27 February 2008

time flies

The Guest Dog (from my previous post) and Finn had met before, and it was these folks who had introduced us to the Marymor Dog Park. So we didn’t have any reason to believe that the dogs wouldn’t get along. And they did get along, only “having words” when they both attempted to chase the same toy. But I swear Finn would look at Guest Dog and then look at us as if to ask “this guy isn’t really staying here, is he?”

Finn giving Guest Dog the evil eye....

Finn posing in the garden.

We took full advantage of Swanson’s Early Spring Sale and bought a bunch of bare root plants, in addition to a few potted numbers. We removed the camellia over the winter and replaced it with a trio of vine maples, and where we removed a cotoneaster, we planted a hydrangea, and Eric planted a heather garden. Then last week we removed a couple of scraggly unidentified bushes from the back yard, and replaced them with three dogwoods: Ivory Halo Redtwig, Ivory Halo Yellowtwig and Cardinal Redosier Dogwood. Thinking about the garden already, we (finally) pulled out the roses and planted two raspberry plants and a dwarf honeycrisp apple tree. The blueberries have buds that are about to pop, as do the clematis that surround the front door. The crocus have been showing off for a bit now, and the garlic bulbs are popping up. We’ll be starting vegetable starts this week: scallions, spinach, peppers, and herbs.

Eric's heather garden

garlic sprout

clematis by the front door

crocus and bearded iris

a veritable dogwood forest

Just for fun, I took a photo of the lunar eclipse, though it pretty much resembles a cottony, half -eaten blob….

After much hemming and hawing and generally avoiding the tiny yarn and swizzle sticks, I am attempting my first sock. I flew down to Irvine this weekend (business trip, really, but I only had to work on Monday, so I flew down early to spend the weekend with Zoe and her parents [and grandparents!]), and as I awaited my outbound flight, I cast on and got to work on the Yarn Harlot’s Basic Sock Recipe. I was seated facing east, and as the sun rose, I basked in the sunshine and took more pictures than was really necessary of my meager progress. Mind you, all this photography was not an attempt to brag—I didn’t even think the subject matter was so spectacular, but the lighting was great. I have been forced to take so many photos for the blog with a flash or with terrible artificial lighting over the winter (since we’re typically not home during daylight hours), that I jumped on the chance to take about twenty.

My photo fervor continued on the plane, where I took pictures of Mt Rainier (as usual). Being a land use planner and a quilter, I always study the land uses and landscape patterns in a quilty context when I observe the earth passing below, but I was especially intrigued this time with the patterns created both by nature (topography, waterbodies) and by man (straight property lines), and then man trying to imitate nature (the “freeform” clearcuts). These features become especially salient during the winter, when the remaining snow—that which melts out of the snow and water but stays on the ground— highlights these aspects.

just south of Mt Rainier, Washington

A clearcut is where commercial forestry removes all or most of the standing timber on a tract of land. Companies justify clearcuts because Douglas fir, the most desireable replacement tree over much of the West, grows best in full sun, but the practice is driven chiefly by economies of scale and maximum short-term profit. Unless ecological costs are factored in, it is easier, cheaper and more cost-effective to fall every stem on a given timber sale than to cut selectively. Square-edged clearcuts give a checkerboard or mangy appearance, most visible from the air and in winter when snow accentuates the cut. Molding the cutline to the contours of the land gives a softer visual aspect than rectilinear clearcuts, but it's more difficult to survey, cruise for stumpage, and carry out. While clearcuts promote forest fragmentation, they can develop into vigorous plant and animal communities when neither sprayed nor eroded. Related terms are logging side and logging show, and a current euphamism is "active stewardship." In "Elegy for a Forest Clear-cut by the Weyerhaeuser Company," poet David Wagoner describes "the slash and stumps" and "the cratered/Three square miles of your graveyard."
by Robert Michael Pyle, in Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, Barry Lopez, Ed. 2006.

Aw shucks, this girl is just the cutest thing ever…I’ll just give you some photos….

I made special arrangements to bring rain with me to Southern California, then I made Zoe walk around in it.

breakfast at the restaurant at Crystal Cove State Park

working off breakfast on the beach

dress-up at the Santa Ana Zoo

now you see me...

....now you don't!

I just don't understand what it is that mama sees in these turtle things...


Anonymous said...

I'll be up to visit the new dogwoods ASAP! And down to visit Zoe ASAP, too. What great photos!
And the clearcutting photo is astounding! Your garden looks to be off to a great start. And your photo of the eclipsed moon looks curiously like your dad's photo of same...


Heather said...

What a great update! I can't wait to move closer... looking forward to seeing you guys and your lovely home!

Wayfarer Scientista said...

all up to date now :) Isn't it great being an aunt?