Thursday, July 21, 2011

Down by the River

Yesterday, after the strawberries and raspberries were picked, we went down to the river. 
It's a beautiful little section with heavy shade making deep green quiet pools, but right in the middle, there is a shallow, rocky area where the water runs fast, rushing over the rocks, carrying the leaves like little boats. 
Yes, I admit we watched a few leaves and made up mini kayaker stories. They didn't fare too well, plunging over the falls. Until we invented the submersible kayak, so everyone was just fine. Maybe that's too much information...but it was fun. It's true, we have quite similar thinking patterns, my son and I. How did that happen?

 Even though there is a huge garden down the driveway, I wanted something close up to the house, so Elijah gave me some tomato and pepper plants they'd started and I made a little mini garden. There are also radish seeds in there. I expect to see them coming up tomorrow

The plant growing above the little garden is a parcha vine!!! 
I had no idea they grew in this climate, but there it is. I hope it fruits.

View down the driveway. It's a long, long driveway! But people make there way up here every day to buy strawberries and raspberries at the honor system fruit stand. It's also where Elijah and Buffy sell their jams. It's also where we're going to sell hot sauce. 
Honor system, really, and yes, it works.

There is a wool mill on the farm that is Janet's world. She loves to teach others and one of the others is a girl staying here named Buffy. She is as un-Buffy a person as it is possible to be. She is learning how to work the wool - this is a piece of felt she made. She showed me the process, how the wool is picked (to get out any burrs or poop bits, then washed, dried, and run through a big machine, to make batting. The photo of the orange piece below is a piece of batting. The batting can be all one color, or many pieces of colored or natural wool can be laid out and run through. It's a beautiful thing.

 Buffy's felt - the felt is sold as a piece and by the ounce

 A bag of wool ready to be laid out for batting

These are some shots from down at the river. These funny little water bugs were there, which I first thought were shadows of blossoms...until they started moving. This is just a little magical section of the Mattole River. In the afternoon, we went by some friends of Elijah's who live on a tributary of the river. There were a couple people there who were monitoring the steelheads (salmon). Sadly, they continue to decline. The laws on fishing this river are incredibly restricted to reinvigorate the fish, and hopefully there will be a turnaround in the near future.

 Okay, biology people, what is that thing?

 I didn't see the blade of grass when I got this photo, but I like it anyway. I tried to get one in flight but like the elusive hummingbird photos, I've got a ways to go before I'm that quick. If ever.

 Nesta, checking out something down the river.

Here is a little video of a moment on the Mattole

It's just all good. And getting better. I'm wearing my Luckiest Woman in the World crown and it is as bright as the sun. Right this very second (I'm sitting on the porch), there is a hummingbird checking me out, about a foot from my head. Whirrrrrring and clicking. My camera is inside...another time, California hummer. I can wait.

Off to make strawberry ginger jam. And whatever else the day brings.

Have a turnaround Thursday! Do something troublefree.


  1. Looks like a water strider to me.

  2. Bob, you win! That's exactly what it is (looked it up at your suggestion). There's a photo of this page about half way down. Weirdly, we couldn't see the bug on top of the water at all, though my son did think it was a shadow. I thought the shadow was the thing (it's fun & mirrors in my brain)

  3. I was introduced to the honor system in rural Connecticut while visiting Lewis' dad several years ago. I was amazed! They put preserves and honey and corn and tomatoes out here by the road, and you just put money in the jar?! And no one steals it?! WHAT?! I am still amazed that people do it and I hope that those that do continue to be honored by lack of thievery.

  4. Deb, I feel the same. It used to be done when I was growing up, on south Merritt Island with avocados, citrus, etc. The houses were usually an acre back off the worked then and happily, out here, it works still.