Friday, April 1, 2011

Every little boy's dream

A dozer.

What is it about boys and bulldozers? There's some innate connection.

A rite of passage. Almost primal. Part video game and part dirt.

It doesn't wear off with age either.

I can almost hear the cave man grunt echoing between sand dunes.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Starting to take shape

It's magical. In order to protect the young vines, three guys take these:

And transform our vineyard of sticks into this:

A combination of steel t-posts, bamboo stakes and milk cartons.

It seems someone's been drinking ridiculous amounts of milk in preparation for this day. Fifty-one thousand half gallons to be precise.

They're very full.

And probably lactose intolerant by now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Playing it cool

Today we moved the chili pivot again. Nathan dutifully unhooked the pipes.

As he did, the inevitable residual water appeared. No big deal.

And then, as I watched the residual water pool form, I saw a tiny eye and nostril frantically swimming, attempting to escape said pool.

I could have played it cool. I could have ignored the tiny eye and nostril and gone on to help Nathan.

But I didn't. Instead I started shrieking. Snake! Snake!! It’s a snake!! I might also have jumped up and down a wee bit.

Turned out I was wrong. It wasn't a snake. It was this little fellow.

Poor thing probably had a heart attack because of the giant, jumping, screeching mammal less than five feet from it. 

We think it's a kangaroo mouse. You know, since we've lived here so long and studied the complete spectrum of flora and fauna.

Regardless, he dried off and scampered away. Either that or, as Nathan so carefully pointed out, was eaten by a hawk. 


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I kid you not

I have no pictures to prove it,  but Mamasan is my witness.

As we drove into town from the vineyard, I saw three saddled horses, with riders, pulled up at the McDonalds drive thru waiting on their food.

I can't make this stuff up.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New sprinkler

Our latest pivot sprinkler arrived last week. Its purpose is to irrigate our forthcoming organic peanuts.

Given its length, it's moved in sections, each with two drivers: one at the front, one at the back.

Apparently it was cold that day as the follow-behind driver had wrapped his entire head in a scarf.

It was quite an obstacle course getting the pivot where it needed to be. First around the grape-planting festivities. Then some last-minute dirt removal to widen the cut through. (Road-building is on our to-do list . . . but not until after planting season.)

Then back to our nuclear wasteland. 

Just kidding. It only looks like a nuclear wasteland. 

This is what freshly broken out land looks like after one discing. Pre-leveling. Pre-deep-breaking. Pre-irrigation. Pre-listering. Pre-composting. Pre-planting. Pre-margarita.

And it just wouldn't be a typical day for us without at least one truck getting stuck in the sand. 

I will say though there is something completely satisfying about pulling a truck out of the dirt with a tractor. If you're city-folk like I used to be, you're just going to have to trust me on this.