Savage Farming

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year to planet Earth

6 billion people and I hope you're all happy at least once in a while this next year.
Good luck and God bless.

Receding Rogue River

The Rogue River crested early this morning, but tell it to the rain.
Sounds like someone left the sprinklers on out there. Or some sort of weird random machine. It'll be interesting to see what has washed up out of the soil. Maybe I'll find another spearhead. I'm glad we didn't have any more land tilled or the big greenhouse up yet. 4800 square feet of this rain coming off a sheet of plastic would've been a bit to handle.
The flood watches are all still in effect for pretty much the entire Rogue valley. It looks like most if not all of the RVers on the river got their homes out in time. The travel-trailer pictured below was being hauled out last night around 9. If they'd left it no doubt it would've been ruined, the crest was still a foot or more away at the time.

Friday, December 30, 2005

A little Flood video

Here's a short video of the flood in progress.

Rogue River Flood of 2005

This pic can be compared to the one yesterday (5th below). The top cross-bar of the red X is all you can see:

If it smells like a flood

and it looks like a flood, you know the rest.
These unfortunate (was going to say Poor...) people from california don't know their vacation spot is less than a foot away from disaster.
The river has definitely passed flood stage. Only 2 feet to go to close Rogue River Hwy.

Odds and ends

Wicked good poetry here:
Odds and ends

Rainy Southern Oregon

It started hammering down last night around 3am and hasn't let up since. The birds in the yard are going nuts on mom's birdfeeders. I can see large rippling white waves rumbling through the muddy red-brown of the Rogue River. My neighbor has pulled his RV from their lot on the river and I think one of his friends moved their's up too.They might actually be on the right track, we'll see how much snow melts to find out.

I just finished reading "Fool's Errand" by Robbin Hobb from her "Farseer" series. Most excellent.
Mom's birds:
Sorry it's so blurry, but it's rainin HARD. Those are (left to right) A purple finch, a house sparrow and a rufous sided tow-hee.

Rogue River Rising part 2

We're at it again. Rain, rain, rain and wind. The rain is fallin' and the Rogue is rumblin'
Will we reach flood stage? Won't know until tomorrow morning.
The warm cup of coffee in my hand makes it all seem Ok but the dream I had last night of being in a shelter still haunts. I'm way too far above the river myself, but so many of my friends and customers are right down there in the flood plain, especially my landlord, the Smiths. A little prayer for them all...

Typing of coffee, I'm reading an interesting book called "Uncommon Grounds" which has been pretty darn revealing. Who knew that coffee had so much history?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

BON: Random thoughts Stray memories

A strange and interesting bit of writing here:
Random thoughts Stray memories

This morning's work

Dad and I just brought the spray rig back from the Dahlia field, have to put a new tire on it in preparation for spraying the fruit trees. The apples are about 1/3 pruned; would have preferred to finish that before spraying but winter is rolling on and fungus control is more important.
After lunch I'll get back on the grapes. Here's the rainbow we saw yesterday afternoon:

Waters receding

No rain this morning. The mighty Rogue has halted its advance for now. More coming tomorrow and this weekend so we'll see.
Dad finished packing the gladiola bulbs yesterday so maybe today we'll move onto dahlias. I'll probably be using my new christmas pruners in the grapes. That's a job which inspires deep philosophy. Every plant is a record of the last couple of years pruning, sometimes I can almost see my thinking in the shapes of the plants.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Rogue River near flood stage


Only about 2 feet beneath the flood wall (just below the red X) rain hasn't begun to slack yet but should shortly according to the NOAA and nexrad images.

Rain/flood update

Man-oh-man is it rainin'. The river has gotten so high we can actually see it moving. We're about 120 feet above the river and about 1500 feet away so the waves of muddy surge must be pretty impressive up close if we can see them from here. Now this is the Oregon I remember from my childhood. Days upon days of rain and swollen streams everywhere. Streams where you didn't even know there were streams. Even the driest spots in the greenhouse, basement and barn have become sort of damp.
Going to drive down and check it out after lunch. Maybe have a picture after that.

