Chitter Chatter – freeze your melons, eat your peaches, ride your bike, watch out for that tree!

In my ongoing attempt to stuff as much Summer into my freezer as possible, I filled a bag full of melon yesterday and there it went.

My husband found this little fellow split open on the vine yesterday.

My husband found this little fellow split open on the vine yesterday.

They started coming ripe so fast we couldn’t eat them quickly enough. It was so easy to cut them up and toss them in a bag.

That's funny - one melon is orange on the outside and green on the inside...

That’s funny – one melon is orange on the outside and green on the inside…

the other melon is kind of green/white on the outside but bright orange on the inside.

the other melon is kind of green/white on the outside but bright orange on the inside.

The two-tone colors make it look very festive in the bag. I cut up two melons and set the bag in the freezer over night.

Not too exciting - but when I opened the bag, the smell of melon filled the room!

Not too exciting – but when I opened the bag, the smell of melon filled the room!

I made a hot treat with some of those peaches I have left over – hot enough to melt ice cream. 

Golden brown on the outside, gooey peaches on the inside. This cobbler didn't stand a chance.

Golden brown on the outside, gooey peaches on the inside. This peach cobbler didn’t stand a chance.

It didn’t last long, just long enough to disappear a pint of Haagen Dazs. 

All this damned eating – the other day I had a hell of a time getting my belt fastened. I realized, we’d let ourselves slack off under that heat spell, and we never got going again. So yesterday morning we mounted up and went for a mountain bike ride to Upper Bidwell Park.

I say “mountain bike ride” because a mountain bike is a totally different beast than a three speed roadster. Old Myrtle, my Raleigh Superbe 3-speed ladies roadster, does not care for the dirt paths. I take her down the paths in Lower Park, but I’m careful to watch for gopher holes and stumps because her little skinny tires were not made for that kind of abuse.

I give her a pretty good beating – riding down Fourth Street a year or so ago I hit a pothole (I was looking at another pot hole and didn’t see the one in front of my tire) and BAM! My front brake handle broke off it’s mount and swung around, landing in my basket. Archie Sturmer, my gear mechanism, went into some kind of convulsions and my gears became unreliable, cutting out on me as soon as there was any kind of grade. My son fixed her all up when he came home from school a couple of months ago, and I use her to get to town for meetings, get to my dentist appointments, grocery store etc. But as far as the park goes, I wouldn’t take her beyond the Manzanita Bridge, just on general principles. 

Yes, the park can be  dangerous – even Lower Park.

Just before the park road opened yesterday somebody called the ranger about this broken limb hanging precariosly over the road.

Just before the park road opened yesterday somebody called the ranger about this broken limb hanging precariously over the pavement.

A big sycamore branch was swinging over a park ranger’s vehicle. We use the dirt paths, so we were not inconvenienced, but the road was closed until they could get a tree crew in there to cut it up. They were still messing with it when we came back about 40 minutes later.

The park is a mess. They’ve cut maintenance in favor of management salaries, benefits and pensions for about two years now. My husband wouldn’t wait for me to take more pictures, but I’ll tell you in a nutshell – the road is pitted and the edges are eroding away. The paved pathways are in worse shape, with sinkholes and edges broken off. The dirt pathways are also mined with gopher holes, lined with horse shit, and heavily overgrown with poison oak. Everywhere the trees are overgrown, dying, sagging, and nonnative species are quickly becoming the dominant life force. 

Drive the road at your own risk – they’ll tell you it’s the drought, but they also have not trimmed the trees along the park road for many years. There are oak branches hanging over sections of road that could crush a car. The sycamore picture above is nothing – an oak branch the same size would weigh hundreds of pounds. 

Our mayor Mark Sorensen leaves us this legacy. The park is beyond a simple fix, it needs major work. This has taken place on his watch. He’s the one who hired a guy to gut staff. 

Next time I’ll take my 3 speed and more pictures. Every time I go through the park it’s more depressing. 

I’m almost afraid to complain though – I know they will use the park degradation, as though they had nothing to do with it, as a segment of their plan to raise sales tax.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s