Weekends are times for kicking back. Except on a part time farm. Which is why I’m punting today and posting mostly pictures instead of writing anything. How about another tour of the spread? That’s always a good stand-by. What better place to start than with this Matija Poppy. I don’t know why, but these flowers always make me happy. We call them “Fried Egg Flowers” because they look like the centerpiece to a healthy farm breakfast. They are also loved by bees and butterflies, which is why we planted them. Although I wasn’t quick enough to capture any of those visitors today.

If you remember the wild and wooly look of a few weeks ago, you may be pleased to see that the vineyards got a haircut and a touch up. The vineyards were overgrown with weeds earlier…deliberately. The best wine comes from grapes that struggle, and apparently, repeated mulching had made our land TOO fertile. So weeds were allowed to grow to pull nutrients out of the soil. Their work is done now. Weeds are mown and the vines have been trimmed and tied neatly within the wires.

I’m in the midst of an ongoing photographic project to document the development of one specific vine, Vine 2 in Row 6 of the vineyard. It’s Cabernet and it’s coming along nicely.

But surprisingly different from the Cinsault.

Yet another varietal, the Mourvedre, isn’t even completely out of the flowering stage yet.

Then out of the vineyards and down one of the nature trails. Doesn’t this look lovely and natural?

Actually, it’s the work of a trail-making genius we affectionately call John the Baptist. He builds us trails by working from original deer trails and enhancing them with found objects. We asked him to “landscape as God would”. Apparently, he’s got God on a speed dial because he gets it exactly right.

Then we come to our amphitheater, built from all the stones that had to be dug out of the vineyard land.

Eric Clapton has yet to accept our invitation to play here. It’s not as if we could afford to pay him. But we would offer him a barbecue of Sonoma organic beef and Two Terrier corn and tomatoes. But so far, it looks as if our headlining act will continue to be The Mellow Stylings of Andy Paul.

Then back down another trail, where we passed this rock overhanging the path.

Whereupon, Andy looked up and said, “We could carve Obama’s face in this rock and have our own mini Mount Rushmore.”

Note, Republicans, this suggestion did NOT come from the life-long Democrat. It came from an Englishman, who is not a US citizen and who is a confirmed Capitalist. But I wouldn’t mind this plan. We could invite Barack, Michelle and the kids for a barbecue. Organic, free-range Sonoma beef and Two Terriers tomatoes and corn. We have plenty. As I don’t think Eric Clapton will be stopping by any time soon.

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