"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mountain Rain

Having been a Florida boy for most of my life, rain in the mountains is something different.  There are times when  we are actually in the bottoms of the clouds, which is like being in a thick fog while it's raining.  Something I never experienced in Florida.  A hard rain in the mountains is nothing like a hard rain in Central or South Florida.  I've been in rain on the road that was so hard, you couldn't see the end of your hood.  Wipers on high were merely there to let you know you couldn't see any farther than that.  I was once caught in a downpour on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa that had come down so hard and so fast that the runoff into the storm sewer system was causing manhole covers in the road to dance.  I'm pretty sure there are some people who find that hard to believe, but it's true.  Water was ejecting straight up into the air through the hook hole and around the edges.  Made me think of Noah's flood and the passage that talks about the fountains of the deep breaking open.

I'm glad we don't really get anything like that here. At least I haven't experienced it and haven't heard any of the locals say that it has happened.  Yesterday it rained softly pretty much all day long.  Occasionally the wind picked up a little, which had me going out to straighten or adjust the plastic sheeting over the chicks or on one of the arks.

I moved the chicks to the flat area behind the house, up from the area near the azaleas in the front most part of the yard. They are up against the beginning of the steep rise up to the next road above our house.  After putting the plastic sheeting on, I piled leaves in between the hill and the cage to provide some more insulation and hold the edge of the sheeting down.  They all seem quite content there.  The nice thing is that we can sit at the dining room table and eat or study Torah and look up and see them all there, just beyond the back porch.

We had had five straight days of dry cool weather with mostly sun.  It was quite nice, since it allowed me to be out in the yard cutting firewood wearing nothing but shorts and producing copious amounts of vitamin D.  I  think I'm beginning to see a connection between the vitamin D and sleeping better.  I'm really glad to see that most of that stupid hysteria about tanning is beginning to wane. That bunch of pseudo science and the bunk about salt have always been a thorn to me.

Because of the rain, we didn't let the fire die out in the late morning so we could clean the stove out and start fresh.  The previous three days, I wouldn't even light the fire until after 21:00.  Even CassPurr noticed the chill that becomes more felt from all that moisture in the air.  Several times a day he would end up laying at just the right distance from the stove.

About once an hour, we just toss in one or two small logs or pieces.  You could tell if the stove was hungry just by walking through the kitchen.  When I was cutting wood out in the yard the other day, I looked around our yard and just marveled at the amount of deadfall that I had available, even before I start cutting down any trees.

My winter vegetables really perked up from the soaking rain. With a steady temperature of about 52° F, you could almost see them growing.  We have picked and eaten salad almost every day.  Even gave a bunch away to friends who were visiting.  The Swiss chard has really perked up and grown more.  One of the varieties of that plant is called rhubarb, because the stem and veins of the plant are red.  Actually more like ranging from fucshia to ruby. We also have some that has bright yellow stems.  I guess you could say the Swiss chard tastes like spinach, except the leaves are slightly thicker and crunchier.  Which makes me want to say something to all my readers who might be thinking, "Spinach? Yuck!"

L -R: Broccoli, Iceberg lettuce, Brussel sprouts

I got news for you, fresh, green leafy vegetables right out of the garden don't taste anything like what you buy in the supermarket. That even goes for the fresh produce aisle.  It goes double for the frozen section, and it goes quadruple for the canned goods. Fresh greens out of my garden are as pleasant to eat as Iceberg or Romaine lettuce.  Yes, they have their own distinct flavors, but there is nothing bitter or odd tasting about them.  It's something you have to experience to understand.  Just like when I picked a pea pod right off the vine in front of a guest and had him taste it.  He couldn't believe the sweet deliciousness.  I explained that once it was picked, in four days that flavor would pretty much be gone, which is why you just can't get that kind of quality from a supermarket.

The broccoli is a bit more slow growing than I expected, but it looks beautiful.  The heads are about the size of baseballs now.  I have a dozen more broccoli seedlings on the front porch, along with several other varieties of early spring greens. I still don't see any sign that the little cabbage like heads are going to form on the Brussel sprout plants, but I must be patient.  I'm starting some Salsify once again.  I don't know if it was the grasshoppers or some other insect that likes it so much, but two other attempts at growing it failed because once the sprouts got about 3" high, something would eat it.  I'm sprouting this batch in the porch greenhouse.

I haven't posted to this blog as much as I wanted.  Not because there isn't plenty to blog about, but because I'm extremely busy keeping up with all this stuff.  One of the next projects is to build a mini outside greenhouse over an area of prepared mulch to grow some fresh greens for when the freezes get severe.  I want another mini greenhouse outside somewhere to start my tomato and pepper plants.

It's starting to get light outside, so off I go.   Shalom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please don't make me disable comments because you couldn't maintain decorum and civil discourse. You can disagree all you want to, just don't get nasty.