Ahh, the hills of the Central Valley

I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural. ~ Thomas Jefferson

It’s winter here, which means that the rains will change these hills from blond to green soon. But they’re pretty just the way they are.

Colorful fall orchard

“A man is old when he can pass an apple orchard and not remember the stomach ache.” ~ James Russell Lowell

The orchard trees are now dormant, and the few freezes we’ve had have knocked off all their leaves. However, it is warm and wet enough for the grass to grow.

Ready for planting

“He who thinks he is raising a mound may only in reality be digging a pit.” ~ Ernest Bramah

A closeup of the holes being dug in yesterday’s post.  Even closer pic below.

Tree holes

“It is a good thing to follow the First Law of Holes: if you are in one, stop digging” ~ Denis Healey

If you look closely, you can see the guy with the post hole digger.

Winter vineyard

My lover is like a sachet of myrrh
lying between my breasts.
He is like a bouquet of sweet henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En-gedi.

~ Song of Solomon 1:13-15 (New Living Translation)

Kinda depressing! Dormant for winter.

Winter grapes

I went past the field of the sluggard,
past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.

I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.

~ Proverbs 24:30-34

This is what vineyards look like here in the winter.

Barn with Palms

“The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.” ~ Carl Hiaasen

The prevalence of palm trees here in the Central Valley of California still seems strange to me, especially when they sit in the middle of a field.

Ready field

“Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.” ~  Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

I thought the colors of the brush, set against the dark dirt, were a nice photo. I’m not sure what will be planted here, but since this is one of the fields I pass every day, I’ll be sure to catch it when they plant. Below is a closeup ground view.

Farmhouse in the Dublin hills

I believe that if we get out of people’s way, the sky’s the limit. The sky is the limit. ~ Glenn Beck

When I take the scenic route to avoid traffic on the way to work, it takes me through the hills around Dublin, CA. Beautiful farmhouses and ranches up here, very peaceful.

Steer chillin

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. ~ Neal Barnard

Just another part of my scenic commute. And despite the quote above, I do love beef.

Harvest leftovers

There are three easy ways of losing money – racing is the quickest, women the most pleasant, and farming the most certain. ~ Lord Amherst

Many people don’t realize that after the harvesters go through the fields, there’s about 20% left over.  Farmers plow this back into the dirt, which gives nutrients to the next crop. It’s just not worth the money to go in after these remains. Pity, huh?