One more note about storms. . .

. . .then I promise to change the subject. But the whole storm thing seems to have touched something primal.

I got a nice note from Phil about his enjoyment of storms in Cornwall, and the comment he made about the rustling of the bamboo reminded me that I once bought a house because of a sound like that. The house was in a densely packed suburban neighborhood, but it had an open atrium-style courtyard in the center, and someone had planted a row of jack pines or some equally scrawny pine trees along the side fence. When the wind blew, which was frequently in this near-the-coast location, the pines whispered. I think that sense of being out in the forest was why I bought the house.

This morning was busy. I had planned to read and write today (it’s pretty darned cold here right now), but Ralph offered to help dig in the garden, so I put on my mud shoes (which are truly living up to that name at the moment–I’m going to have to go clean them before they become adobe shoes at their current weight of about 5 lbs. each), a light jacket, found my pruning shears, and trotted off to the garden to tend the raspberry patch while Ralph dug. It’s the worst possible time to prune anything; there are still big freezes coming. But this is the only time of the year that you can actually see into the berry patch to find the dead canes and give the a proper burial in the trash heap. Then I got started pulling blackberries out of the blueberry patch–same thing, with the leaves off the blueberries you can actually see the noxious stuff.

We are cursed (some might say blessed but they’ve never lived in a subtropical rainforest) with three distinct varieties of blackberries. We have two bush styles, one I call mountain blackberries (I don’t know what the real varietal name is, but the have very large berries rather bland in flavor and leaves of a shape similar to maple leaves). Then we have the Himalayas, a very lacy leaf, vicious thorns, and small but VERY flavorful berries. Then we have the ground berries, the truly obnoxious ones. They put out runners that root every place they touch the ground. I battle them constantly in the garden. The weather is supposed to hold about like this, so maybe I’ll get some more of them out tomorrow. We have so much moisture here I’ve seen a blackberry grow more than 4 feet in one day, and it’s just not fair.


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