Tuesday, November 15, 2016

seasons. sort of. moisture, anyway.

It's mid-November, so here in the Bay Area, winter is coming along with the kind of brisk punctuality you can expect from a semi-desert that used to be Mexico. Prompted by the occasional frigid 55ยบ morning, leaves are starting to turn brown. And we got measurable rainfall for the second time since...I don't know, really. April sometime?

The Figpocalypse is long finished, and with the rain, the entire carpet of figs on the driveway burst simultaneously with scary-looking white mold, before decomposing into a merely life-threatening lubricant. The apple tree put out some pretty good apples, this year! We got to taste a few that the opossums or raccoons didn't want. There were some pomegranates, but since we don't really eat or drink pomegranates, mostly we let them go. (And we're still not 100% sure when they're ripe.)

After 17 years in California, I still find it weird that some fruits literally ripen in February and can happily stay on the tree through June and beyond; that said, the orange tree looks content.

With the first rain, I got to experience several dog-walks culminating in a wet dog. She was not a fan of this whole "water falling from the sky" concept, and seemed even reluctant to go outside on her own to pee. I started considering a dog-raincoat, and a friend said, "Oh, you've got a princess!". Thinking it through, two thoughts came up:
  1. If she's 2 years old and has spent her life in California, she will have had very little experience of rain. (Even young kids have trouble adjusting: when my friend's son was 4, they were in the car and he said, "Mommy, what's that rattling on the roof?" because he didn't know the sound of rain on a car.)
  2. If I get the dog a raincoat, there should be less of the damp-dog smell in the house.
 The other bizarre thing about "winter" around here is that this is when plants do their growing, because this is when water abounds. (We still don't quite know where things like our Zombie Rose get water in the off-season.) The mash of leaves I haven't cleaned up on the patio, under the bird feeder, seems to have decayed enough to support sunflower seedlings. I'm always impressed by the formation of soil in places like gutters.

And, of course, the compost bin is full of writhing balls of earthworms, which is usually a sign I need to at least turn it.

Earthworms are actually an invasive species! Which...too bad. There's a lot of them.

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