We have arrived at the beginning of another year! Spring is here, or so it seems. With all this wonderful, warm weather, we’re wondering, where did winter go? It’s hard to believe even though we’re in the middle of February, at Rancho La Bellota it feels like March or April. The fields and hillsides are bright green, wild flowers are blooming and a beautiful blue sky is there to greet us every morning.
Gratitude- dually noted- thanks to recent rainstorms which pummeled our area and brought the landscape back to life after four years of a long, dusty drought. Unfortunately, while in the midst of rain, heavy winds, and chunky hail, we lost two trees. One was an oak. We almost lost Agave, our mama Blue Heeler, but if it wasn’t for Kalua, her pal and daughter, we’d have never known Agave was in trouble.
LOTS OF RAIN AND AGAVE’S RESCUE
During the first December storm, an enormous amount of water and mud ran down the hillside from behind the cabins and onto the patio area covering the entire kitchen and living room porch. To make matters worse, it wasn’t long before the fire pit, and grass areas were also covered in about 5 inches of mud. Unfortunately, in all the excitement, we lost track of the dogs’ whereabouts, and Agave, who likes to sleep under the kitchen porch, hid there to escape the rain and thunder. So she thought.
The morning after the storm, Raul asked for Agave, but no one remembered seeing her that previous evening. All the dogs were accounted for except her. Agave was missing. We happen to notice Kalua, who whimpered, and pawed incessantly at the wooden planks on the porch. Raul insisted on pulling up the planks and when he did, there was Agave waste deep in mud. She had spent the entire night in freezing mud and water, unable to move, with just enough room under the porch to lift her head high enough so she could breathe.
I’m a firm believer that dogs smile. They really do. When the last plank gave way and Agave saw Raul, her one true love, she put on the biggest smile I’d ever seen. Much to our relief, Agave was fine.
After Agave’s rescue, we assesed the flooded patio, and kept watch on the darkening sky. It was obvious more rain was on the way. Raul, who is always on a mission, marched out to the barn, reved up Old Blue, the tractor, and proceeded to dig a trench around the cabin area so as to detour the water in case there was another storm, or a possible flood.
The next day it rained again, but there wasn’t any flooding this time. What happened was due to a long period of time of time without rain which caused the top soil to loosen into a fine powder. No wonder it turned to mud, and rushed down the hillside so quickly!
A WHALE OF A TIME AT LAGUNA SAN IGNACIO!
We survived the December storms with just enough time to dry out before our San Ignacio Whale Tour on January 15th which by the way, was a total success! Raul and I took eleven people into Baja Sur, and to Laguna San Ignacio where we spent four days in cozy cabins, we dined on delicious sea food, took scenic walks in the mangroves, and watched the whales up close and personal from fishing pangas on the beautiful San Ignacio Lagooon.
We didn’t touch a whale this time, but a young male, who was VERY big, checked out our panga and did a thorough investigation under and around our boat. When he surfaced to get a better look at us, we were amazed at the magnificent creature who came SO close we could look right in to his eye. Did I mention we also had a clam bake and celebrated Raul’s 54th birthday!
In case you’re not familiar with the migratory route of the California Gray Whale, the San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja Sur is their yearly breeding and birthing grounds. Each year they journey south from the cold Alaskan waters, roughly 10,000 miles, to the warm waters of Baja where they breed and birth their calves.
BACK TO WORK
The whale trip went very well. Raul and I enjoyed our time spent with everyone in the group, but wouldn’t you know it, there was a ton of work waiting for us when we returned to the ranch. Planting season had arrived! That was the end of January, but as of now, at the end of February, our fields are plowed and sowed with oat seed. We expect a good crop this year, and if El Nino cries as much as predicted, we’ll have an excellent harvest this year!
Just so you know, this Spring season is almost fully booked from the beginning of March straight through to July 1st. If you still want to book a date with us we suggest you do it soon. Before we know it, it’ll be time to start thinking about the fall.
Raul and I wish you well, and we send you warm greetings from La Bellota. We’ll look forward to seeing you at the ranch.
Raul and Caroline
Rancho La Bellota