Isn't that such a wonderful word?! Having lived in the northern hemisphere all of my life, it brings to mind so many lovely memories... and this past holiday weekend just added more. Yes, I have been feeling a bit nostalgic - I think I am now at an age where holidays will frequently do that to me! Life is good.
The 4th was celebrated in the usual style; I headed up to Downieville for the 'backwards' parade, as Kathy B. calls it. That is because a few years back, she read one of my posts where I explained that the parade goes down the main street of town, then turns around and comes back....
Of course, the volunteer fire department starts things out... some of our favorite children were riding on the fire engine.
It wouldn't be a parade without Smokey the Bear!
Another perennial favorite is the old country doctor's buggy representing the Western Sierra Medical Clinic (longtime readers will recall that I used to work there).
Usually, one of the last entries in the parade is the fire district's water tender... it has two spray nozzles on the front bumpers which can be turned different directions... they shoot a spray straight up about ten feet in the air, and are a hit with the younger members of the crowd, especially when angled towards the sidewalks. The crowd across the street from my family included
Stephanie's son, Liam, and Rhodi and Lynne's (blogless members of our local knitting circle) children ... all of which were delighted!
You can see that the girls had their hands up in the air to catch the spray. If you look REALLY close, at a larger view, you will also be able to tell that the sidewalk on that side is still wood!!
Next on the agenda was the Fireman's Muster, with the VFD from our little town of Camptonville and the U.S. Forest Service engine crew competing against members of the Downieville Fire Protection District in various fun games... hose lay relay, catch the water, balance the ball.
Not the kinds of things you can do around here in winter! There were also foot races for all ages, a tug-of-war (Flatlanders v. Mountain Gals - or Men), Tri-Tip BBQ to benefit the fire department, and later in the day a massive street dance. However, I headed home for a brief while, then south to Lake Wildwood, where DD, her BF and little son, Mason, live, to watch fireworks late in the evening... very late, in fact, as there was a wiring malfunction that delayed the show by 45 minutes. Good thing they caught that early! It was late enough that I spent the night on their couch rather than make the long drive home.
Yesterday was a day for chores, rest, knitting, rest, blogging, rest... you get the idea. Here are a few photos of the garden at midsummer.... lovely and fresh, but low on the production level at this point.
I might have mentioned before that I am fond of mixed-bed plantings... here you will find our winter squash (delayed by the cooler-than-normal weather last month), peas which have probably stopped flowering after last week's heat wave, morning glories climbing the old bedstead, nasturtiums, marigolds, and even two corn plants. They were supposed to be scaffolding for pole beans, which I have put in twice with no success. I think robins might be nipping off the newly-emerged seedlings before I can see them, as well as shredding up the corn leaves a bit. I am going to get a fresh packet of seeds and try one last time this week, as well as apply rice straw mulch.
I didn't get any tomatoes by the 4th, and that is pretty uncommon where we live, since most years we wouldn't want to chance planting them before Mother's Day... but these Green Zebras are getting close and will probably be the first of the six varieties I planted that are ready. I love tomatoes, but hate being a slave to the kitchen in August and September, so only planted one Roma, to make sun-dried tomatoes. The others are for eating on the spot, and six plants (one of each kind) will probaby end up being too many.
However, since I always like to try something new, this year it's the crazy Topsy Turvy thing you have been seeing everywhere... we decided that we better use a cherry type, so that the vines don't break from the weight of the fruits, so mine has a Sweet 100 in it.
It is behaving pretty much as I would think a hanging vine would, and lives under a drip emitter from the misting system that keeps many of our porch plants happy... if this system works, I may well switch several plants over to it, freeing up more raised beds for other items!
The tallest plant award goes to the Jerusalem artichokes... they haven't flowered yet, but the garden gnome is making sure they are guarded from the pesky birds who have consumed many more of my cherries than me, and are hoping to beat me to the black raspberries. There is also a hill of Asian pumpkin in this bed (also very delayed because the weather turned cool), and some edamame and gladioli at the back.
It is pretty apparent that green is the color of the moment, with little color from flower or fruit yet.
No tour of the garden would be complete without a view of the fish pond... the fish are very happy, though they wouldn't mind if DH increased the size of the pond. Not likely to happen this summer, though. He is too busy working as High Country Ranger in the Lakes Basin.
And, in case you were beginning to think I had given up fibery pursuits while having summer fun, think again! Here's my turmeric-dyed yarn, drying yesterday afternoon following its final rinse in Retayne, hopefully to keep any color from leaking later.
Pretty bright, eh! I am looking forward to seeing it knitted into the Circle Vest, and will get to that right away, since I did my fair entries during a quiet moment over the weekend and am now committed to displaying it!
Here, you can see my progress, starting with the large diamond at the bottom, from my Feather and Fan mitts made earlier this year, to a black/teal from Sallee, a light blue, turquoise, and pastels from Cookie, and a purple from Cookie combined with brights from Norma. I am having so much fun with this, and am drawing out a diagram as I go of what yarn came from which knitter... anyone know of software I could use to diagram that? In the end, I will probably take a large picture and attempt captioning!