Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The High Desert in a Drought Year

The dry bed of Cache creek meanders down from the mountains, through the canyon, where it passes 

under the public portion of our road through two large culverts, one of them now blocked by this gigantic tumble weed. Should we check with the neighbors and move it before the rains come, I wonder; it's on their land.

Yesterday morning, some clouds appeared, a good thing both for walking Samson, since his eyes are not supposed to be facing the sun, and also for taking some pictures. 

Working in my field.

As far as I'm concerned, this year's eternal sunshine is only good for taking pictures of my own shadow.

Cache creek continues on the other side of the road, where it looks pretty clogged up as well. I went to a lecture about the geology of the canyon the other evening and learned that although we are surrounded by three earthquake faults, including the San Andreas, and one of the largest earthquakes in California, a 7.2, hit Tehachapi in 1952 and pretty much wiped out the town; the greatest risk we face here in the canyon is from flooding. Now that I know, I will discuss the creek with my husband when he gets back home. 

The gray stuff you see here is grass. 

This is what grass looks like in our field right now.

Our front yard, cleared every spring to meet fire safety standard laws, looks like this. Usually, some grass would have popped up again by now. This year, nothing.

The same in our backyard. This may well be the reason I haven't felt like posting pictures from the canyon lately.

Sugar Pea flowers from our garden.

Other than suffering with blue skies and forever sunshine, we are doing better. While I'm still sad over losing Soldier, he truly was a great love of mine, I get to sleep through the night now that I no longer have to care for him. That makes a huge difference in how I feel. Hubby is away, helping a sick friend with an investment property. While he's away, I'm getting rid of stuff, purging, donating, putting in the trash, and loving it. 

Being alone here, but not being a cook, I simply HAD to pick, clean, chop, and cook the last of the vegetables from our garden. I couldn't let them go to waste, so one day, I just did it. And now, for the first time in my life, I have cooked a huge pot of collard greens! Of this I am proud, even though they tasted nothing like my husband's greens. But after sitting for a few days, they were OK. I baked the beets from a recipe in The Joy of Cooking, and they came out so good that I was sorry to be the only one eating them. Carrots, being carrots, got steamed and tasted OK, after some doctoring with various herbs and spices. And I now have a greater appreciation for all the work involved in his cooking ~ I was totally exhausted at the end of the day. 

As you can perhaps see, I'm a bit annoyed with mommy for not letting me blog.

Samson says: WOOF, WOOF, at the rate mommy is going (slow) I probably never will get to blog again. Love you my Gracie, miss you and all my blogger friends.

Me: Don't worry Samson, you'll be back, promise!


  1. i have tried to cook greens that taste like my mothers, and never have, it would seem easy to cook, but they are not. good girl for doing it. Samson looks wonderful even if he is pouting.
    and your canyon is really really dry. but guess what? to me it is beautiful. what you see as drought and nothing there, to me who sees nothing but green and tropics, it if beautiful. even the tumbleweeds you hate. and the grass i adore. your header is gorgeous... so take those photos, i want to see them.

  2. Oh it is so lovely to see you back for a bit my dear Inger you have been missed. I wish you would get some rain but not too much. I have never tasted Collard greens and I have also wondered what to do with 10 lbs of beets I have sitting here you will have to let me know your secret recipe.
    The tumble weed in your neighbours culvert well I do not know much well I must admit nothing about tumbleweeds but I would assume it would not block the water but act as a filter for other blockages while still letting the water through but I do not know.
    I missed you Samson and give Mom a tail way for me would you. HUGS xo B

  3. samson, you are adorable!!!

    the drought just breaks my heart...

    (as for wintering here, we can get into the teens and have ice and snow - but each winter is different...)