No flood yet but plenty of rain

According to the NOAA the glorious Rogue River won't reach flood stage today after all. They've retracted the flood warning but no one can retract the persistent rain. It's still coming down in buckets and the river is a muddy brown patch visible across the roof of the neighbor who lives at the bottom of the hill. Looks like I won't have any trouble getting to the library. All the RVers who live along the Rogue are probably white knuckled. Back in '97 many of them had to skeedaddle before the rising water. If they were reading my blog they'd no it was OK.
Or better yet, they could check the NOAA site:
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/index.php?wfo=mfr&zone=orz026&fire=orz620&county=orc029
Then again, the weather service has been wrong before. We'll just have to wait and see what the sky does.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Flood on the Rogue River

Looks like tomorrow morning the Rogue River will crest at 24 feet near here. I'm wondering if that will come over the road at the bottom of our hill. No danger here but we might be cut off from civilization until the rains slow. Hopefully I can report tomorrow morning if we don't lose the cable lines and/or power.
Winds have started to pick up. I expect to hear some of the old giants on the hill come crashing down in the night. The sound of that always leaves an eerie feeling in me. As if I'm hearing all the years of that trees life released at once.

No significant news in the nanotech/info sector these days. The holidays and early winter are always slow. Will be expecting a minor cascade of stuff as the senior most student projects come due in late spring. I wonder if all academically trained professionals are imprinted with this habit as it always seems that spring and early summer
is when we see the greatest flowering of breakthroughs and advances.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Rainy Christmas

Showers, showers, showers. Had a fun Christmas morning with mom and dad and Sparky the wonder hound.
Sparky is the only dog I know who chases jets. Got a webcam, new shoes and a jacket for Christmas. Also the usual socks etc. Oh, and what I wanted most: a welding helmet with instant on filters. Now no piece of equipment shall escape my welding might!

I enjoyed watching "Emmett otter's Jugband Christmas" with mom and dad again. This year I got it on DVD for mom. It's sappy and I'd enjoy it more with a lady at my side, but still it's fun.

Gonna drop by my sister's to see the rest of the fam this afternoon. Gift swap is always fun.

I hope everyone out there in netland/blogsville had at least a pleasant day today even if (especially if) xmas ain't your sort of thing.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

1 nanometer lithography arrives?

First time ever I came across a method which promises to deliver 1 nanometer resolution across large areas.
This sounds very hopeful, but will it be like all so many other so-called advances which just vanishes into the archives? Or will it be like the water lens in the last couple of years, setting off a minor explosion of development? See the abstract here:
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/nalefd/2005/5/i12/abs/nl051976i.html

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fog conveyor belt over the mountain

As I took a walk this morning the ridge line behind the farm had this huge cascade of fog pouring over it.
The fog moved in strange little waves that reminded me of a conveyor belt. Overhead a bright blue patch of sky was swathed by lower heavier clouds and to the east there were enormous "mackerel sky" patterns. The lens like opening swam and rippled and for an instant and I had the strong impression that the sky was watching me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's still raining. The seed order has been posted. Dad is working out on the rowing machine. I'm out of good books and there's nothing on TV. I'm thinking about working on some software but inspiration is lacking. Must be short on neuro-transmitters.

Hawk in the rain

It's a lovely rainy day here on the farm. Not much to do but pour over seed catalogs, make plans and stare out into the rain. There was a large red-tail hawk sitting forlornly in the black walnut tree out front. I'd say she was beautiful, but the rain made her bedraggled as well as forlorn. Would post a pic here now, but Hewlett Packard has disappointed me again with a camera that behaves exactly like a brick when it comes to getting fast shots. Why is it the thing can take 16 frames a second in video mode but takes about a second to snap a still frame? You can imagine my outrage and frustration: as she broke into flight and when I pressed the button, nothing happened for the time it took her to get out of frame. She was a really cool looking hawk despite the wetness.

On the subject of seed catalogs, we've just placed our first order to Seymoure Seeds for some delightful perennials which we will be planting in the air supported greenhouse sometimes next month. Mostly these will be for cut flowers, an arena we've never marketed to before; so wish me luck. We're also going in for some begonias which are so pleasing to the eye.

The solstice is two days behind us and already I'm getting anxious. Not for the backache and dirty fingernails, but the smell of rich earth and the bright blue sky overhead. Don't get me wrong, I love my lazy winters. But it is hard to feel productive. Even though my best software work has always been done in winter. In the last five years I've gone from earning lots of money doing software in winter and playing at farming in summer to working hard at farming in summer and playing at software in the winter. I liked it better the other way, but farming is something you can't stop loving once it's gotten hold of you. Whereas software is always sort of tedious and though the money was good, the other side of the contract is almost always trying to just screw you out of your labor. When I sell corn, I just sell corn. No hassles, no promises, just so many ears for a dollar, thank you ma'am.

Have a great day and thanks for readin'