A Friday walk

My husband took a recuperative day off today, and we took an easy walk along a Snake River trail. We were a little disheartened that the river’s flooding this year caused the grassy trail to be displaced by cockle burrs, but we coped with the narrow trail and dodged the burrs.

The day started out cloudy, but our walk seemed to invite the sun out and join us. I took a couple of photos of the scenery.

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After the Rain: The Movie

My husband Vic and I both were moved by the vibrancy of the clouds transiting Hells Canyon’s basalt hills after the rain. He set his video cam on a window sill and timed 30-second intervals for a little more than half an hour. I thought it was striking.

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Effie greets the welcome rain

The rain is beautiful, I suppose largely because it was so long awaited. Effie put up quite the Royal Fuss to enjoy its delightful wetness on her fur, and to show me the wonderful mud she will present when her toes step back indoors and onto the polished wood floors. (I honestly can’t remember right now what sort of wood they are, but they are fairly resilient.)

The fires are out, at least for now, and the grey sky bears rain instead of smoke. The soil is well soaked, and the autumn rain has taken up its annual needed and prayed-for roles, one of which is Effie’s happiness.

Effie rockets off into Effieland after some extensive pining.

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The red and the purple

My husband and I today harvested 30 pounds of grapes between us. We now have 80 pounds of grapes processed–44 pounds became juice and about 36 pounds are stemmed frozen grapes. Today’s efforts were my husband’s processing of 22 pounds of Swenson red grapes into juice, and I picked, stemmed, bagged, and froze eight pounds of Flame grapes. They are all so delicious, as well as beautiful colors.

My husband also harvested and canned ten pounds of yummy ripe French Prune d’Ente purple plums.

Flame grapes on the vine

 

French Prune d’Ente purple plums on the tree

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Smoke: The sequel

Smoke is no exception to the rule that the sequel is always worse. Probably because of the wind direction, the smoke from a new batch of forest fires surrounds us. The smell is the worst yet. The basalt hills are not yet completely screened out, but this time we are surrounded on all sides. It’s thick. Effie of course wants to be out in Effieland. I picked some catnip sprigs for her to eat indoors. She was momentarily compensated but now wishes to be let out again.

It’s going to be kind of a day here. . . .

Effie looks longingly through the window at her beloved Effieland  and I try to combine consolation with my chores. She caught and ate a tiny bug, which brought her transitory happiness.

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Restoration. . .for now

The smoke is entirely gone! The wind dispersed the smoke–the rain never showed up. The sky is blue again, accented with white clouds, and the basalt hills are out of the smokescreen and back to their beautiful rock-brown contours.

The smoke was blown away, but fires in western Montana, central Oregon, and central Washington continue to burn. If the wind quits or blows toward eastern Washington, the smoke will return to our valley. I posit it will not be well received.

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Happy Dissipation Day!

The smoke is finally on the retreat! Clouds are becoming visible against a light-blue sky, and we can more clearly see the contours of the basalt hills of Hells Canyon. The air smells fresh, and I have no worries about Effie spending more time in Effieland.

Still a little gauzy, but it beats grey-out obscurity, and the sky looks brighter to my eye than it looks to my camera.

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