December 7, 2018

I ran into Oakland yesterday for my office party.  My first time meeting with my former colleagues and staff since I retired.  I stayed to the end, and enjoyed the pictures from the Christmas party a year ago with Margaret’s quilt over my shoulder.

Back at the ranch today, there has been no rain for a few days and the afternoon sun can be pleasant on the shoulders.  MJ and I were out in the yard early afternoon to catch the sun.  We found one bloom on the fringe flower.  I remember it being in full bloom when I first came to the ranch after I retired at the end of last year.

MJ and I tried to salvage the manzanita once again.  We trimmed the deadwood and tried to move the runners towards the center of the slope to avoid crowding the geranium that was thriving next to it.  I also introduced MJ to the sprayer with Dr. Earth Pure Gold plant food.  She followed the instructions and applied the sprayer to the underside of the leaves.  The manzanita was fed as well as the smaller geranium at the bottom of the slope.  Looking at the two geraniums together MJ realized that the smaller one was a deeper shade of pink.

The leaves of the barberry turn a bright orange-red in the late fall just before they shed.  The barberry in the top border garden has turned that bright orange-red.  The sun low in the afternoon sky has contributed to spectacular winter sunsets.  For a brief moment when it hovered on the horizon, it backlit the barberry from the west and the bush seemed as if it had caught fire.  I will look again at sunset until the barberry sheds its leaves entirely.

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