Thursday, April 7, 2011

Snow, Rain, Frisky Animals

My husband was working on creating a curving stairway of cement block yesterday when the storm hit.  It was very sudden; in Hilo, where I work, it was sunny and then suddenly bucketing rain, thunder and lightning with no gap, right over our heads.  My son said that in the hour and a bit that he was in trig, the campus runoff ditches turned into rivers, that there was a waterfall over the culvert near the Learning Center.  Unfortunately, as I said, my husband was mixing cement.  I imagine that was a bit of a mess.

I am not sure of the purpose of the stairs, but they sure look nice.  Our house is set into a hill with a daylight basement.  On one side of the house we have a lava rock wall which curves around from the driveway down to the basement area (next to the new greenhouse).  In the platform created by that wall, we have our pump house, solar water heating panels and a small area that we’ve always intended to make into a small garden of sorts.  My husband took out some of the rock wall and created a curving pathway, in which he is setting cement blocks as stairs/stepping stones.  It looks cool and I am looking forward to the finished project and what he is planning to do with that area. 

The smell of the snow on the mountain in clear every time I step outside.  It is pretty far – at least an hour’s drive, but that cold smell must travel.  It is fairly chilly for Hilo today, not see your breath chilly like it gets up at my house (up mauka), but chilly for Hawaii.  I am a little frustrated with my 13 year old’s insistence that he doesn’t need a jacket.  It isn’t “cool”, I imagine, to wear a jacket – or maybe he is worried he will lose it, like the last one.  The cold is making the animals, who come with their own jackets, frisky and playful.  I am feeling bad for the ewes: we had this unseasonably warm winter and they were panting in their wool winter coats, but now they’ve shed and it is cool – but judging by the playfulness out there, I think they’re doing okay. 

This weekend, I definitely need to deal with the mess the heavy rains have made in my animal housing and do some deep cleaning out there.  If I have the time, I am hoping to get to that lemon marmalade project.  Lemons are great because they pretty much hang out on the tree until you are ready to pick them, even if they are ripe.  You can have blossoms, immature fruit, and mature fruit all at the same time. 

Speaking of citrus, I was excited to see some blossoms on my navel orange and grapefruit tree – the latter is as old as the lemon, but the fruit that is growing (one grapefruit) now is the first I have seen on it.  The navel orange tree is pretty young, and has produced only one (very delicious) orange, ever.  It was a very unprepossessing looking fruit, and we thought it would be woody or sour, but when we cut it open it had to be the best orange I have ever eaten – I am hoping this summer that I get at least 5.  Citrus takes such a long time to mature,. 

The olive trees I have yet to plant are already getting some blossoms – I think I should pinch them off, because the trees are so tiny – sacrifice this November’s possible olives for a long and fruitful growth of the trees.  Farming is often an exercise in patience, isn’t it?  It’s a good reminder, because I am so often impatient with myself and the multitude of things I need to do and to learn. 


RAILBIRD said...

Sounds like an old fashion Michigan thunderstorm

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

I'm envious of your citrus trees. We just can't seem to grow 'em here. We've had the buckets of rain also, and snow in the hills close to us. Hail fell hard the other day, luckily no wind, so no blossoms blew off the plum and pear trees that are blooming.

NancyDe said...

@Ruth: I am envious of your plum and pears! I am looking for something low (almost) no chill to grow. I know some people grow apples just up the road from me - just a tad higher in elevation.

@Railbird: I don't remember thunderstorms- all I remember is leeches in the lake (yuck) and snow under my mittens where it rubs against the soft part of your wrist. And snowballs that packed into ice in Frisk's hooves that were really hard for a small kid to dig out with a hoofpick....oh, wait.... I do remember that Lydia used to try to hide under my bed when there was thunder!