Well, seed gathering has been shut down here in the Rockies. October brought with it forests and roadsides full of seeds, the mowers didn't mow much and I have been bringing in seed samples for months. All of these seed samples will be grown and trialed here. There is a tight path to walk through the Seed Room and the house is a maze of ripening boxes of tomatoes. And cucumbers, and squash, and corn. Nowhere to sit. I love it like this but Mother Nature just made me pause. Light snows are fine, but this continued dumping is really messing up my chi. I will go after seed until the roads close or are impassable. Some years that's not until December. I will travel long distances to get something I saw along an old road to somewhere. Meanwhile, -4 is just not doable.
Yesterday, on my way home from shipping seeds to New York City, I jumped into the snowy ditch wearing shorts and long johns to get the beautiful red Penstemon barbatus that I could now suddenly see, backlit by the snow. I knew it was there but was going to have to scour the road cuts to find it. As I was driving, it all appeared before me and I had to turn around in 4WD and go back for it. So there is yet another bag of seed ready for the seed room.
Colorado is famous for erratic weather. When we are in it though, we think it will always be this way. We think the sun will never shine again. Or when it's hot, that there will never be relief. It will change, it will warm up, it will melt. And I will be out there again, nose to the ground, butt in the air.
I have been so blessed this season, even if it is cut short and my little 4-Runner can't make it into the National Forest roads anymore, I am equipped with more seed than I've ever seen. Last year's snow was magic for the wildflowers, food, trees and shrubs. While elk hunting, I gathered many tree seeds and shall grow them here. The Ponderosa's were just beginning to drop their seeds and I even got seed of the mighty Bristlecone Pine. It was heavenly.
Today the trees here are loaded with snow, it is very cold and the clouds are starting to separate already. The sun will shine, the snow will begin to fall in big 'woofs', and the melting will begin. The day before it started Wulfgar and I worked many hours to dig all of the potatoes and then to plant garlic into the freshly dug beds. The soil was just right, rich, warm and not too wet. Near the end of the day, Cord came down and helped which saved us - we were pushing dark and we were pretty tired. I fed them stew. And then it snowed and snowed and hasn't stopped. The garlic was a little late but the snow will insulate and it will be another great year for garlic. Snowy winters also mean mondo garlic. Ok some pictures of my tales of the Rockies.