  4. Thanks Inger guess what My Hero will be trying for supper tonight? :) Hug B

  5. Hej! Kul och höra från dig. Det var väldigt vad torrt ni har.
    Bra att du kan ta vara på era grönsaker som ni verkar ha vattnat, de ser fina ut.
    Vi har rätt varmt här, idag var det +16 grader.
    Kram från Sverige

  6. So nice to see you here Inger.

    As for Collard greens, I know how to cook those (you need a bit of salt pork - my grandmother always did that and a small shot of clear hot pepper sauce). Greens are bland, sometimes she'd add a bit of bacon.

    If you don't want the meat, perhaps your hub uses some Creole spices? The turnip greens and collards here in the north aren't as good as the southern latitudes.
    Hope the drought conditions improve in your canyon.

  7. That tumbleweed can start accumulating other debris and cause the creek to flood. I see Samson still likes his vantage point. Even tho the everything is so dry the blue skies make for beautiful pictures, keep them coming.

  8. You didn't expect your collard greens to be as good as his, did you? That man can cook--LOVE his gumbo!!

  9. Dear Inger, I'm glad to come to your blog and find this posting. I'm sure that the dry bed of the creek could be flooded if you had a thunderstorm. Then the water would come rushing down the culverts.

    That happened on the farm where I grew up. We had a bridge over the creek and a flash flood came roaring by and took the bridge with it. Peace.

  10. You will always have Soldier in your heart, I remember how sad I was when our family dog passed away whom had been in my life since I was 3. The canyon is looking very beige, hopefully you will get some grass soon, in the meantime blue skies and shadow photos will do nicely! I hope you are well Inger, Hugs! Hayley-Eszti

  11. It's great to hear from you, Inger. Although the canyon is so dry, I still love seeing pictures of it. The landscape is so different from where I was raised and continue to live. Hoping for no big rains or fires for you though; just a small shower to dampen the earth. Take care! ~Jeff

  12. Well I know what to pray for for you - RAIN. The drought does make it hard - we have been in a couple. I am glad to see you. Love your pooch and your veggies. sandie

  13. We are still in a drought here -- obviously the consequences not as steep as yours -- but it changes the landscape so drastically which takes years to recover.

    Look at you getting all domestic-like with your cooking. I've never had greens and am not much on beets, but I'd eat your carrots. :)

    Big hugs to Samson. xo

  14. Hi Inger! Welcome good to see you..r/shadow!
    I suppose we all get a little tired of the same ole scenery we see every day, but I find yours to be beautiful! I know the dangers of drought and floods are not good but your area is such a contrast to ours that I find it wonderful to see.
    Loved the photo of you and your shadow.
    And look at Samson in all his splendor.
    So good to see you and Sophie sends a special 'lick' just for you!!

  15. We're waiting for rain, too. Supposedly, our new home is in an area that gets four times as much rain as Aspen Meadows did... but we haven't seen much yet. One rain storm. That's it.

  16. We are not in a drought - we have rain every week now, and we are way over our annual precip of 18 inches. In fact its suppose to snow again for the 4th! time next week!

    So we will send you water if you send us sunshine!

    and love your cooking with Joy of cooking - that was my mom's go to cookbook and I inherited it!

    And no matter what Samson, you still are good lookin' ;) XOXOX

  17. Inger, it is so lovely to see you -- and your shadow -- come up on my blogroll! What a shame people can't share the weather -- too much rain here and more coming tomorrow :-(. Nevertheless the pictures show it all to be very beautiful despite the worrying dry conditions -- and the creek is a rather worrying site. Well done with your cooking up the collards -- not my favourites!

  18. I live in the Texas panhandle and we have had several years of horrible drought. My yard looks much like your yard. I love seeing your photos though. Samson, you are a beauty!

  19. Samson needs sun glasses. His future's so bright he has to wear shades.


  20. My mum used to boil greens to death. I'm not much of a cook, but try to do better.

    Your scenery and photos are marvellous!

  21. My mum used to boil greens to death. I'm not much of a cook, but try to do better.

    Your scenery and photos are marvellous!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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