2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

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Andrew Morris
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#1 Post by Andrew Morris » January 2nd, 2017, 12:32 pm

Fine, Casey, then I'll start it...

Snow here in So Hum, even down in Briceland at 600 ft. Snowing now and has been off and on most of the day. Looking forward to getting pruning done early this year, but not yet...
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#2 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 2nd, 2017, 3:16 pm

And a happy 2017 to all the growers, producers and others who follow these threads each year!

It is cold in Napa Valley - I heard that the expected temperatures are the coldest in 20 years. But when the sun is out in the afternoon, you can still enjoy the warmth of the sun while enjoying a glass of wine, overlooking the vineyards.

Today has been sun, then downpours, then rainbows. All within 10 minutes of each other, and then repeated several times. It is quiet up here, just the way I like it.

The mountain tops are shrouded in rain and fog, so I have not seen any snow. Maybe there was some there this morning before I awoke at 8:30! champagne.gif
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#3 Post by Casey Hartlip » January 2nd, 2017, 4:34 pm

This was the scene this morning when it got light enough for a picture. It's gone now around my house but there could be plenty tomorrow morning.
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#4 Post by Paul Gordon » January 3rd, 2017, 8:32 am

2017 started with the first significant snow since 2013...

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#5 Post by Corey N. » January 3rd, 2017, 8:37 am

Great pictures Paul!

Generally speaking, does snow help/hurt anything for the subsequent vintage?
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#6 Post by Evan Pontoriero » January 3rd, 2017, 8:58 am

Lots of rain this week. I expect to see a pic of Floodgate any day now. At least the cold put the vines to sleep this year.
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#7 Post by Stewart Johnson » January 3rd, 2017, 10:05 am

Corey N. wrote:Great pictures Paul!

Generally speaking, does snow help/hurt anything for the subsequent vintage?
Maybe the cold will push bud break back to a more reasonable point in the spring so that we don't have to sweat frost for 3 months and contemplate Labor Day harvests. A return to the Old Normal timing of the growing season would be welcome.
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#8 Post by Paul Gordon » January 3rd, 2017, 1:36 pm

Corey N. wrote:Great pictures Paul!

Generally speaking, does snow help/hurt anything for the subsequent vintage?
Corey

I like the snow and cold - this past month there were at least a dozen nights with temps below freezing. It shuts down the vines hard, delaying bud-break and thus reducing risks of spring frost damage and pushing harvest into (cool) October. Plus the cold kills bugs.
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#9 Post by Casey Hartlip » January 3rd, 2017, 7:14 pm

Plenty of big ass wind that usually comes with a robust storm. We've had some decent rains today. 5-10 day forecast keeps changing which doesn't shock me for this time of year.
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#10 Post by Edward H. Earles » January 5th, 2017, 11:47 am

(Bump for bookmark)

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#11 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 5th, 2017, 12:22 pm

We finally have a totally clear (but cold) day. Temperature at noon is around 47 degrees. Tonight, depending on which forecast you hear/believe, we could see 25 degrees. No, it will not harm the vines, but it can mess with water pipes and certain vegetation. Then tomorrow night, we are supposed to start with the rains again, which are scheduled to go through the weekend and into the week.

Good thing there is plenty of football on this weekend, not to mention all that available indoor time to start work on the income taxes.
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#12 Post by Jim Hartten » January 5th, 2017, 12:30 pm

Great to see the weather blog kick off 2017. Sounds like the recent rainfall is replenishing ground water levels, collection ponds, etc. [thumbs-up.gif] Now some cold to potentially delay bud break! Nice start to the new year! [cheers.gif] Now that the 2017 growing season is underway, how are the 2016s starting to look in the cellar? [popcorn.gif]

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#13 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 5th, 2017, 4:38 pm

Jim Hartten wrote:Great to see the weather blog kick off 2017. Sounds like the recent rainfall is replenishing ground water levels, collection ponds, etc. [thumbs-up.gif] Now some cold to potentially delay bud break! Nice start to the new year! [cheers.gif] Now that the 2017 growing season is underway, how are the 2016s starting to look in the cellar? [popcorn.gif]
I need to look at my 2016s. And more closely at my 2015s. I had a nasty accident and am still experiencing the effects of the injury. I'll report back when I taste them all, barrel by barrel. If anyone is around in the next couple of weeks, let me know. Would welcome another opinion or 2.
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#14 Post by Jim Hartten » January 6th, 2017, 7:46 am

Merrill, off topic - I picked up a six-pack of the 2010 Black Cat at MacArthur Beverages before the holidays to send to several clients. I spoke with Andy who thought it would be drinking pretty well right now. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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#15 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 6th, 2017, 2:36 pm

Jim Hartten wrote:Merrill, off topic - I picked up a six-pack of the 2010 Black Cat at MacArthur Beverages before the holidays to send to several clients. I spoke with Andy who thought it would be drinking pretty well right now. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Lucky you! I have none at my warehouse, and none at my shipper. I have maybe a case or so in my Library. Gone - so good score!

