So, you remember how when I was in California the last time, that even though it was late spring, we had freezing cold, torrential rainstorms and high winds the entire time? Well, as I have illustrated, since I’ve been back in Portland, it’s been… um… how do I put this?
And day before yesterday, I was back in CA for two days, and even though they’ve been having 85 degrees and sunny, I got off the plane and I needed to wrap up in my sweater coat, and the above photograph is of the sky at the afternoon little league playoff game. 60 degrees and windy with a chance of rain and dark clouds the whole time I was there. And here in the NW? Last weekend, the forecast was for 66 and sunny Saturday and 72 and sunny Sunday, before rain was to come back on Monday. Anybody wanna guess what actually happened? I’ll give you three guesses and they’d all better start with rain, because that’s what we got. 17 straight days without a single break in the rain, regardless of the forecast. And after all that, today, on my plane flight back from not-warm and not-sunny CA, I was told that Oregon and Washington have had TWICE the average rainfall for the month of May. The Bay Area has had almost three times their average. And guess what? While I was gone from the NW both times recently, we had at least one sunny day up here, while I was drowning in rain in CA. And these last two days? At least half of them were sunny while I was gone. And this morning, upon word of my return? You know I don’t have to tell you. You know it in your heart of hearts. That’s right. I’m magic. The rain FOLLOWS me. Clearly.
OK. Moving on.
She’s a girl. That red face and well-developed comb had been worrying me, but over the past week, the roosters have started breeding with her and she now does the “egg squat” (as in, she submits to their romantic advances), which not only means she’s a girl, but it also means that she will be laying soon! She will be 18 weeks on Monday. I will keep you posted. YAY GIRLS!!!!
Also, before my flight on Wednesday, I decided to bite the bullet and I headed out into the garden in the drenching rain and I took stock of things. I murdered several trillion slugs. I put out a another good coating of Sluggo Plus. I finally direct-seeded green beans (late, I know, but with this weather, I think it’s for the best), I finished transplanting the last of my pepper and eggplant soil block starts, and I popped the last watermelon seeds into the garden boxes in between my other plants (they will sprawl around and between the other veggies and spill out of the boxes). And I also finally went for it and commenced the Great Unveiling. I removed the Agribon coverings from over my tomato plants. I don’t have any pictures for you because it was raining and I didn’t want to ruin my camera. I will take pictures tomorrow, weather permitting. Eight of the twelve plants are alive and growing. They officially made it. Three or four are pretty huge and have blooming flowers. A couple are fairly small, but making a comeback. And four of them I deemed…. toast. Two were just plain old gone. I couldn’t even find stumps. And two were just little green stumps. Alive, but no growth. I pulled those and replaced them with my backups that I planted the day of the Stupid Frost. The are doing well.
The ones that needed to be replaced: Berkeley Tie-Dye, Berkeley Tie-Dye Heart, Hayley’s Purple Comet, and Aunt Ruby’s German Green. The biggest and best plants? Sweet Carneros Pink and one that I can’t find the tag. I will find it eventually and let you know.
And lastly, I saw, just as I was leaving the garden…. pink strawberries! My biggest white berries were just getting a blush of pink and I was leaving for two days! Sad. I tried to convince Brian to check on them in my absence to no avail. So tonight, at 9:45 pm in the deep twilight, armed with rubber boots and a flashlight, I went out to check on my babies. And lo and behold:
My first strawberry of the year! Better late than never! I picked only one out there tonight in the dark. But several others will be ready tomorrow or Sunday and a jillion others are soon to follow. This baby was wonderful and sweet and perfect, considering the rain. It was just a touch on the watery side, and I don’t blame it at all. I think it was a stellar berry and better than anything they’ve had at the farmers’ market so far this year because the weather HATES ME.