Are Ya Still There?

I know, it’s been a while- a long while actually. Winter here in Reno and the Sierra Nevada Mountains was pretty mild Snow Totals by Month: January- 0″, February- 3.8″. The snow totals on the ski slopes weren’t much better and the climatologists worried. March- 19- the “Big Dump”. The upper slopes of the Sierra were thick with the white stuff. More than 10′ feet of snow at resort level made for happy skiers. Our home received 18″ of snow over 24 hours- wet, heavy snow! Our main water source, Lake Tahoe, was filled to the brim. Rivers overflowed during the spring runoff. All the reservoirs miraculously were filled. Another catastrophe averted……..

We were told by the locals when we moved to Reno that the worst feature of our community was the wind. Yep, it can whistle here with steady winds 20-30 mph or more and gusts can register as high as 70 mph. Howsomeever, SMOKE is the worst by far. We are east of the wonderful state of Kali-fornia and the prevailing winds blow smoke into our fair state. National Weather Service advisory- “SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT UNTIL 6AM PDT MON …PERIODS OF UNHEALTHY AIR QUALITY CONTINUE… SMOKE FROM FIRES IN CALIFORNIA WILL CONTINUE TO POUR INTO THE REGION. AREAS DOWNWIND FROM LARGE FIRES INCLUDING THE CARR FIRE NEAR REDDING, THE MENDOCINO COMPLEX NEAR CLEAR LAKE, THE DONNELL FIRE WEST OF SONORA PASS AND THE FERGUSON AND LIONS FIRES WEST OF MAMMOTH LAKES, WILL EXPERIENCE PERIODS OF POOR AIR QUALITY. * AREAS AT GREATEST RISK FOR UNHEALTHY AIR QUALITY ARE MONO, ALPINE, LASSEN, PLUMAS, SIERRA AND NEVADA COUNTIES”.

When the hills in Kali-fornia burn we know it. Our normal view is of the local Carson Range and Peavine Mountain which range in altitude from 8200′ to over 10,000′. Neither is more than 5 miles from our home. They are magnificent to view every day. This morning they have been hijacked! The smoke obliterates them from sight, with nary a silhouette peaking through the yellow brown smoke. Crap……. Bad for us but there’s a lot of folks who are suffering loss of homes and life from those fires. God bless ‘um.

This spring Jil was hell bent on raising vegetables. She started a couple dozen tomato and cucumber plants from seed. She first tended to the little seedlings inside as the nights were too cold. She moved them out when the weather was just right. She watered the bejesus out of them when the weather was too hot! Alas, she wound up with one cucumber plant (1 fruit so far), and two producing tomato plants. The rest of the plants were consumed by culinary experts- rabbits, squirrels, mice and birdies……. nuts!

Speaking of fauna we’ve had the normal spring proliferation of, yes, squirrels, and the cutest baby quail- and dove, the babies of which look just like their parent in miniature. We’ve had sightings of coyotes and deer within our neighborhood. Nothing unusual there. Folks have photographed bobcats sitting on their back yard fences- that’s somewhat unusual. Occasionally we have sightings of mountain lion but this spring we’ve had numerous sightings in and around our homes. Now that’s getting a little close for those big cats!

Our gardens are in full bloom and look beautiful. It’s easy to take care of our current yard as it’s a tenth of the size of our last one. So now that the garden is beautiful and the house is in ship shape what shall we do with ourselves? Let’s go traveling! Yes!

So this is the plan. We lock the house up mid-August. Our house guests/ house sitters unlock the place about 10 seconds after we leave. Jim and Nancy have stayed at our place a couple of times before while we travel. They used to live a couple of doors down and have many friends in our community. So we have peace of mind that our house is being looked after and they get to visit with friends while we are gone.

Were to go? We are traveling first to a few of our favorite haunts in Oregon then to Idaho to visit Jil’s bro. Then travel back to Oregon in order to volunteer and the Bonneville Fish Hatchery once again with our friends Jim, Connie and Rowdy too!

Until the next post of this blog- Happy Trails!

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