This one is drinking well with a 2-4 hour decant. It is one of my bigger boys, but has moved into a nice window. Not going to fall off the earth any time soon, though. Andy meets with me every summer here at the ranch, I show at their tasting every year, and he and the Bassins staff know my wines very well. So you and anyone else can rely on them to give you a good steer.
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#16 Post by Casey Hartlip » January 7th, 2017, 6:25 am

Major winds all night long and even now at 6:00 am. I don't think we've had a ton of rain yet (I'm not going out to the rain gauge in my jammies!) But things are supposed to get even more wild. Hold on folks!
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#17 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 7th, 2017, 10:37 am

It started to rain here before midnight last night, and from what I can tell, has not stopped. The lower areas of my yard are already filled with water - lots of puddles on the driveway. Fortunately, the vineyard is very flat, and I have never seen it pool up. The cover crop is very dense, so if there IS any standing water, you would not see it. A couple of vineyard blocks down the way at Kenefick and Frediani have drainage that enables flooding there, so I have seen it go over the road in the past. Since this is not supposed to stop until Thursday, guess I should make my way to the store soon.
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#18 Post by Mike Schieffer » January 7th, 2017, 6:19 pm

The recent cold temps are undoubtedly a good thing for reducing disease pressure (e.g. killing the bacteria that causes Pierce's Disease). Not sure how much they would delay bud break, though, nor do I think they'll affect the timing of Harvest.

There's not a ton of research that I know of regarding a correlation between cold temps and delayed bud break, but you do need a certain number of heat hours to bring the vines out of dormancy, which can happen in the space of a week. As for earlier or delayed Harvests, believe that's more affected by weather later in the growing season and what kind of yields the vines are carrying.

Just a couple of thoughts. Hope everyone is staying dry!!
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#19 Post by Paul Gordon » January 7th, 2017, 10:54 pm

Mike Schieffer wrote:The recent cold temps are undoubtedly a good thing for reducing disease pressure (e.g. killing the bacteria that causes Pierce's Disease). Not sure how much they would delay bud break, though, nor do I think they'll affect the timing of Harvest.

There's not a ton of research that I know of regarding a correlation between cold temps and delayed bud break, but you do need a certain number of heat hours to bring the vines out of dormancy, which can happen in the space of a week. As for earlier or delayed Harvests, believe that's more affected by weather later in the growing season and what kind of yields the vines are carrying.

Just a couple of thoughts. Hope everyone is staying dry!!
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I do not care what the "research" says, cold pushes back budbreak. At our vineyard the last three years have had little frost/snow/cold and budbreak has been in March. Every other winter has seen colder temps and budbreak has been in April.
Our budbreak to harvest is also very consistent, but we are in a marginal high altitude coastal Mendocino location. Valley floor Napa/Sonoma may be very different.
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#20 Post by Andrew Morris » January 8th, 2017, 2:02 pm

Over five 1/4 inches since I emptied it yesterday morning. It only goes up to 5.25

Took a short break and now it's back. Big winds and no PGE too.

My Honda generator is earning its keep. [cheers.gif]
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#21 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 8th, 2017, 3:09 pm

My guess is around 8 inches here. It softened for a bit and I got the trash and recycling out, but it is back at it again. Still warm - 55 degrees - but certainly nasty.
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#22 Post by Brian Tuite » January 9th, 2017, 5:36 am

Evan Pontoriero wrote:Lots of rain this week. I expect to see a pic of Floodgate any day now. At least the cold put the vines to sleep this year.
This was yesterday at Floodgate. Water has risen 13' since this video.




