Saturday, June 24, 2017


Morning at Gilbert, Idaho, looking south over rapeseed fields to Little Canyon

It’s been rather cool here at the homestead this past week. Oh, it’s pleasant enough in the afternoon sun, but the evenings are cool and the mornings are downright chilly! I guess we’re lucky, considering the record-breaking highs in Utah and Arizona, for instance.

From bramble behind house
When I was a child taking morning swim lessons, the first session in June was always chilly. Standing wet at the edge of the pool and waiting for instructions, our teeth would chatter. And in those days – the mid-‘50s – mornings and evenings were always cool here at the farm. Yes, over the last 20-30 years, it has become much warmer here -- and dry. I guess this year is a throwback. And it’s okay. The garden and transplants have had a better start, I think.

Wild rose bramble north of house
Same bramble, north
The spring blooms are mostly past, but I just can’t let the season go without mentioning the wild roses. Wherever they pop up – and every year there are more bushes – they tend to take over. It doesn’t matter much here if wild roses want to grow in those grassy areas between the fields, but road departments everywhere fight them. I concede that the wild rose bramble is certainly a problem in some places, but the roses are lovely. I only know of one spot here where the proclivity to take over troubles me, and that’s at Plank’s driveway where a wild rose has overcome a lilac bush. I’d rather have the lilac, but it’s not our property – and not my problem.
Rose bramble at Plank's

Rose bramble east near June's
The wild roses range in shade from pale pink (nearly white) to deep pink, and I know of an unusual red bush at Neighbor Pete’s. He gave me permission to take a slip, but I have yet to do it. Pete told me that a neighbor lady sent her husband to plant that rose in his mother’s yard because of its unusual color. It wasn’t easy to plant, he said. The wild roses are very “stickery.”
Whitetail buck
A few days ago, as I walked along the road, I heard a rustle in the field below and spied a buck looking at me. I stopped dead in my tracks, wondering what would happen next. Generally, I’m not afraid of the deer, but my impression was that I didn’t have the upper hand. He was not wary of me, and I could tell he thought I was the intruder. I managed to take a picture before he disappeared. I didn’t see where he went.

"King of the Hill"
And here’s a picture of our resident pheasant rooster, an escapee from someplace. He doesn’t have a mate, and Mike was afraid he would die of loneliness, but that didn’t happen. He looks nice and plump and enjoys sitting on the dirt hill in the grove. Mike dubbed him “King of the Hill.” KW

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