Has it really been two months?

Time has flown by since my last post.  (Has it really been more than two months?)  As summer ended, I got back on the road with the dogs and retraced my path from just two months prior, returning to our home in Alexandria, VA.  I was only there a couple of weeks, enjoying a very, very brief taste of fall, before flying off to Ghana for my latest consulting assignment.  After 3 weeks in Ghana, I finally made it to our home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – to write up the report due from the work in Ghana and to spend a little downtime poking around the Kingdom.

My last couple of weeks in early September at our Oregon place included lots of blackberry picking and canning of blackberry syrup, as well as guests.

My aunt, grandmother, and parents all came down to explore our new place and the surrounding ocean community.  My father and aunt did go salmon fishing on the Rogue, but with no luck.  I had a few additional meetings with various forestry resources and made the connections necessary to hopefully have a NRCS water resource manager come out after the new year to design water collection and protection systems for two important springs on the property.

The principal caretaker sends update emails on the place while I’m on the road.  Dad helped me build some better poultry fencing for the yard behind the chicken coop.

The guinea fowl and ducks though didn’t like to leave the coop before I left.  After opening the small door to the yard every day, the caretaker (Stuart) finally reports that the poultry spend the days outside.  The drake likes to fly out of the yard to forage a bit further, but every night returns to the coop porch to rejoin the rest of the ducks each evening.

My father also found us a pickup truck for use at our Oregon place.  It is a well used ½ ton 4X4 that we hope to get a canopy for (given all of the rain.)  So hopefully we will be in a better position to run up and down the hills next time we are out there.

Another couple will be moving out to the place as secondary caretakers.  They are driving now from Connecticut.  Younger than the primary caretaker, they will first be building another shed/cabin to camp in.  Come spring, they will be primarily responsible for digging out and developing the young orchard, maintaining the greenhouse, and keeping the garden space productive and from returning to forest.

Have I mentioned that I also poked around the orchard area further during my last two weeks out there?  I found 6 cultivated raspberry bushes (as opposed to the many wild black raspberries around), 2 aronia berry bushes, 3 fig trees, 1 green gage plum tree, 9 blueberry bushes, 1 gooseberry, 1 red currant, and three elderberry bushes.  There are approximately a dozen unmarked fruit trees where the grafted portion is dead, but the root stock have sprouted.  These need to be identified by fruit and then we can attempt to re-graft.  The neighbors have lots of apple trees, but said that the bears killed their plums and pears.  The bears would attempt to climb the fruit trees to reach the fruit, and overwhelmed the branches.  Apparently the apple trees aren’t as bothered by bears.  I may need to install an electric fence around the orchard to protect it from bears.  [Especially important if I choose to try bees in the future.]

I have photos to share from Ghana (I saw a couple of elephants one weekend when we stayed overnight at Mole National Park.)  I have also just returned from 5 days driving all over Saudi Arabia – Medinah, Hail, Domat al-Jandal, and Sakaka.  Most of my photos are just of the countryside rolling by, taken from the car, but we did see some interesting archaeological sites.

I will try to get a few updates from this past couple of month period up in the coming week or so, while I have a few moments to breathe.

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