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#23 Post by Andrew Morris » January 9th, 2017, 7:02 am

Still no PGE. Over 24 hours. There is no estimated time of restoration and no crew on site.
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#24 Post by Mike Schieffer » January 9th, 2017, 8:11 am

Thanks, Paul. All good points. I should've clarified that I'm referring to early cold temperatures as opposed to prolonged cold temperatures.
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#25 Post by Kenny H » January 9th, 2017, 8:23 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
Mike Schieffer wrote:The recent cold temps are undoubtedly a good thing for reducing disease pressure (e.g. killing the bacteria that causes Pierce's Disease). Not sure how much they would delay bud break, though, nor do I think they'll affect the timing of Harvest.

There's not a ton of research that I know of regarding a correlation between cold temps and delayed bud break, but you do need a certain number of heat hours to bring the vines out of dormancy, which can happen in the space of a week. As for earlier or delayed Harvests, believe that's more affected by weather later in the growing season and what kind of yields the vines are carrying.

Just a couple of thoughts. Hope everyone is staying dry!!
Mike

I do not care what the "research" says, cold pushes back budbreak. At our vineyard the last three years have had little frost/snow/cold and budbreak has been in March. Every other winter has seen colder temps and budbreak has been in April.
Our budbreak to harvest is also very consistent, but we are in a marginal high altitude coastal Mendocino location. Valley floor Napa/Sonoma may be very different.
Well Paul, just when I was going to suggest that you need to really focus on statistical climatic data to support your position because I don't believe plants have a memory, it turns out they may.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-06/p ... ts/8098142

Common knowledge is that budbreak or germination relies on recent history. Perhaps that is not the case and it is fascinating.
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#26 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 9th, 2017, 8:33 pm

It is pelting rain against the doors and windows...again. The wind is howling...again.
At least we had most of the day to walk, get outside, do errands, let the cats out. Lady Sapphire, my amazing 10 month old black polydactyl, is some hunter. She had a mouse she was chasing for hours out in the yard. She was bred as a wilderness cat, and despite her high-class looks, she is a huntress supreme.
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#27 Post by Evan Pontoriero » January 9th, 2017, 8:46 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
Evan Pontoriero wrote:Lots of rain this week. I expect to see a pic of Floodgate any day now. At least the cold put the vines to sleep this year.
This was yesterday at Floodgate. Water has risen 13' since this video.




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#28 Post by Joe Webb » January 10th, 2017, 7:41 am

Kenny H wrote:
Paul Gordon wrote:
Mike Schieffer wrote:The recent cold temps are undoubtedly a good thing for reducing disease pressure (e.g. killing the bacteria that causes Pierce's Disease). Not sure how much they would delay bud break, though, nor do I think they'll affect the timing of Harvest.

There's not a ton of research that I know of regarding a correlation between cold temps and delayed bud break, but you do need a certain number of heat hours to bring the vines out of dormancy, which can happen in the space of a week. As for earlier or delayed Harvests, believe that's more affected by weather later in the growing season and what kind of yields the vines are carrying.

Just a couple of thoughts. Hope everyone is staying dry!!
Mike

I do not care what the "research" says, cold pushes back budbreak. At our vineyard the last three years have had little frost/snow/cold and budbreak has been in March. Every other winter has seen colder temps and budbreak has been in April.
Our budbreak to harvest is also very consistent, but we are in a marginal high altitude coastal Mendocino location. Valley floor Napa/Sonoma may be very different.


Well Paul, just when I was going to suggest that you need to really focus on statistical climatic data to support your position because I don't believe plants have a memory, it turns out they may.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-06/p ... ts/8098142

Common knowledge is that budbreak or germination relies on recent history. Perhaps that is not the case and it is fascinating.
In our expierence we see similar res results to what Paul is talking about. When winter is milder and drier soil temps warm earlier in the season and all our plants come out earlier. What we use to estimate harvest (and to schedule bottling as to not get caught off guard early and to maximize time in barrel to as close to 11 months as possible after 3-4+ weeks in the fermentor) is the daffodils. The first farm house built on the property planted a bed of daffodils that the family has tracked for over 60 years. We use them as the indicator plant for the start to the season. They tracked it mostly for when to schedule hay planting assuring the soil was warm enough in the spring to get the seeds to germinate.

I really hope we see the daffodils and grapes wake up in a more normal time of year. The last few early years we had flowering a month early that lead to some loss from shatter. Mostly on the SB but some on the PN as well. Harvesting mid to late September is prefered to late August.
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#29 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 10th, 2017, 11:25 am

The rain has not subsided, and the earth is at saturation again. All the low spots in my yard are puddled, and the "pond" in my neighbor's back yard has reappeared. My habit is to take any unused water, even from the stray water glass, and dump it on some plants somewhere on the property. I stopped myself again this morning...I mean, why?
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#30 Post by leslie mead » January 10th, 2017, 12:42 pm

And now the wind is picking up big time and trees are falling.

