February 19, 2019

Rushing Water And Deep Mud

Rushing Water and Deep Mud 1

Farm News

It’s hard to walk around the farm with all the mud; driving is even more difficult. There are a few main graveled drives through the farm that are drivable, but even those leave the trace of the wheels through the gravelly, muddy mixture. Parking next to the canal bridge, I get out and start walking down the roads. There is a squishing and crackling sound under my feet. Since sometime last night, the rain stopped for a moment. There are deep clouds hanging overhead, but nothing is falling from them besides their shadows.

Rushing Water and Deep Mud 2

The creek is roaring. All the water that fell onto the hills last night is only just making its way to the bottom of this valley, and there is still another valley to get to the bottom of before it will make it to the sea. I am impressed with the amount of brown, sediment-filled storm water that is rushing through the creek. It is at least six, maybe eight feet deep, so deep that the water level has creeped up into the branches of the trees near the creek, the trees that are normally high and dry. The sound of the water is mesmerizing.

Rushing Water and Deep Mud 3

Following a dirt road along the creek, I am impressed that there are not clumps of mud sticking to my feet. The soil here is so sandy that it just gives way to my feet slightly. Thinking about this, I am startled by a deer that has been hunkered down in a patch of wild grape vines—she is so close that I can see the patterns of her hair bunched up and spikey form being soaked all night. Her large black eyes see me but are focused with her stern face on getting away. To my surprise, she jumps right in to the roaring creek and begins swimming to the other side. The color of her hide and the color of the storm water are not that different. I admire her as she slices her way across the current. It crosses my mind to try to take a picture, but the moment is going too quickly. Exiting on the other side, she is significantly downstream from where she entered. Quickly, she trots into some brush where I can no longer see her.

Rushing Water and Deep Mud 4

On the way back, I decide on a road less traveled. The soil is thicker here. It sticks to the bottom of my boot and with each step, my boots become heavier until the mud layer falls off, resetting the process. In the field, cover crops are established and almost a foot tall, which is good, because as soon as it is dry enough, this field will be turned around and planted to tomatoes. Those very tomato plants sit in the greenhouse nestled under the cover of plastic and warmth, protected from the elements that would surely kill them. They are less than two inches tall and only have two leaves. I am feeling comfortable that the weather, this field and those tomatoes are on schedule to synchronize perfectly on the first week of April. 

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