March 17, 2020

I remembered Ben today on the first  anniversary of his passing.

At 3.00 yesterday afternoon I received word of the shelter-in-place order from the Alameda County Health Department, and I evacuated Oakland within a half hour. I will be at the ranch for the foreseeable future.  The house is well stocked for food and toilet paper.

If you have to shelter in place, no shelter could be more beautiful than the rolling Sierra foothills in the spring. One or two of our tenant’s cows have found their way into the enclosure in front of the house and to the right of the driveway.  How many people in these difficult times can look out from a breakfast nook and watch cows peacefully grazing on the equivalent of a front lawn?

Last night was cold, a low of 37 degrees just before sunrise. The temperature at the ranch drops significantly after sunset.  The mist off the pond this morning was a bit mysterious and a bit spiritual.  Reminded me of the thin places in this world, where the line between earth and heaven becomes indistinct. Of course, the mist also reminds me that the air is colder than the water.

I watched a hummingbird be drawn to the blue salvia in bloom.  I thought red was the attractive color, but empirical evidence suggest otherwise.  The bees seem to favor the wallflower in the large back yard planter box.

I dug out a small but generously overgrown patch at the narrowest point of the slope garden and applied Preen and Preen mulch.  I also deeply  pruned the Marguerite daisy at the edge of that now cleared patch. The center was mostly dead growth –  I want to see if I can encourage infill.

I finished laying mulch in the new border garden beside the back yard flagstones, at least as far as the citrus planter box. Two additional stepping stones make much more sense.


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