Saturday, March 17, 2012

That Big, Bright, Round Thing in the Sky

Tammy and I are back from an extended (for us) trip away from the farm.  We don't travel much, though it might not seem like this were true if we listed all of our roaming around this year so far.  But, this sabbatical thing for Tammy only happens every so often.  And, there were things that were done in her official capacity on this trip as well.  Even so, we both had moments of guilt mixed in with the enjoyment of seeing some beautiful things (see our prior blog posts for some of our best pictures of our travels).

I was tempted to write a quick note to Mother Nature and ask her why she saw fit to put so many beautiful days in Iowa while we are away.  Maybe she knows we can handle the adversity?  In any event, we should send a note to Florence, Oregon apologizing for bringing the nasty (for them) weather that came their way while we were present.  It's our understanding that they don't get snow at all often.  We checked their annual snowfall average charts.  It is essentially a straight line all year at 0".   Ups.  We hope you can get over the 4-6" that came your way our last evening there.  The snow made things beautiful, but it also took down alot of trees and power lines. 

Another thing about heavy snow on the branches of very tall trees.  A little bit of wind sends heavy snow blobs down from on high.  We found that trees can win any snowball fight they wish if they really want to.

The weather wasn't really all that bad and beautiful places in Oregon look good in whatever weather they happen to be dressed in.  On top of that, we were prepared for 'the worst,' so the spells where it wasn't raining and the bits of sun here and there were extra bonuses for us.  And, since we're not used to crowds, it made a difference to be there in the "off season."  All in all, it was trip we'd be willing to repeat, if we are given the chance.  Favorite hike had to be by the Haceda Head Light House, but the hike in Silver Falls Park might have rivaled it if we hadn't felt we should cut it a bit short (remember the trees had too many snow balls to throw).  Latourrel Falls wins for most excellent photo ops, etc  but our best photos were of the North Falls at Silver Falls Park.  We didn't manage to get very close to it, but the picture was stunning from the overlook we had a chance to stop at.

We spent a good deal of time staring at the waves as they came rolling in, or paying our respects to some really big trees.  We were amazed by the complexity to be found in light house lenses and learned to tell the difference between the different sounds of water.  The robins of the forest greeted us and the elk deigned to glance our way.  We even took a liking to lichen.

On top of it all, Tammy got to tour Wartburg West and see some of her students there.  She also visited food banks in Denver and Portland, presented at a conference in Portland and was able to be present when her colleague, Susan Vallem was the esteemed presenter of the Ron Federico lecture.  Social Workers...pretty darned good people with an interest in making things better for everyone.  Got to like them!

Now the farmer and his Social Worker bride are back home.  We are now acclimated to being outside in rain and 47 degrees Fahrenheit.  What's with this sun, wind and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in March?  We cleaned up a couple of plots with the intent of planting spinach and some cover crops tomorrow.  We also worked on cleaning up the new area where the cold frames are going this year.  We'll put in another full day before the rain hits us Sunday night.

We loved Oregon, but it is good to be back home in Iowa.

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