Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Floods and Flowers

Here in the Salt Lake Valley, we went from having an unexpected late May snow to temperatures in the mid to high 80's over the last 4 to 5 days.  This has quickly begun to melt the mountain snowpack, sending it crashing down the canyons in record volumes.    We've not had runoff like this since the floods of 1983.

At Wheeler Farm, the historical working farm owned by Salt Lake County where I work, the Little Cottonwood Creek flows through our 76+ acres.  It's usually a bubbling brook, although springtime usually sees a rise in volume.  It's enough of a threat to persons and dogs that Farm employees get annual swift water rescue training.

This year,  the creek is an angry torrent raging down the mountain, bringing logs and all sorts of dangerous debris with it.  Deadly.  For the time being, the logjams are being cleared by County crews and their equipment stationed here and in other locations in Murray City 24/7.   It's helping to keep the creek from straying too far from its banks in most places, but there's only so much that can be done in these conditions.

Several acres of the farm, including the campgrounds, are under water.

Below is a picture of the creek as it usually looks in spring.

This is the exact same spot, pictured this morning as I walked around the farm before work this morning.  It's several feet higher and wider on each side.  It's muddy and loud, and even the geese are staying away.

But life on the farm continues.  Today was just a gorgeous day for the kids attending summer camp and the persons out walking with friends or dogs.  Lots of visitors and activity.   When I finished my walk and was heading to the Activity Barn to clock in, some people passed me, asking if I'd gotten any good pictures.  I replied that I had, but now it was time to get to work.  They said "Aw, that's too bad", probably feeling sorry for me, thinking I'd be hopping into a car and driving to some office somewhere.  But I said to them, "No, it's really great.  I work HERE at the Farm!"  They laughed and went from being sorry for me to being envious!   :-)

But I digress..... my walk was relaxing and just plain wonderful.  As I walked, I drank in the fresh morning air and snapped pictures of my "home away from home".  This is the Activity Barn.  It's where our office is.  We also rent it out for company parties, wedding receptions and the like.   The field in the foreground is plowed and ready for planting the corn.

Below is the same view of the activity barn from a slightly different angle.  Here I was standing in the front lawn area of the historic farmhouse.   I love the farm early in the morning.   I love to walk around and feel as though I own it; my farm.  My farmhouse.  My ducks and cows and flowers and trees.....

More flowers in the front lawn of the farmhouse.  In the background you can see the milking barn.  Yep, we milk the cows there twice a day - 6 in the morning and 5 in the evening.   Every.  Single.  Day.    Besides the Activity Barn and the milking barn, we have a machinery barn

But there are flowers that ARE mine, and the roses below are among them.  I love the color of these roses and chose this grandiflora bush for their color and scent.  No, I don't remember what they're called, but the tag is still there at the base.  Only I'm NOT going to crawl under it now to read it.   (Note to self: why not remember to do it in spring before it blooms?  And write it down!)   Part of my California poppy bush is visible on the right and an iris on the left.  This area needs to be thinned out!

And my front rosebush by the driveway.  Same story; the tag is there but I can't remember the name of it....

Front of the house with my two rose trees by the front porch (Double Delight and Mr. Lincoln!  HA!  I do remember SOME of them!)   Then there are irises - I definitely do NOT know their names.  We bought the rhizomes a few years ago at an iris society show.  They're all local hybrids, but I had a "cheat sheet" with their names on them and where I planted what.  Unfortunately, I left the sheet outside on the patio, and Mother Nature decided to destroy it with wind and rain.

Still have more annuals to plant, but everything is pretty well weeded, hoed, trimmed, fed, etc.  Summer is right around the corner, and I'm ready to relax.  BRING IT ON!!

Cathy maroon


  1. I'll join in with the folks you met on your walk - I'm envious of where you get to work too! I really enjoyed the photos - it is so pretty.

  2. Loved this whole tour of a post Cathy. It's fun to place you in situ...


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