July 9, 2019

I was away last week, celebrating the Fourth with the Fresno Shavers.  This year the celebration moved to El Cerrito, and the entire family came to the Bay Area.  With two children under the age of four the days included flying a kite and playing in the sand Drakes Beach, looking at the boats in the harbor down from Ghiradelli Square and greeting the sea lions, and riding the steam trains and merry-go-round in Tilden Park.

Matthew is planning a trip to New Zealand in October, which led us to investigate latitudes north and south of the equator.  San Francisco is North Latitude 38 degrees, Capetown is South Latitude 34 degrees.  The seasons are reversed but the climate is much the same.  May explain why South African plants do well at the Ranch.

Three days in the sun left me with a severe burn.  Laura and Julie insisted on zinc oxide, and I found a number 50 Aveeno lotion that is almost pure.  I look like an ancient Celtic warrior but can attest to significant relief and healing.  

A fire on the Altamont pass closed the interstate to all westbound traffic.  I sent a text to MJ and Judy that I came up through the delta as usual and only heard about the fire on the radio.

When I reached the ranch, Mike was hard at work in the backyard.  He had installed a new header and eight feeder lines in the main planter box, one of which is idle. He also fed a new line under the planter box to connect to the water trough turned into a herb garden.  Initially, the sprinkler to the herb garden provided too much water.  Mike rigged up a resistor on the line leading out of the main header to lower pressure and flow.

Mike also showed me the new irrigation feeders to the yarrow and California fuchsia, and the spray sprinkler on the ice plant.  That ice plant is the last remnant of what Jerry planted on the front slope, and that by some miracle survived three of four transplants, back yard and front.  I would dearly love to have an entire carpet of ice plant under the oleanders in that corner of the garden.  Jerry is still very much with me as I putter around the Ranch.

Mike will tackle lines to the plantings around the summer house tomorrow.

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