Monday, June 28, 2010

Preview Of Coming Attractions And My Morning Here In The Canyon

Before I begin, I would like to welcome two new followers of my blog:  Amy, a mom in the UK, who blogs here:  At Home With Amy and Lynda, whose blog from a large farm in Tanzania I have followed and loved since I first started blogging last fall. You can find Lynda's blog here: Food, Fun And Farm Life In East Africa

This morning, I looked through the 2010 visitor's guide to Tehachapi that came with the weekly paper. And I realized that this is a truly alive and vibrant place. Why is it, I wondered, that when I was able to visit all these places, I only went to very few. Now I look at them with longing. So my friends, I promise you (and myself too) that when I'm out of this darned sling, we'll go and look at some of them together.

Here's a preview of places to visit: A convent (has a fabulous gift shop, with all kinds of home-made jams and such), a Buddhist monastery, Tomo Kahni State Historic Park that preserves an ancient village and ceremonial sites of the Kawaiisu Indian people of this region. This area is also home to an ostrich ranch, several alpaca ranches and there are even some reindeer not too far from where I live. We have vineyards, apple farms, lilac farms and wind farms. According to the guide, Tehachapi has the largest wind resource area in California. Up there, among the wind turbines, you may see wild mustangs running free. Oh, I wish – I have been looking for them. Then, of course, we have the world-famous Tehachapi Loop, where the rail line climbs in a spiral over itself so that the front of a long train actually travels over its rear cars (see photo above). This engineering feat enabled trains to travel from Bakersfield (400 ft) through Tehachapi (4,025 ft) to Mojave (2,700 ft) and on to points south and east. The engineer who designed the loop in the late 1800's is said to have observed how mules and donkeys traversed the steep mountain by circling up the mountainside. Are you getting excited about taking little day trips with me? I am!

After breakfast, I went to the shed to plug in the lawnmower – it was pretty much charged, but I had unplugged it a while ago.

I wanted to cut this scary patch of tall, and by now, completely dried up grass under a juniper tree.

I got my camera while I waited and took this picture of the crazy little "forest" that's by now growing from the roots of my tree that died – that is the top died. I think the buds froze, but I really don't know. It happened to both of the cottonwood trees here.

New branches are also growing on the tree itself. So maddening, this.

A close-up of the little "forest."

All this distracted me (you have to watch that at my age) and I promptly forgot about the lawnmower and decided to get my trusty kitchen scissors and cut back and/or pull up the tall weeds that grew next to the fence. I got a lot of that done and raked it up (not an easy thing, raking with one arm) and put it away.

Then, on my way back to the shed, I got distracted again by these mustard weeds that by now have reached gigantic proportions. So I stopped to cut some of them back too. It was really hard, so I left most of them for another day.

By the time I got the lawnmower out, it was after eight and it was getting hot. I started to mow under the juniper, but decided I better do it early tomorrow morning. So instead I mowed a bit of the weeds on the north side of the house, but it was getting too hot, and I stopped for today.

Before I went inside, I took the kiddy pool out of the shed and filled it with water, thinking Angel and Princess would welcome it in the heat. No way, it was totally ignored by both.

After I cleaned up the dog run and rinsed it off, I came in the house and cleaned the birdcage, fed Pippi Birdie, and gave him fresh water.

Then I went online and checked the weather alert from AOL:

For the past several weeks this is all I've seen, little round suns! This morning I figured it will be like this for the next 100 – 125 days! Hopefully some clouds here and there, maybe even rain and a thunderstorm or two. But this is the weather you get if you decide to go live in a desert canyon. And I, for one, like the other 250 days much, much better.

And that was my morning. I hope you all had a nice morning too.


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