! Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival this coming weekend, so knitting and spinning like there’s no tomorrow.

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