Weekend Postcard: Gads Zeus…Hops

In the middle of the month of May I posted a weekend postcard of my Zeus hop bines in a half barrel container. The juvenile growth looked more like blackberry (Rubus spp.) vines than hops, which are a cousin of nettles and hemp (now you have an idea of why hops smell as they do).

Now, two months later the hops have grown 10 or 12 feet and are winding around our deck railings. They have begun flowering, so hop cones may not be far behind.

Post to Twitter

Weekend Postcard: Redbud in bloom

The western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) has bloomed throughout Lake County, CA. With its cordate (heart-shaped) leaves and magenta flowers, it dazzles us during spring.

Flowers and nascent leaves of the redbud

Post to Twitter

Weekend postcard: Alexander Valley

This weekend’s postcards were taken in the Alexander Valley area in Sonoma County near Healdsburg. They were taken last year in May so the grass on the hills had begun turning brown in the shallower and more exposed soils. The grapes were in full leaf.

It was one of those perfect California days. I had gone to Bear Republic Brewery and had a flight of tasters to accompany an incredible lamb burger. Afterward, I went to hear my friend and fellow writer, Ken Dalton talk about what it takes to write his “Pinky and the Bear” series.

Post to Twitter