Monday, January 25, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day.

I know,  we've had three consecutive years of drought and need every drop of rain we can get, but seriously, 10 consecutive days of rain in the Santa Clara Valley? We're looking for high ground around my neighborhood. Never mind the TORNADO WARNINGS for seven straight days (In CA? WTF?) the  hail, funnel clouds and water spouts that wandered around at will. So, I don't really wish for the rain to go completely away, but would a week of sun really hurt anybody. Sorry OR & WA friends,  but there is a reason we live in this amazing climate and it's called SUN! Something like 325+ days per year of it.

Obviously, this kind of weather takes a toll on any garden and the Redneck Container Garden is no exception. Most things are doing okay, but there are a few issues. These guys are doing pretty well...

As are these...

These ones, not so much...

The rest of the gang is hanging pretty tough...

I don't know if the weather has anything to do with it or not, but this...

Has turned into this...

I suppose I should be upset that these are bolting, but it amazes me how rapidly they grow at this stage and they still add great texture and color to my garden...

So, that's what the Redneck Garden looks like after a solid week of rain & wind. How is your garden holding up?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bend, Oregon a Road Trip

 I had occasion recently to take a road trip to Bend, Oregon. If you've been there, you already know how scenic the region is. I had been through here before, but it was more than 25 years ago, so memories weren't  so vivid any more. I started by driving from the Bay Area to Carson City to hook up with my brother who would share the rest of the trip with me. Now, I love the Bay Area and you absolutely can not beat the mild Mediterranean climate, but I grew up in the high desert of Northern Nevada and those wide open spaces still have a special appeal to me. So many people look at these landscapes and fail to see the amazing character , colors and textures. I'd be interested to know what you think.

The next four pics were taken on Hwy 395, Northbound from Reno...

It's not just the landscapes that have character around here. The old barns and farm houses always make me think about the sturdy folks who lived and worked in this challenging environment without the modern conveniences and tools we enjoy today.

Thompson Peak in the distance, the Litchfield water tower and the wide open view as we descend toward Ravendale. It was around here where we saw a massive Golden Eagle sitting on a telephone pole, but I wasn't quick enough to get his picture.

The "Most Likely Cafe" in scenic Likely, CA. My brother Pat & I had lunch & homemade pie here with our dad 33 & 1/2 years ago while on a fishing trip. You know we had to stop for lunch today. The town consists of about 5 or 6 houses, a few mobile homes, the cafe and a small general store. If you ever pass this way, The Most Likely Cafe is worth the stop.

The roaring metropolis of Alturas, CA.

More beautiful desert scenes between Alturas & Tulelake, CA. It was along this stretch that we saw a Bald Eagle on an island in a pond about a 1/4 mile off the highway.

We were digging this long-range view of Mt. Shasta, approximately 60 miles in the distance. At over 14,000 feet, it looked like a ghost mountain looming way out there.

Merrill, OR

More scenic farm/ranchland just North of Klamath Falls, OR and the view of Mt. McLoughlin across the frozen waters of Upper Klamath Lake. The iced over lake and snow on the banks are leftovers from the severe cold snap in the middle of December. While we were busy whining about low temps in the mid-twenties, this region was just wishing for high temps above zero.

A very large hawk flying over the highway as seen through the sunroof and a view of Mt. Thielson, another of the many extinct volcanoes in this region.

My one and only picture from downtown Bend. This is the Deschutes river winding through the heart of town. I love the nice parks all along the river around here. The locals told us how this area really hops in the summer time and I can see why. The downtown are was very clean and very lively. We were pleased to see only one empty shop in the whole downtown area of a dozen or so blocks.

Just a couple shots from the return trip; one of the two Bald Eagles we saw roosting in a grove of trees in bustling Likely, CA and a stormy sunset over Susanville. I really must get a camera with more zoom capability, these eagles were only about 100 yards off the road and this was as much zoom as my little camera could muster. I see things like this so seldom, I really need to be able to reach out and capture them.

I hope you enjoyed riding through the high desert with the Moore Brothers. Be sure to subscribe so you can join us as we trip around, having fun and taking pics as we go.