The end of the year was…complicated, mostly due to my father nearly dying of a heart attack. (He’s doing quite well now.) I wasn’t really a functional human being, but I did get my camera out a couple times.
The first of the winter succulents to bloom: a species of Madagascar aloe.
Various wild mushrooms/toadstools growing out in the field.
The return of the mushrooms/toadstools, a larger species this time, thoroughly dusted with frost.
Fallen cottonwood leaves got similar embellishments.
I visited the Santa Margarita Wildflower Festival, a small to-do in a semi-local town. I’ve now got several packets of California-native flower seeds, which will be lovely additions to the existing collection on the property. Thus inspired, I took a few photos of what’s blooming at home right now. (Click to embiggen.)
Red Stemmed Filaree (an invasive non-native species, actually, but their seeds form spirals, and the green seed pods can be made into a pair of scissors for one’s pointless amusement, so I’m fond of them)
Freesia (okay, it’s not a wildflower, but it was blooming in the backyard when I went to head inside, so it got included)
Bonus points to me for remembering this time: camera settings! They’re a thing that exists! So I futzed about with my f-stops to get more interesting results in my depth of field. I’m so rusty at doing Proper Photography ™, but I got some decent shots this time, yeah?
Yeah, okay, starting this up against might be a New Year’s resolution type thing. Just a little. :D
The last couple months of 2015 really knocked me on my ass. I’ll be posting about it a bit, but I also don’t want to dwell too much. My goal right now is to build up a new routine, for my somewhat-new life, that lets me get back to what I love while also…you know…eating.
At the moment, that means engaging with life as usual at home. With a couple light storms behind us and a big one coming this week, priority one was disking the property. Not my department personally–Mum’s run the tractor around nearly all the areas. The exciting thing about that, though, is it also means the fields will be ready for planting soon.
I planted daffodil bulbs today, but I’ve still got the second half to put in another spot. We’re trying to get up some money to order wildflower seeds for the main field. Last year’s sunflowers were something of a disappointment, so I’m keen to give something else a chance. The small front field is going to get squash and vegetables again. The real challenge: finding more tactics to use against the recurring pest problems. Bloody gophers and ground squirrels, eating my pumpkins!
Though the rain has brought up green everywhere, it’s also been very cold. It’s still solidly winter. My gardening plans are a little bit wishful thinking and a little bit groundwork for later. Being busy feels good, though, after a couple months dominated by anxious waiting.
The Brewer’s and Red-Winged blackbirds have been out in force. As are the two sparrow groups I haven’t identified confidently yet. They all like to pick through the horses’ grain, so the winter scarcity hasn’t deterred them. The collared doves have been less active than usual; I hadn’t noticed at first that they haven’t been wandering around noisily. I’m still waiting for the grackles to return. I’ve seen a few in the past couple months, but no regular presence.