Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gullies Of January

We've had a lot of rain this month. Much more than average, in fact. Everything outdoors is a muddy mess. Walking on the ground feels like walking on wet sponges.

Callie comes back from every walk covered in wet sand. We toss her in the shower in our utility room and hose her down twice a day. And dry her off. Twice a day.

One of the gullies that formed in the vineyard road out back.

The guy that owns the vines out behind our house came by in a tractor last week to dump crushed stone into some of the gullies that were carved by the rain runoff. He left deep tread marks outside our back gate. Where there used to be grass, there is now mud.

On the upside, the temperatures have warmed up. We're using less heating oil and having fewer fires. The birds are singing up a storm out there. Bulbs are pushing up and buds are fattening.

I was able to get outdoors yesterday morning and accomplished the following: pruned the last rose bush, pruned our ten or so grape vines, cut the suckers (some were about six feet high) out from beneath four of our twelve hazelnut trees and stacked the cuttings, pruned the hydrangea, and trimmed back the sage plants. There is still much more to do, but there is time. Just being in the sunshine doing some yard work made me feel good. And Callie had a good time running around and dragging sticks across the yard.

I know that more cold weather is on the way; it's only January. But every day brings a little more daylight and moves us one more step closer to spring. Vivement le printemps!


  1. it's 29 degrees here, the ground is so frozen there is no give to it at all. The sun did come out a bit today and I couldn't believe how many people were out walking there were bundled up with cold noses and eyes peering out of there hats and scarfs. But there were lots of smiles....aaaahhhh sunshine.

    please please please let spring come soon. I ordered $61.00 worth of seeds the other day and I can't wait to get started on them.

    Victoria, Bellingham, WA

  2. Dear you
    I came accross your blog by any chance and I like the way you write about nature.
    Je suis tombée sur votre blog par hasard et j'aime votre manière d'écrire sur la nature.
    Yes the days are lenghtening, hopefully we can focus on good thing when it's mild and less cold.
    oui les jours rallongent, in the middle of January.
    heureusement on peut se concentrer sur les jolies choses quand il fait doux et moins froid au milieu de juin.
    Even though we may have a shit spring, make the most of this warm January.
    S'il se peut que nous ayons un printemps pourri, profitons de ce mois de janvier doux.
    I've been living in the valley of Loire since 1989, close to Gien, Sully.
    Je vis dans la vallée de la LOire depuis 1989, près de Gien, sully.
    Roll on the spring!
    take care and be nice with yourself
    Prenez soin de vous

  3. I agree with Kristana et j'aime les mots en francais.

    Your mud is something else. I remember the squishiness of the wet soil from my growing up in Kentucky which has soil like yours. I'm glad you have that shower in your basement for Callie.

  4. The gully in the vines makes you think of the headwaters of a mighty river, and reminds me of La Source, a poem by Theophile Gautier.
    From the vines down to the Cher, then to the Loire and eventually to the Atlantic. What a wonderful destiny for such a small trickle of water!

  5. nothing like walking a dog to keep you abreast of even the tiniest developments in the seasons. this year and february are always exciting, because all the indoor people are suffering from winter, but the dog people (and the vine pruners, i suspect) see the first tips of the daffodils and the first hint of petal in the buds.
    the sun, he shall return!
    thanks, glad ms. puppy grrl helped with the pruning.

  6. Bonne Fête, Callie! I'm sure there is a nice treat waiting for you. You're such a hard worker, helping in the yard. Do you mind a shower TWICE a day? I would...but then, maybe you don't like mud on your paws?

    WCS, keep calling for spring. In Toronto, we KNOW that the sun has died, and winter is here forever, and ever.Pas d'espoir dans mon coeur...

  7. victoria, that's a lot of seeds!

    kristana, merci de votre visite!

    evelyn, it's funny, but we seldom used the shower for Collette.

    purejuice, we also see the rain and feel the cold... ;)

    claudia, Callie says merci. I know spring will come to you, eventually!

  8. chm, maybe some of our rain water will actually end up falling in your desert one day!


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