Thursday, November 26, 2015

White Thanksgiving in Mount Shasta, CA

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that it was trying to snow as we were arriving at my mother-in-law’s house in Mount Shasta in the mountains of far northern California. As I went to bed last night, I was hoping to find a winter wonderland in the morning.

And to my delight I did. In fact, it was still snowing at 8 a.m. this morning. I quickly grabbed my camera and took some photos on my mother-in-law’s two-acre property. Get ready for some picture-postcard loveliness!

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Barn in the backyard framed by Western redcedars (Thuja plicata)

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When asked what this tree is, my mother-in-law replied, “beats the sh*t out of me”

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So it will henceforth be known…

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…as the BTHSOM tree

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Clearing in the woods

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Just seconds before taking this photo I saw a deer walk by

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Grandma’s house (without the big oven in the kitchen)

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Snow Falling on (Red)Cedars (reference to one of my favorite novels)

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I hate the cold, but I love falling snow

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One more photo of the impossibly scenic barn in the backyard

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This is the small hill in front of the house

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Our minivan in front of the house

In 2011, we planted several running bamboos in my parents-in-law’s backyard. Fast forward four years. While all the bamboos are still alive, none with the exception of the stone bamboo (Phyllostachys angusta) below has grown much.

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Phyllostachys angusta

In fact, none of them have “run” to take over the backyard, as some of the neighbors had predicted.

There are two reasons. Reason #1: The soil here is extremely well draining and dries out very quickly. The only growth that has happened is where the soil gets watered. Reason #2: We’re in year four of an epic drought. My mother-in-law has cut way back on irrigation. The bamboos have received just enough to survive, but not enough to spread.

In light of that, let’s take a look at some of the bamboos in the backyard.

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LEFT: Phyllostachys nigra
FOREGROUND: Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’
RIGHT: Phyllostachys bambusoides

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Chusquea culeou ‘Roja’ (almost died in the winter of 2013)

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Phyllostachys nigra

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Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’ (almost killed by voles in 2011)

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Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’

If these bamboos were growing in, say, the Carolinas, they would have engulfed half of the backyard by now. But here in the arid West, they’re barely hanging on.

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! I love the red bark and green boughs of the cedars against the snow. Like you, I enjoy falling snow, but don't like the cold. The BTSHOM tree may be more appropriately-named than you realize. I can't be sure without a closer picture, but it looks like cascara (Rhamnus purshiana). It's bark is used as a laxative.

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    1. After reading what you wrote about Rhamnus purshiana, I want it to be that, but I can't be sure. My MIL says it was a volunteer that appeared many years ago.

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  2. You may have the prettiest conifers in the world in that side of the American continent.

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    1. I agree, there sure are impressive conifers in the western U.S. But I also love Asian conifers; they look so refined to me.

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  3. Those barn shots are picture postcard perfect. Enjoy your visit!

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    1. My mother-in-law threatened (I hope jokingly) to pain the barn gray or blue. NO!! It should always be red.

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  4. Beautiful shots, and I'm glad you've got the snow, not us! I love Evan's ID on the tree.

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    1. It's been very cold so the snow is sticking (the forecast for tonight is a low of 6°F). As beautiful as it is, I'm glad to heading home to warmer temps tomorrow.

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  5. That is a beautiful barn, and the snow scenes are perfect. I bet the air smelled wonderful, too.

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    1. The air is incredible. So pure! The same goes for the water. The stuff that comes out of the faucet is better than any bottled water I've ever had.

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  6. Love that barn, and your photos of the snowy forest are just magical. That weather's too cold for me, though [runs off to turn up the heater]...

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    1. I know what you mean! It was 10°F the night before we left. Brrrrr. A high of 56°F in Davis today sounds positively balmy.

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