The Frog Chorus

The grounds all over the farm are spongy and soft after the solid dousing of rain we received over the weekend. The rain was good, and I hope we get a lot more, but with only a couple days under our belt and the sun now shining brightly, everything has turned green, and I am remembering that grass grows. It grows fast.

Easy-E, the tractor, is on the fritz. I think the carburetor is clogged with dust, and a gasket that prevents gas from leaking out of the fuel shut-off valve is shot. Easy spends about 50 to 60 percent of the time on the fritz, but that’s primarily my own inertia at play. If I’ve gotten most of what I wanted to get done with her done, then I’ll leave it alone—until it becomes urgent again. I suppose it’s not the smartest or most proactive cycle anyone ever devised.

The rain is absolute magic when it comes to sprouting seedlings. I don’t know what it is, but I could keep sprinklers running twenty four hours a day and the irrigated water still wouldn’t inspire seeds to sprout like a few hours of Mother Nature’s steady drizzle. All the plants and trees have absorbed the moisture, relaxed and expanded, and brightened in color. The farm feels like it’s been holding its breath, and now the fresh air has arrived and everything is breathing again.

With the advent of the rain, the frog chorus next door is firing up. The neighbors have an in-ground swimming pool that doubles as a frog breeding ground during the winter and spring. After the sun goes down, hundreds, maybe thousands of the tiny green amphibians join together in rousing dialogue and song. It is an incredible cacophony they collectively create; a high-pitched tribute to the re-emergence of life.

The Best Sex in the World 

The Sochi Olympics are humming along. I get the impression our media is overly critical, picking and poking at every little thing to find the problems, whether those problems are genuine or not. Hosting the Olympics is a humongous undertaking, and no matter where the Olympics are held, things go wrong. Still, the dual-toilet thing is puzzling.

The older I get, the more I recognize that the Olympics are really a celebration of youth. All those hard-bodies: teens and twenty somethings, frazzled on hormones, novelty, and adrenaline—can you imagine the orgy taking place in the Olympic Village after the day’s events are over?

Taking the Month Off 

My favorite sport, NASCAR, starts up in less than two weeks. The Daytona 500 fires up on the 17th. There’s nothing I like better than watching the cars spin around the track a couple hundred times at speeds approaching a couple hundred miles per hour. Well, maybe bonfires.

I’ve made this major miscalculation. Last year I took the month of February off of drinking. My rationale was simple—shortest month of the year. But I didn’t factor in the Super Bowl or the Daytona 500. I’m on the wagon again, but I’m no extremist. If beers must be consumed on the 17th, so be it.

Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.