It was a Friday, and one on which I had no classes or committee meetings, so I could spend the entire day catching up on mundane chores here at Ft. Harrington. Primary among those chores was finishing the washing of the deck in preparation for sealer treatment. The six feet of rain we get here per winter quickly coats exterior surfaces with what might charitably be called "crud" and requires power tools to blast off. This year I upgraded to a gasoline-powered pressure washer, which one of our brighter chickens, Lacy, is inspecting below:
Last weekend I had blasted off the larger portions of the deck, leaving only the narrow portion above to be washed. Both the degree of the annual crud buildup and the power of the pressure washer can be appreciated via the above picture (the deck is redwood, as is probably about 90% of the bio-mass in this valley.)
This narrow portion of Ft. Harrington's deck faces the creek ravine. Most of the year, it is a peacefully-gurgling haven for ducks and minnows. During the winter, though, it can turn into a frightening hydro-blaster.
The animals didn't like the noise of the power washer (nor did I), and were relieved when it was over. Above, Jax enjoys his reclaimed cushion on a deck chaise.
Hugging the deck are old plum trees; nestled in the plum trees are tiny decorations that Diane has hidden in them in sort of a perpetual Christmas-tree ornamentation. Above, a "birdhouse" the size of a quarter is surrounded by baby plums.
May is the time that our roses bust out in exuberance. This huge blossom (about half a foot across) was the first blast in our rose garden, the mauve platoon behind it came about a day later. Looking at this king-sized blossom from the other side shows...
... the Fort's main house kitchen window, so, you can see, our view of the roses accompanies our stirrings in the morning.
White roses cover not just Ft. Harrington, but all of the San Lorenzo Valley in May, in a floral echo of the Northeastern snow that many of its citizens grew up with and remember well -- including me and at least five of my nearest neighbors here in "Creepy Hollow".
Lacy (left, background), Pippin (right), and Goldie and Buffy (or vice versa) settle in for a peaceful night.
Glow from the living room's lights illuminates newly-clean deck railings and planter boxes. Glow from our neighbors' windows across the creek warms the evening. Tomorrow will be anything but mundane, but today was a respite from both the pressures of workaday (much as I love my job) and anxious anticipation of tomorrow's event: a huge celebration of my son, Doug's, life. More than a hundred people will descend on a park in Oakland, California, to witness the dedication of a memorial to him, and to party as he would have wanted them to.
Doug at Boulder Creek (the creek itself) a year before his death.