Potpourri, anyone? -- week of April 6 - 13th, 2015

After that crazy spring snowstorm on Tuesday the 7th (which took several days to melt), the weather warmed nicely and became spring-like again.  Of course, Jimmy and I have been Out and About, enjoying these fine days. Dinner with our friends at Tumbling Creek Farm on Tuesday was rescheduled for Thursday, and that proved to be an auspicious day for us!  

As we drove up the driveway to their house, we paused at the sheep enclosure and noticed a wee little lamb lying at its mom's feet.  With the binocs that live in Smartie's glove compartment, we focused on the babe and deduced it had been born only minutes before!  We stared, enthralled.  At the house, when we told Marlene that we'd been looking at the newborn lamb, she said, "WHAT?"  Naturally, we got a kick out of that ... and then the four of us trooped down to the pasture.  By this time, the little fella was standing.  At dusk, after dinner, Jimmy and I helped Cliff and Marlene get the animals to the barn, and OH BOY, they said I could carry the lamb!  It's mom didn't think much of the idea, but I was happy; he was sweet and cuddly and soft ... and heavy.  It's a boy, and me and Jimmy named him Fluffy.  Such a wonderful evening at the farm!!  

Jimmy admiring the chickens.

Friday we were out walking on the canal path, which was neither dusty nor muddy, thank you very much. The water level had dropped some more, to barely half a foot along the entire length.  We always see small trout in the water, but never in abundance ... till today, when plenty of fish (below) were gathered near the entrance to a large flume pipe.  Wonder if they're worried that the water will disappear completely?

This robin appreciated the canal for its bath, shallow water or not!

Starflowers (Trientalis borealis) are blooming alongside the trail and in the NorCal woods. 

The trail is a wonderful place to walk or bike, with a bench to sit on and enjoy the view.

This is the time of year, too, when my thoughts turn to gardening, never mind that freaky snow.  I'd already planted a few flowers and shrubs, several of which did not like being snowed on, but that's a risk you take in Sierra Nevada foothills.  If they shrivel up, they can be replaced.  However, the keyhole gardens needed a face lift. Jimmy and I started working on both gardens at the end of March, and this week we got serious.

We removed the compost "bin" in each keyhole garden as composting scraps seemed to promote bugs.  Also, I found it darn near impossible to turn the compost.  In short, they didn't do the trick.  The disturbed area above is where we dug out the first keyhole bin.  I'll fill the entire area with more organic soil and compost, but I'll have to find another way to make/store compost.  My Swiss chard (above) is bolting, but still good for now, and I've planted new seeds. I think onions will hang on forever!

We had an eight-legged critter problem (shudder).  Jimmy took care of it.  In both keyhole gardens, he filled each hole in every block with sand to the top, both levels.  Nuttin can live in those dark holes now!  We can monitor the spaces between the blocks.  No more widows!!  Geez, I hate those things.  I added a huge bale of organic dirt to the garden above, and next up I'll throw in bags of mushroom compost.

Pony-paks filled with veggie seeds:  Swiss card, two kinds of cukes, Anaheim peppers, and tomatoes.
That's it, so far.

Our mini-greenhouse.  Covering up the pony-paks at night.  Hope it works.

Hi, my name is Rufus.

We had a newcomer (this year) to our feeder yesterday ... a Black-headed Grosbeak.  I heard him before I could see him, singing a mighty pretty song.  I finally located him sitting on a snag high up in the Incense Cedar tree. I took a few pictures, mostly of it's pretty breast.  Maybe I can get a decent shot of it in the next few days. Meanwhile, Rufus Hummingbirds have joined our Anna's, competing for "I'm the Biggest, Baddest Dude" at the feeder.  While Rufus is in motion, this photo is about as good as it gets for my little point n shoot.

Sad to say, the robin nest being made in the Dogwood on Easter Sunday filled with snow on Tuesday. Fact is, it looked like a snow cone and we haven't seen her or him in the nest since the snow melted.  Or, maybe she didn't like the location?  Phooey.  I see robins around and even in the Dogwood, but ... it would be fun to watch eggs hatch into baby robins.  More babies!


  1. Since we've never had property where we could have a garden, had to look up keyhole gardens. Interesting.

    1. I've always loved gardening. In a former life, I was called "Farmer Jones!" :- )

  2. You certainly have been busy!

  3. We used to have sheep on our hobby farm, I miss the smell of lambs. Warm and fuzzy and they sound cute too! Maybe I'll see if I can search some out and relive that smell!

  4. What a nice "Fluffy" story.

    1. Thanx, Todd! How did you like the snowstorm in the previous post?

  5. Never a dull moment with youse guys, eh?


We love hearing from you -- please leave us a note! (Comment moderation is turned on, and your comments, including anonymous comments, will be visible after they have been reviewed and published.)