Sunday, May 24, 2015


Friday (May 22), we came upon not one but two rattlesnakes, the first one larger than the second. It’s rare that we see two in a day. The first (and larger) was at the top of the lane. The second was across from the Plank home site.

Thunderheads south of the house (Friday)
Hallie and Nick left Seattle after 3:00 Friday afternoon and encountered traffic problems that delayed their arrival. Mike and I just couldn’t stay awake and retired at 9:30. Nellie was already in bed, but somehow Bess knew that something was up, and she opted to sleep on her pillow in the living room. At 11:30, their arrival was announced by Bess and we got up to share the joy of dogs greeting favorite people. Nellie was not disturbed by the commotion, but she responded when Hallie awakened her. “Oh! It’s YOU!” Nellie said, coming out to get her pig ear.

Note building cloud formation
And what it looks like 15 min. later
Saturday morning we took both vehicles and drove to Orofino. We stopped at Green Things, the nursery on Riverside, and bought two fruit trees – a Lapins semi-dwarf sweet cherry and a Honey Crisp apple. We planted the cherry tree behind the woodshed where the outhouse used to be. The dirt there looks really fertile. Discussion ensued, and the consensus of opinion was that any harmful effects have long since degraded away, leaving fertile soil.

We tried to plant the apple tree at the pond but decided against it because of the heavy soil. Instead we moved it to the grove. The Honey Crisp needs a pollinator, so if it doesn’t bear next year, we may have to plant another apple in closer proximity.

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Friday we watched distant storms, but no precipitation fell here. Some of us like that, but others know that we could really use some moisture. No matter – Saturday afternoon thunderheads developed and we heard the distant low rumble of thunder. Nellie was characteristically nervous, eventually retiring to the doghouse, her safe haven. About 5:00 p.m., a ginormous hailstorm hit, and it was not brief. Mike commented that it was the longest hailstorm he had ever experienced. It seemed like the little men playing 10-pins were really angry. Hailstones the size of large marbles fell which after 15 to 20 minutes became heavy rain. Fortunately, we did not lose power or our connections to the world.
Artistry by Mike
I thought of brother Chuck who would have spent the afternoon lounging on the front porch and watching the storm build. It was awesome to hear the hail pounding on the metal roof.

Vehicles under maple tree during storm
Damage? Well, the trees we planted seemed to take the beating okay. I’m no judge, but I think the crops are probably okay, as young as they are. The iris and poppies are beat down, and I’m glad we hadn’t gone to the cemetery yet. However, Mike is concerned for the bird hatch. KW

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