Summer Life on the Ranch

It’s been hot this summer up in the Mendocino hills. Much hotter than last summer. A more prolonged heat with weeks of every day hot, instead of intermittent cool days. The girls in the garden seem plenty happy with it, as am I. Give me heat over cold and windy weather any day.


There is something so very special about waking up on a warm summer morning and you can smell the sunshine already. It’s magical to take a lazy walk on the land with our dog Tipu Sultan, just as the rising sun is cresting distant hills while flocks of birds dance in greeting. It is moments like that when the blessings of life are actually tangible, and all one can do is to stop and say “Thank you” to the universe. But I get carried away …


Summertime on the ranch lasts from end of May until middle of September, more or less. That’s when you are pretty much guaranteed not a drop of rain will fall and the meadows will turn golden while the oak trees turn green. It’s the California way – and I sometimes wonder how difficult that is for the girls in the garden to adapt. Where they hail from, primarily tropical or sub-tropical regions, rain is abundant in monsoon-laden summers. Yet here on the West Coast it is more desert than not, and water is not a daily downpour but a trickle from the drip system. Yet the girls seem quite happy and have clearly adapted. What an amazing plant she is.


Cassie has been busy in the garden laying down branches to expose buds to the sky and applying compost teas and all kinds of biological goodies. Swami has been primarily on water duty. It seems there is some sort of water semi-crisis almost daily at this time of year when every drop is so precious. So there goes Swami, scuttling up another hillside or tinkering with some sort of integral pipe connection. Sometimes I call him Swami Fixitananda.


Inside our house and my office, the rooms are cool and shaded, though not gloomy at all. The towering Douglas Fir trees overhead create a natural air-conditioning that keeps it all astoundingly cool. Naturally, this is where everyone heads afternoons during the dog days, keeping as chilled as possible. But it’s rarely really too too hot here, but then again, I did used to live in India.


Summertime is a time of friends visiting and colorful celebrations, as well as quiet work days with an occasional day to just hang at the swimming hole or on the porches. But those kick back moments are practically extinct right now. I trust they will return when the cannabis world settles down some in the near future.


As we dive deeper into late August, the first hints of autumn appear: the acorns growing large on the oak trees, the maple leaves start to change colors, the afternoon shadows begin to lengthen and the light has a certain golden glow.


The creeks are almost dry, just a few puddles remain now – however, there was so much more water this year compared to last summer, that I will not complain at all! How could I possibly complain when I am surrounded by such peace and beauty. I try to carry some of it wth me when I have to leave this sanctuary we call home, and it does help me keep my center out there in the “real” world. So when you next want to escape the world around you, just think of of your favorite serene spot where you find peace. I’ll see you there!

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