I am writing this post in late August, the 22nd actually, and a large thunderstorm has just passed over the east side of the Cascades. We don’t often get moisture this time of year, so it was a surprise, lovely and luscious and more than a little bit scary. Hopefully there is enough rain in the storm to offset any chance of lightning strikes starting more fires. The temperatures have dropped considerably this afternoon, and I had to actually put on a pair of sweat pants.
The month of August seemed to fly by, and somehow one of our favorite little gatherings slipped by without even a mention. For the past 11 years, Klamath Blues Society has hosted a Brats, Brews, and Blues Festival at the Pelican Marina in Klamath Falls. It usually runs from early afternoon to about 7 in the evening, with local blues bands on the venue for some delightful entertainment. The bands come and go and are at various levels of excellence, but for a small out of the way town like Klamath, it is still great fun to go listen to music on the shore of the lake and pay 20 bucks for a bratwurst and 6 beer tickets.
Each of those tickets buys a very small sampler of beer. but It's all for a good cause, with proceeds from the event go to Camp Evergreen, a youth bereavement camp run by Klamath Hospice for children who have lost loved ones. A couple of local breweries are there to peddle their wares and this year the midges were absent and the weather was perfect. This year the event was in early August, and for once, Mo and I weren’t off traveling somewhere.
Even more perfect, my daughter Melody and son-in-law Kevin were the emcee’s for the event and my daughter Deborah now lives close enough to join us for a great afternoon. It was sooo much fun. We ran into our neighbors, Wes and Gayle, who enjoyed the event as well. Not as much as I did though, since I had my daughters there to get me up out of my chair and dancing. Once I started, there was no stopping. I would try, but then that dang beat would keep me going and laughing like crazy and trying to keep from falling on my face, I just kept on dancing with my girls. Haven’t had that much energetic fun in a very long time.
The other summer doings around here have been a bit less delightful. Our giant ponderosa pines have very long needles, lots of them, and every summer it is a big job getting them off the roof. Mo is the ladder climber in the house, since I get wobbly and goofy up there. I can do the roof part, but that part where you get from the ladder to the roof not so much. I watched her up there, holding the ladder for her ascent and helping jockey the blower cord around so it didn’t get in the way.
Other excitement around here has been even more subtle. I have been watching flowers bloom and trees grow while Mo mows. She built this place a year before I knew her and I was comparing some of the photos of what it looked like in 2002 and what it looks like now. It is so much fun seeing tiny little trees that were a foot or so high now reaching for the sky at more than 30 feet. Something has “grabbed” in the last couple of years and everything is growing like crazy. Starting to look like a jungle out there in spite of the challenging climate we have here in the mountains.
Somewhere toward the end of July we traveled a few miles east to the Running Y Resort for their “big” garden tour. One of the gardens there was carved out of all that rocky basalt with an incredible amount of work and planning. She won “gardener of the year” for some sort of statewide thing, and said she was amazed that she won over some of those lush Portland landscapes. We drove through the resort roads from garden to garden, marveling at the variety of stuff that could be grown in a dry rocky landscape.
I also thought that I should have a garden tour of my own! Instead, when the kids come to visit, I just take them on the “garden walk”, telling them how things are doing and what is what in my Rocky Point landscape.
I still have issues with the deer, spraying the very smelly Liquid Fence at least every two weeks to keep mama deer and her babies out of my flowers. When we got back from the last trip she had nipped a couple of flower heads off the rudbeckia sunflowers, a plant I thought deer didn’t eat, but she hadn’t touched anything else. Next door at Wes and Gayle’s, she even ate all the herbs on the porch. I didn’t think deer liked strong flavored herbs, but I guess since all my flowers tasted like rotten eggs and old milk she figured something was better than nothing. Go me! Sorry, Gayle.