Ever wonder why they’re called “Muck Boots?” Just look at the above picture and I think you’ll see why. There’s more than mud swirling around in that horse pasture soup!
Up until about ten days ago, things had been unusually dry on the farm for an Oregon winter. But now our winter rains have arrived! Check out this video Bob captured with his cell phone. The ground is so saturated that whenever it rains hard, the water gushes up out of the gopher holes in our pastures and vineyard. We’ve named these little gushers “Gopher Geysers.”
As you can see from the Gopher Geyser video (Part One of this post), it’s been raining hard for about a week-and-a-half straight. And the extended forecast calls for, you guessed it, more rain. Rather than complain about it, or post more disgusting pictures of pasture soup, I thought I’d share some of the amazing seasonal water features that appear on the farm with all that rain.
My favorite is the seasonal waterfall that flows out of the hillside just beyond the cow pasture. It’s the tiny, white streak in the middle of the hill in the first photo. The second picture gives you a closer look. This little waterfall only flows for a few weeks each year during the heaviest winter rains.
We never knew much about the land above the waterfall until Nathan’s family bought the hilltop this past summer. In the coming years they plan to put in a vineyard and an apple orchard. Bob wants to build a zipline between the top of the hill and our pasture so we can easily “commute” between the two vineyards.
We also have a temporary stream flowing through the low end of the cow pasture. The cows don’t mind and the Canada Geese love it! We usually get two pair that nest here each winter. The first pair has just arrived! They’ll get first dibs on the “grassy knoll” that forms in the exact same spot in the stream each year.
We’ve named the knoll “Goose Island,” and it is the choice nesting spot for our winter visitors. We’ll be watching is closely for goslings and I’ll try my best to get some pictures to post.
Every once in a while we get what’s known as a “sun break.” And they often come with rainbows!
I’ve run outside more than a few times thinking I could just walk up to the end of the rainbow, somewhere around Row 425 in the vineyard, and finally see what’s there. But the rainbows always seem to touch down just beyond the vines. From my pictures I can tell you it appears there is a pine tree, and not the fabled pot of gold, at the end of the rainbow. (Ah, but what’s under the pine tree?) 🙂
OK, one more picture of the muck and mud, just for fun. We get to slog through this every morning when we turn out the horses, and again each evening when we bring them in. Sometimes the horses stomp or prance and splatter the muck all over us. And if we don’t pay close attention to what we’re doing, the end of a lead rope might drag through the muck and then slap against us all the way to the barn.
Like Emma, we’re anxious for the rain to end. But we’re doing our best to appreciate all it brings to the farm while it lasts.
Dispatches From Our Farm and Vineyard in Southern Oregon