January 23, 2018

Back to the Snake after two weeks in San Diego for Bud’s 80th birthday, a few days hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and the conference in San Francisco.  I was out of Oakland early this morning for the run through the Delta, using sunglasses for the sun that was still low in the sky.  The orchards and vineyards along the road are all bedded down for the winter.

I ran into heavy fog in Lockeford, which did not bode well. Still, the skies cleared at Clements – amazing what a few feet of elevation will do.  MJ says that fog in the low valley often clears at least by the time you reach the Snake.  I had the full benefit of clear sunlit skies and the view of the Sierras on the stretch of Highway 12 from Clements to Wallace.

Everyone wishes me luck in my efforts to remove thistle, not having much else to say.  The Augean stables come to mind.  I worked on the hillside beneath the summer house this morning, the grass and thistle coming up easily.   Then I applied Roundup, and may follow up with fireplace ashes which seem to discourage growth. Those thistle seeds are adventurous, and you can find them everywhere.  I will be content if I can limit them in the yard and the cultivated beds.

Resting from my work, I was gratified by the view from that corner of the yard, now cleared, looking down to the pond.   MJ oriented me on the culvert that empties into Verna Falls and into the pond.  Soon to become another favored spot.

Temperatures continue mild – lows in the mid-40s and highs towards the 60s.  I am still waiting for the coldest weeks of the year and a possible freeze.

I spent a few minutes today paying my respects to a dear departed sole.  One of my shoes fell apart on the hillside, and having honored many years of faithful service I will head to Wal-Mart for a new pair.


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