December 11, 2019

I am back from spending the Thanksgiving week in Florida.  We had a three mile walk  every day, and Elizabeth can set a good pace.  Craig and Sylvia have taken up birding with a passion, complete with the app for identifying and registering sightings of local birds.  I am recommending The Big Year as a movie with heart that everyone should watch.

I came home to an abundant tangerine crop in Oakland.  I have had my first tangerines of the year, not quite ripe and a little tart, but I am not willing to wait.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, rain has been almost continuous for two weeks.  For the first time, I participated in Las Posadas during a thunderstorm. A smaller but undaunted crowd with umbrellas showed up and followed Mary and Joseph singing the carols, while I hoped not to be electrocuted at the piano.  When the baby Jesus was laid in the manger, the rain stopped.

MJ is up for a few days.  Today we took advantage of a break in the weather to prune back the fortnight lilies and all the purple lantanas.  I also pruned the gold lantana that is well established at the north end of the front slope garden.  The fortnight lilies responded well to the pruning I undertook last year.  MJ found dead branches in the center of the middle left fortnight lily that are a mystery.

I am pleased to see that the new pittosporum survived the dry season and is showing new growth. Slow growth, of which I have developed a fondness.

I trimmed back the catmint and Martha Washington geranium in the large box garden in the back yard.  The catmint has what appear to be dense and dead undergrowth.  I may need to wait for spring to see what its growing pattern is.  I removed the crassula from  the pot and transplanted it into the ground.  The planter filled with water over the last three weeks, and the crassula was drowning. I like the pot and need to borrow a drill from Mike to add a drain hole out the bottom.


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