October 29, 2020

The dry grass was fraternizing a little too comfortably with the lower branches of the trees just over the retaining wall from the back porch. The current forecast is for continued dry weather well into November.  Before breakfast I raked away grass and lopped tree branches eight feet from the ground. Much of the wood on the lowest eight feet of the tree is dead, consistent with what I have seen before. The valley oak nearest the back porch received special attention. I removed branches that were trending towards the pergola and the house.

I feel better now. This effort is a head start on a project this winter to eliminate another patch of dried thistle under the valley oaks on that slope.

I researched the issue of eradication of mistletoe. Clusters have taken hold that are killing branches of the valley oaks. Apparently, the only recommended course is amputation at a low enough level to avoid gangrene. I removed one limb with mistletoe from the valley oak nearest the back porch.

Spots’s house is now repainted. Mike read somewhere that the proper bedding for a goat house is straw.  He brought back a bale of straw from the Ione feed store and covered the floor of the new house. We are in discussions about who will muck out the straw every month or so. The straw is a hit – I have found our little lord Spotsus asleep on the hay. 

A neighbor is grading the road as I write by dragging a section of chain link fence bind his truck. Quite the racket in this quiet corner of the planet. When the rainy season begins, Mike hopes to start the gasoline -powered roller and grader and do a more complete job of smoothing out the washboard road surface.

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