Cooler days and donkey camps

The weather is taking a turn towards the upcoming season. The nights are comfortable with lows in the low sixties and upper fifties. Quite a difference from the nights in the seventies. The wind came up strong today from the northwest. Each year, I start to feel a note of fall in the wind sometime in August. I think that it happened today. Last year it came at the end of July. The wind makes things more challenging for the fire fighters working on the Alpine fire. We are thinking of them today, hopeful that it isn't too difficult given the conditions.

The Perseid meteor showers have begun in the night sky. Last night was cloudy, so we didn't get to see any activity. But we are clear today, so we might have some excellent viewing---provided that I can stay awake long enough! It sounds as though the display might be more spectacular this year, given the moonset around eleven-thirty. We are always fortunate to have a clear view of the sky, without the lights of a city. But sometimes the moon is so bright that we can't see the stars all that well anyway.

We have had a bit of rain in the last few days, but not enough to make a difference in the state of the forest. The Forest Service has put on a level two fire ban, so that campfires are not allowed in the blowdown area. If you are headed into the forest to camp, be sure to bring a gas or propane cookstove. Temperatures for the next week are predicted in the sixties, and a little rain to go with that would be very welcome.

The berry crop is declining, but for the tenacious, it is still possible to find some blueberries and a few raspberries. I saw some thimbleberries still on the bushes today, too. The goldenrod is blooming, as is the tansy. I need to go up to our Observatory to see what is blooming there. We usually see asters in purple and white coming out about now.

Speaking of the Observatory, our two donkeys, Moses and Jethro, have set up a camp up there. They have been busy mowing down the grass and keeping the deer away from all of the white pines that are growing in there. I think the donkeys are a bit lonely to be so far away from all of us down here at the bottom of the hill. But we do appreciate their diligence in keeping the grass cut. Greg reports that the white pine are up to ten and twelve feet in that area. Amazing! This growth has all happened since the Blowdown in 1999. It is wonderful to see this new forest coming up.