Saturday, April 24, 2010

peach blossom time

Friday: worked nine hours straight, packed for two, then drove for five: hopefully grinding our way across the Continental Divide to a weekend of peace and quiet at the yurt. The drive was a bit grim from my perspective, enlivened by a CD of Hank the Cowdog's adventure with the abandoned Mary D. Cat
"A crust of bread, baloney, cheese
Spare a morsel, if you please!
Marooned I am, oh hateful place
At last I've found a friendly face."
Hank bids goodbye by saying "hors d'oeuvre, cat" and responds to the puzzlement by claiming "I speak lots of languages - French, Italian, Thousand Island, and Ranch.."

After an exhausted remnant of the night, morning on the Buzzard's Roost,

with the usual farm detritus washed up on and around the fences and erratic boulders, themselves gradually returning to the earth. As Elizabeth Bishop observed, "Since we do float on an unknown sea I think we should examine the other floating things that come our way carefully; who knows what might depend on it." In this case a closer examination finds black widow spiders in the old shed, so perhaps not.

Breakfasted slowly and coldly waiting for the sun to come over the ridge. There are petroglyphs in the neighbourhood. We hiked up to take a look. Usually they are found in caves or overhangs, it's surprising these have survived on the bare face of the rock.

Presumably a herd of deer, though there were others with
elaborate antlers, one with sweeping horns like a sable. There was elk poo on the trail around the outcrop with the petroglyphs. The dog was completely happy, if a bit hot. Back in Palisade he behaved remarkably well at the farmer's market, doubtless because he'd finally run his yayas out. The brewery has changed hands and no longer has a liquor license to sell beer, except for consumption on the premises: instead of a growler of delicious Orchard Amber Ale, had to settle for 3.2 Corona from the grocery store, eww.

Home again for bacon cheeseburgers on the grill. The carunculated old logs of peach wood did not burn as long as I'd expected but made beautiful coals.

At bedtime I doused the fire with toothbrushing water which was quite inadequate. At two in a windy morning the coals still glowed. Although Grand Junction is just over the horizon, the dark hour stars were still impressive, Milky Way blazing overhead.

Monday the work of the farm got back underway. The beauty is merely incidental, or is it ?

We sold a conservation easement on the farm last year, to ensure it can never be used for anything but agricultural land. This made tax time absolute hell, three midnight watches to get it all posted.

As rentiers we get to watch the tractoring and other actual work. The drill uses shear pins which reminded me of several times Charles and I stranded ourselves on fishing trips, with outboard motors and sheared pins between the prop and the pony. I don't remember how we got home on those occasions - possibly repurposed a different bolt and drove very carefully around the rocks and sandbanks.

A tractor framed by the cash crop. As the fire burned both nights I thought of the time that was burning: when was the tree planted, how many salaries did its fruit help to pay, how many families ate the harvest ?

We hiked up in the Colorado National Monument, where Christopher added to his collection of Junior Ranger badges. It's a gorgeous piece of ground with one of the classic Colorado bike rides traversing it on the Rim Rock drive. One day.

Sunset over the Roost.

The Roost gets all the pixels, so here for a change is a view in the other direction, from the shaky corner of the deck. This point is some eight feet off the ground: walking on the deck here gets some sympathetic vibrations going and the whole edifice shudders.

Next morning before leaving, we caught the last of the morning breezes to put a couple of kites up. I'd been frustrated before by these kites' erratic diving. Today we had a twenty-five foot tail for the dragon kite, and a three-way six footer for the triangular box kite, which worked far better until the wind finally faded.

Here the dragon gets off the ground.

Then it's time to go again, back to cubicle prison to earn my daily crust.