It was an adventure in microclimates one Saturday morning. It was foggy all the way from my house – where, I’m sorry to say, the Bear is once more an uninvited guest* – to the coast. It stayed with me all the way to Navarro and even beyond.

Eventually, the mists cleared, and I was in sunny Anderson Valley:

The vines are flourishing, dreaming of harvests to come. I have always loved this fence, and today I made time to stop and take a picture:

I stopped in at Gowan’s, as you do. I got some fresh raspberries, almonds, and walnuts. Just down the highway was the main purpose of this little weekend jaunt.

When I was in the Valley a couple of weeks ago, I stopped by the farm supply store, where I noticed a large and very beautiful ceramic apple for sale. I assumed that it would be far out of my price range, but discovered that it was actually quite reasonable. But with my usual lack of decision-making skills, I couldn’t decide whether to get it or not. I didn’t need it, but I certainly wanted it. I thought about it for a couple of days, and finally called them and bought it over the phone. It took me a few more days to get there and pick it up, and when I did, it was even prettier than I remembered.

A nice young man carried it to the car and stowed it carefully in Wednesday’s back seat for the curvaceous ride back to Hooterville. I still need to plant around it, but I think the apple looks adorable next to my front porch:

It’s even bear proof!

*I don’t remember him stopping by during the summer before, but he has made his presence known in a messy and annoying way all summer. Now that the apples are getting ripe, I think I can expect further visits. I have been spraying the trash cans with ammonia and hoping for the best.

A YEAR AGO: Some surgery for Stella. I am glad to say she is healthy and happy now!

FIVE YEARS AGO: Some bad omens.

TEN YEARS AGO: Car stuff is never fun. Or cheap.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: Rita and I were both grumpy.