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.

Madam, you seem to have dropped your coat

In the pleasant orchard closes, `God bless all our gains’, say we; But `May God bless all our losses’ Better suits with our degree.’ ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning A closeup of one tree in the fall orchard featured yesterday.

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.

Fall orchard

A man’s worth has its season, like fruit. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld These are the cherry trees that had such beautiful fruit on them previously. Winter dormancy. Pano below.

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.

More winter grapes

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? ~ Jesus in Matthew 7:16 It’s a strange sight, but living out in farmland, I am getting used to the amazing amount of food LEFT BEHIND after harvest.

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…

Watering the fields

“Water is the only drink for a wise man.” ~ Henry David Thorea The local fields are often picturesque. No exception here, see pano below.

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.

Farmhouse behind dirt field

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood I’ve photographed this property before, but was again struck by it as I drove by. Nice. See the panos below, they move out progressively (can’t tell from the thumbnails).

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…

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.

Clean up in the field

I have taken many pictures of this field. Here it is after harvest, and mid-cleanup.  Soon, it will be pristine dirt again, ready for a new planting.

A clear morning in the Central Valley

Every crag and gnarled tree and lonely valley has its own strange and graceful legend attached to it. ~ Douglas Hyde (1860 – 1949, first President of Ireland) On clear days, my commute is very peaceful and pretty.

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…

Tilling dry soil

“It is thus with farming: if you do one thing late, you will be late in all your work” ~ Cato The Elder I hate to see so much topsoil blowing in the wind, but in the ongoing battle between farmers and the Delta Smelt environmentalists, farmers are losing.