Thursday, March 29, 2007

Winter Whales and Whatnot

No dust on me. Between the rain in the fields as I prune away old coffee growth to the saltwater rinseoff I take in evening, everything has been washed clean. Yes, a busy winter as usual, with little time to blog. But Spring is here!

Last night, while paddling with my outrigger club, Keoua, a humpback whale and her calf surfaced close to the boat. The whales spend winter with us, and this may be the last we see of them as they head off to Alaska for the summer. It's fantastic to be at eye level when they blow. A little humbling too, as their size and speed is deceptive from a distance.

The pruning season is a hopeful time, as we walk through the trees and watch the flowers turn into beans. The air is filled with the perfume of a million flowers and I compete for tree space with bees anxiously pollinating. This year, the early rains have been heavy and the trees are dense with beans. Large beans. Wait, is this just the end of March? We had our third round of coffee flowers two weeks ago. The oldtimer adage is a rule of 3, "three months from third flowering is picking time". That means (counts fingers...april...may..june..) June picking??!. That's two months early. Dang! Guess my 40th birthday may be spent with a basket around my neck as Gabriel and his picking crew won't be back until August.

Yes, 40 this year, my friends. To make me feel even older, I am going to be a step-grandparent. Here in Hawaii, young'uns are polite enough to call us oldsters "Auntie". So that's my word, and I'm sticking to it. Yes, I will be an Auntie to my partner's grandson, due to arrive last week. He's already right on "island time".

Some of you may be waiting for me to comment on the whole political mess about coffee labeling. I don't have it in me right now. To tired from too much real farmwork. Needless to say, I sleep well at night. Don't know how some other people do, what with all the bullshit they pass off as "truth in labeling". But that's all I'm going to say on that. For now.

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