Friends, July 14, 2018
Delayed gratification. That’s the story with the weather here in Birch Bay, Washington. We had lots of cloudy days and rain in the Winter months but now the sun is out and the days are lovely and welcome long drives in the country and having lunch in the bayside parks enjoying the ocean air. Our windows are open all night long as the lows drop to 60 and the sleeping is fine. Dawn comes at 5 am with bright sunshine and the sweetest light breeze. The high today will be in the high 70’s with variable winds and a delightful combination of warm sun and cool breezes. New faces and colors are popping up in the fields and front yards now. Our neighbor has a fabulous front yard with at least a couple of thousand rose blossoms in 20 different colors filling her flower beds and lining her driveway. Sweet pink flowers the size of a quarter cover acres of seed potatoes planted in between the acres and acres of raspberry vines and corn fields. Most of the seed potatoes used in this country come from this area. Leslie’s flower beds are bright with color – neighbors walking by stop and give her a compliment on her work when she is out watering. And our dear neighbor Dave made her some raised flower beds which she immediately filled with dirt and mulch and placed along our driveway so that the veggies and herbs she planted get full sun. We call these beds “the south 40” and every morning we check out the new growth and marvel at how fast the yellow squash blossoms turn into yummy squash. She has all flavors of herbs planted there, too. Along with tomatoes, beans, cukes, and a big horseradish plant with huge leaves that I tasted and they are hot and spicy just like the radish – amazing. The veggies are all organic, too. There are no bugs in the beds requiring chemicals to eradicate. Lavender grows all over, and we found a lavender farm out in the country with an entire hillside ablaze in purple glory. White morning glory flowers dot the fence lines on the back roads and small yellow blossoms, nippleworts they are called, cover the pastures. Even the weeds here are fabulously beautiful and abundant. Fruit stands are common in the city and country crossroads, and the big sellers now are bright red cherries – two bucks for a basket – the best are from Yakima. Raspberries are now ripening, and the ticklers are out in the fields harvesting them. A local guy invented the tickler, a machine that shakes the vines and collects the berries in small trays efficiently and without a lot of labor. Blueberries will be next to ripen and then blackberries. I’m stoked to hear that crab season starts today; Dungeness crabs are my favorites, and I can’t wait to get one and pig out. It’s a simple meal I crave: a cold bottle of white wine, crusty bread, a pot of melted butter and a fat crab. Delicious. Now you can see why Summer is so wonderful here. The weather invites you to go outside and play. And we do. The local farms and dairies produce fruit, cheeses and ice cream that you can’t beat. And traveling down the two-lane farm roads is a pure joy. Plus, the topper is when we drive out of the forest and into the valleys where the corn is growing – snow-covered Mt. Baker sits out on the horizon in plain view – a marvelous sight. Put a red X on Aug 1 in your calendar - Mars Retrograde tangles with dangerous Uranus while Mercury is Retrograde as well on that date. It’s the most difficult and potentially dangerous day of the year. As times change.