The Labor of our Fruits

January has continued December’s trend of mild temperatures and rain instead of snow. Several times the transition from rain to snow occurred just above our 5000 ft elevation.

A mid-January view from the deck of the Trestlewood Chalet. There is some snow on the ridge above us to the East, but none at our location just a few hundred feet below.

This shift from snow in January to rain has been the trend for the last three or more winters. It is in obvious and stark contrast to winters of the prior decade, when December through February were historically the most difficult months for me to keep the driveway free of snow and ice.

It has not been a “dry” winter; just a warm one. Total precipitation for just the first half of January as measured at the Logger’s Retreat weather station was close to 2.5 inches.

We took this opportunity of a mild January to plant ten new bare-root fruit trees in the yard space around the Trestlewood Chalet.

My landscaper/arborist brother had suggested this as a way to replace the previous fruit trees that the Railroad Fire had either damaged or killed. We thought is would also be a good “practice run” for the eventual tree planting we will do on the Logger’s Retreat property, after the house and garage are rebuilt.

The first step was to dig holes in the rocky hillside below the Trestlewood Chalet’s deck. We were fortunate to have the generous assistance of two very dear friends who probably ended up having more of a “working weekend” than they had anticipated! But the soil was quite soft and workable after several months of rain, so the digging of ten holes in steep, rocky soil went fairly quickly.

The now-pockmarked yard below the Trestlewood Chalet’s main deck awaits its new residents.

By the following afternoon all of our new fruit trees were resting comfortably in their new homes.

The new fruit trees take their places around the survivors of the Railroad Fire.

As you can see, the weekend weather was absolutely beautiful — cool and sunny, with bright blue skies and puffy white clouds.

The green of young rye grass is clearly visible among the erosion control mats now.

It has been a month since we last saw the rye grass we planted for erosion control. We can tell that even the grass has been enjoying this mild winter weather.

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