Thursday, October 25, 2012

Skunked and Lobstered

I went into the woods today looking for Chanterelle mushrooms. On that mission I was skunked.

However, I did find two specimens of very large, bright orange mushrooms, which I did not keep, but identified just now as:

A parasitic fungus whose host is.....fungus! What will they think of next?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Powder Keg

A few weeks ago a friend described north Clark County as a "powder keg". It has only continued to dry out since then. The historic Yacolt Burn must have occurred in similar circumstances. Although I'm not sure there has ever been a fall with such a consecutive period of dry days before.

Rain is on its way this Friday, so before we get all soggy again, I thought I'd take the time to note this most unusual dry-spell that will have lasted almost midway into October before it is over.

The grass is California-brown.
The tomatoes were exceedingly prolific.
We always get dry summers, but the depth and degree of dryness is exceptional today.
The clear nights have lead to frost on the lower parts of our property, perhaps 4 times by now. Still, the Tomatoes, atop the hill, haven't blackened.

Since the rain brings lows in the mid 40's, they may yet last while longer, although I doubt much more ripening can occur.

Heidi planted corn so late in the year, I couldn't see how it would ripen. Nevertheless, some small ears have come to full fruition.

Last note: with our passive-solar home design, and the recent spate of completely clear and dry days, we have consistently reached indoor temperatures of 80-82, while the daytime high outside has been 70-74.

This in contrast to summertime, in which the sun doesn't shine in our windows much, and the temperatures peak at 84, even when outside temps are around 100.

Experience has shown that nighttime temperatures do not fall more than 4 degrees F per night, even on freezing nights. Thus I expect our home will still be above 70 by mid-October without supplementary heating.

Then it is anyone's guess if we can break our prior record of making it to Nov. 1 before employing any form of indoor heat.