A Wet Season

So, today is Sunday and not Monday. Usually Sundays are my chore day. That translates to my “day off”, which means I spend the day doing laundry, cleaning cat boxes, washing everyone’s feeders and waterers, cleaning chicken coops and mowing or weed-whacking. I usually enjoy the day because it means I’m not sitting in front of a computer. That, and there’s something fulfilling about restoring some sort of order where there’s been nothing but chaos for the previous six days.

But after last night’s noisy storm (I put a blanket beside the bed for Moosie and that kept him off my head), it’s raining today. A slow, steady, dry-ground-satisfying rain. As always happens on days like these, the clouds have lowered over the top of House Mountain, which I can usually see when I’m at my computer. Gentle gray tendrils of mist trail down the side of that old volcano, filling the creases and folds. The massive cottonwoods between me and the mountain are glistening and an impossible green. At least, where there aren’t ragged scars where the trees have been wind-pruned.

Since I really don’t much like working outside in the rain–I dislike having to wear a raincoat when it’s warm and I don’t like trying to see through rain-speckled glasses—here I am at the computer, doing Monday’s work so I can do Sunday’s work tomorrow.

It was just beginning to dribble at dawn this morning when I went out to release my critters. I always watch the ground as I leave the turkey coop and start for the alley where the sheep spend their night. This area, near the sycamore tree that the wind pruned to half its bulk last week, is “Sand Burr City”. Between the sheep, who eat the green parts of that plant before the burrs burst out, and my aggressive mowing last year, I thought I’d done better than decimate those nasty things. Apparently not.

I hate those plants. If you happen to get a burr stuck to you, you can end up spending ten minutes trying to remove it from various fingers. I watched Bear take one out of his fur the other day (it’s time to shave him again) then spend a good three minutes trying to get it off his tongue. Just as I came to help, he managed to toss his head just right and off it went.

At any rate, I had my rain-speckled glasses aimed at my rubber-croc-covered toes as I walked to avoid the burrs and I came across this little wood chip. In case you can’t tell from the image, it’s only about six inches long. When you see something like this, all by itself right there in the grass, you have to acknowledge that’s it’s been a pretty wet season.

I’m not the only one who has mushrooms showing up. My neighbor’s cottonwood stump burst out with huge, beautiful, fluted white native Oyster mushrooms last week. I haven’t looked recently, but I’m guessing I have Oysters as well on my standing stump. I can no longer see the fallen log that I plugged with my purchased Oyster spore. Those tasty guys were a pretty golden color. I can’t see that log because it’s completely overrun by blackberries. If you remember, this winter I cut back the blackberries on that hillside all the way to the ground. Right now, it looks like I never touched them. They’re easily four feet high and there are blackberries on some of these new canes.

Ah, the miracle of water from the sky.

(PS Now that I’ve finished this, I don’t have anything else to do. I think I’ll go build a chicken coop under a dry roof.)

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