Friday, April 30, 2010

This is the same view of the newly-planted prairie that I first posted last November. The weather has been wet and today was the first day in awhile that I could get out here. Not much to see, I guess, since so much of the exciting stuff requires a much closer look. But annual plants are up and running. The light green stuff with thin leaves is mostly clarkia and Epilobium brachycarpum. I didn't plant the Epilobium, but it's a native annual that shows up here when the soil is disturbed. There is quite a lot of it in the southern part of the prairie. Like Spring whitlow grass (Draba verna, which some say is native and others not, but it's a sweet little plant anyway), it fills in a disturbed area, sheds its seeds and then goes away as other stuff fills in, but is always there waiting for a chance. The wider-bladed plants are mostly prickly lettuce and mustard, and I will soon be spot-spraying those little delights with 2-4-D.

Elsewhere in the prairie, there are more spectacular results these days. Native deliphinium is in bloom...
And I was thrilled to find a vigorous Shooting star (Dodecatheon conjugens) in the shade of a Ponderosa pine in the southwest part of the prairie. This little flower had been putting out leaves for two years before it suddenly bloomed last week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sisyrinchium idahoense blooming in the prairie, 4/16/10. I think this may be a different variety than the usual one that grows here. All the books say that it varies from pink to purple to blue, and some of them are very pale, but this one's petals are pure white, a bit smaller, and about 2-3 weeks later than the more common variety. This particular one grew from seeds I collected several years ago from my friends Bill and Jessica Rivers who have a spectacular Palouse prairie remnant about two miles east of here, with several of these white sisyrinchiums amidst a carpet of the blue, purple, and pink ones. Here are some of the more common sisyrinchium that I photographed a couple of weeks ago in our prairie.

The warm Spring we have been enjoying (it got up to 80 degrees yesterday), with perfectly-timed rain storms every day or two, has seriously inspired plant life around here. Just a few weeks ago I went out to the spot where I had taken the photograph I posted from last fall and though you could see that things were happening if you looked close up, the far away view still looked pretty brown and bare, so I decided not to show that view again yet, but I should do that soon, since it is changing rapidly.

I have been hard at work finishing up some projects in the studio and working on Cassandra. It will be a long time before I can show this stuff to anyone, since I am writing out the score as I go and just recording basic vocals (mainly myself) with the finished instrumental tracks, so that I can get to the end and bring in singers to do the finished vocal parts. I was working on Act I, Scene 4 this last week though, and realized that the instrumental part in the ending of that song would be a nice little bit of the music to post.


I decided to pull it off my website. There will be Cassandra music soon enough...