Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Work is Done

The late summer quiet always sneaks up on me. I spend most of the summer in a tizzy; never enough time to get things done. Then, all of a sudden, my world becomes quiet. The vines are at the place they are supposed to be and for the next several weeks I have no work to distract me from worrying if Mother Nature has some nasty surprises in store. The grapes look great. So far it's been a good year and we ought to get a good harvest. But, still, only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monsoon Skies

I love watching the skies during the summer rainy season. As it appears to be winding down, I thought I'd share some photos of this season's cloudy skies with you.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Next Blog

This is the second of a two part blog I started yesterday. So, if you haven't read yesterday's blog yet you might want to start there.

The polite name for the subject of this picture is scat. It is what coyotes very impolitely leave behind when they feast on grapes. I know, some people think coyotes are carnivores. Actually, they are omnivores. They eat whatever is available to them. Apparently, grapes are one of their favorites. Maybe next year I can find a way to keep them out of the vineyard. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Race Against Time

August is the time of year when the realities of farming challenge the Spring optimism. Now when I walk the rows of vines I can see the stresses on the vines; bird damage, wind damage, hail damage, and this damage. Something is stripping the lower grapes off my beautiful Syrah clusters! When I started out yesterday morning I wondered if it was raven or coyote damage. I've watched the ravens hopping up and down tearing at the clusters. They are quite comical to watch. However, I saw much more damage than a whole flock of ravens could have caused the further I walked along. Then I ran into, or rather, almost stepped on the evidence of what was eating the grapes. You'll have to read my next blog to see. I have to warn you, though, it is not for the faint of heart.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wait a minute!

I know, this doesn't really belong in the winery blog, but the other night when I was walking Emma and Cassy for their end of day walk at our home in Tucson, I heard this rustling in the nearby gravel. As I directed the flashlight in that direction I saw this beauty. It was about 18-20 inches long and just watched me watch it. I hurried the end of the walk and got the camera. Fortunately it was still where I left it and being a rather shy creature, did not stick around for a pose. Not that I wanted to get to close to it either. A real prehistoric animal. A wonder of the Sonoran desert. The only poisonous lizard in North America. Gila Monster.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer Storms

We had a fierce storm Saturday night that dumped .75" of rain. By the looks of some of the grape clusters it also dropped hail. As a grape farmer I shouldn't like the storms but I still marvel at the energy and the beauty.