Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Turning the Corner - Wedding Ahead

Jon and Prairie will be married at the ranch at the end of summer. We toasted their engagement over Christmas dinner and have been making big plans since. The canyon will be hot and dry by the wedding and we have many to-dos on our list before then.

To-be-weds Jon and Prairie, British Columbia, March 2012

One task is fixing up an old bunkhouse, which we are now calling the Honeymoon cabin. It hasn't been used in many years and the skids beneath it have rotted and settled into the ground. Resurrecting it means jacking it up, nailing it back together and cleaning up after the pack rats.
"Still Life" - circa 1980s - in the Honeymoon cabin

We've turned the corner on spring. The temperature in the canyon hit ninety this week and each day brings more flowers, brodia, phlox, mustard, and sunflowers scattered across the greening hills. The pollinators are out in force, buzzing and lilting among the blooms. 
Jaume scythes tall grass in the yard

Along with the fat bumble bees there was a moth working the lilac bush. It looked like a hummingbird moth, but smaller, with a delicate beige and brown striped body, extra long antennae and a bright yellow stripe across its back. With its wings fanning the air in a blur, its whole body seemed to vibrate, hovering among the blossoms.

Spicy fragrant blooms on the lilacs

The heat has brought out the first rattlesnakes of the year. Jaume and I were hiking up the ridge above the old driveway when he spotted a baby rattler, about ten inches long and red as the rock, with darker reddish-brown diamonds down its back. Later that day, Mike saw two more snakes near the house. One was unusually aggressive. Most are shy and will soon slither away, but this one remained coiled and ready to strike, showing little interest in leaving.

Stubborn snake by the house
It was a stark reminder of the care that we need to take with three year old Dawson who is in the habit of rampaging about. The last few weeks he has begun asking me, "Grandma are the snakes out?"  We know he knows they are there, in the tall grass, in the rocks and crevices. What we hope is that he will be able to see them and stay away.

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef