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.