Sunday, May 27, 2012

Things to get used to.

Doing goats before a storm.
Now that the trees are almost completely full of leaves, I've really been able to notice the distinctive differences between tree-lined streets here versus other places I've lived. For one, most all of the trees are deciduous. There are no prolific numbers of pines and evergreen oaks, and (of course), no redwoods. I also haven't seen a eucalyptus here, which make sense since even those in Davis suffer when a frost hits. There are a lot more maples of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are more elms, and different kinds of oaks (including a lot of burr oaks). Last weekend, I went to a meeting to start a 'Friends of Decorah Parks' group at one of my favorite parks. We went for a walk along the wooded bluff afterwards, and I tried my best to identify the trees with my book ... and it felt really overwhelming. I love trees, I take notice of landscaping, and plants can make a place a home. So realizing that so many of the trees were unfamiliar, and there were very few familiar trees, made me feel very overwhelmed. Even the landscaping is unfamiliar to me! While there are plenty of junipers, we have larkspur and peonies instead of agapanthus and heavenly bamboo. I never realized how comfortable that familiarity was.

Regardless, I like maples. And I really like the tree-lined streets, where the trees are so old they shade the road with their pretty maple leaves. And peonies smell delightful.

I'm also having to adjust to a different set of weather patterns here. First, it rains outside of winter - which is weird for a girl who grew up in California. And not only does it rain, but it thunderstorms. The first few times I was freaked out because thunder is loud, and I don't like loud noises. But yesterday morning a thunderstorm woke me up, and it's rolling thunder with sparks through the sky were pleasant and lovely to think of and hear. I need to adjust my view of storms, however. If I hear of a storm, and see there's a Hazard Weather Warning, usually I think none the different. These things happen all the time in California since people just like to get excited about different weather. But here, it actually means something. There could be a tornado coming with all those winds - so when the emergency bell rings, you have to run home (and we did). I have never seen a sky turn green like that, and standing in the rain waiting for the winds to come feels both dangerous and exciting. Hail can damage your car (and can come with any storms, despite it being May), and the wind is substantial. People don't go out in storms, and I had the pleasure of being caught out in one which now helps me fully realize that it is not just some little bit of rain. It can pour so hard and so fast that you can't see the road two feet in front of you.
One of my new additions, a house plant!

We had a pretty substantial storm this week, bringing much needed rain (have I told you that we don't irrigate, counting on the rain instead? What is this?!). The winds were so intense, it took down several trees, tore apart all of the isolation tents at Seed Savers Exchange, and destroyed Tor's goat shelter. Yes, the entire shelter. It looks as though the wind lifted it up, threw it over the fence and down a hill. You could see pieces of the shelter littered down the hill, spaced so much so that it looked out of a movie. And I thought we'd be okay if we caught a bit of the storm while milking goats.

Wednesday was the last frost date, so we're planing all of our tomatoes. And on the other scale of the weather, today will the the hottest day we've had since I've lived here - up to 93 degrees. You can already feel the warm air seeping in as I get my first experience of substantial humidity. This will be new too, but I'm confident I can handle it. Everyone just gets sweaty together.

1 comment:

  1. Larkspur and peonies for agapanthus and heavenly bamboo sounds like an excellent trade to me!