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#31 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 10th, 2017, 4:09 pm

I bought this place in December of 1999. I have never, ever seen this much standing water on my property. Can't see anything in the vineyard because the cover crop is fairly high, but any low spot on the rest of the property is under water. Windows and doors that never had any sign of leaking have been spitting down water. The amount of rain, along with intense and shifting winds, have brought those in to view. The roads have flooded over at both ends of my access from the Silverado Trail, but I do not feel at risk. Just not going anywhere.

Good food, great wine, and dry fire wood are the keys to getting through this.
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#32 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 10th, 2017, 6:09 pm

Now no electricity and the storm seems to be intensifying. As they would say in Boston: "Wicked bad storm."
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#33 Post by Karen Troisi » January 11th, 2017, 5:08 am

Napa River crested last night around 1am at just shy of 26 feet (sunday was 26.81) and downtown Napa remained dry. Big relief as our tasting room and residence are both downtown.

The river is raging and remains high so let's hope we start to see levels go down before the next high tide at noon. There was a lot more precip north and in the mountains yesterday that has to make its way down yet. So far the flood project is working as designed.

Here is the latest 24 hr precip map I pulled early this morning covering 5am Tues to 5am Wed.
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#34 Post by Gary Schulte » January 11th, 2017, 5:30 am

Are there areas in Napa and Sonoma that require Federal Flood Insurance? I'm guessing that there are parts of Napa city that do.

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#35 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 11th, 2017, 9:48 am

I don't know about that, Gary.

All the standing water in my yard has been absorbed...amazing. Many, many limbs and branches down, and it is quite the mess. The trenches between the street and private property are still pretty full.

It is cooler, around 48, but the sun is shining! I am going to get out of here for a while today for sure.
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#36 Post by Karen Troisi » January 11th, 2017, 11:57 am

Gary Schulte wrote:Are there areas in Napa and Sonoma that require Federal Flood Insurance? I'm guessing that there are parts of Napa city that do.
Gary - I assume Sonoma has similar mapping for flood zones - here is the link to the Napa site and where there wiuld be requirements for flood insurance. Napa has made changes to their mapping based on the flood control project.

http://www.cityofnapa.org/index.php?opt ... Itemid=793
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#37 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 12th, 2017, 9:50 am

Yesterday finally turned rainy...and cold. There is a slight dusting of snow visible atop the Palisades, way up across from my place.
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#38 Post by BJ Hamel » January 12th, 2017, 10:10 am

The 8 station northern sierra precipitation index is looking pretty amazing so far this year.

https://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/pro ... OT_ESI.pdf
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#39 Post by Nolan E » January 12th, 2017, 4:09 pm

I'll add some northern Willamette Valley perspective and hope others chime in...this is also my first winter here so keep that in mind.

Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the area got between 8" and 13" (downtown Portland) of snow with no temperatures above freezing expected until Saturday. I live in SW Portland and haven't been west since the snow so I'm not too sure how the heart of wine country fared. Our winery driveway was plowed today so hopefully we can get back to work tomorrow.

A good amount of rain and warming up to 50 over the weekend should get us back to normality.
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#40 Post by Chris Freemott » January 13th, 2017, 3:57 am

Are you familiar with the historical record of these events? I found the tale of the 1861-1862 ArkStorm fascinating.
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#41 Post by Gary Schulte » January 13th, 2017, 8:00 am

Karen Troisi wrote:
Gary Schulte wrote:Are there areas in Napa and Sonoma that require Federal Flood Insurance? I'm guessing that there are parts of Napa city that do.
Gary - I assume Sonoma has similar mapping for flood zones - here is the link to the Napa site and where there wiuld be requirements for flood insurance. Napa has made changes to their mapping based on the flood control project.

http://www.cityofnapa.org/index.php?opt ... Itemid=793
Thank you Karen. I remember how Napa downtown had flooded in the past but it looks like the flood bypass project is successful in decreasing the area that can be flooded. I'm keenly aware of floods as I'm living in an AE zone and the insurance is through the roof now.

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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#42 Post by Rick Allen » January 13th, 2017, 2:00 pm

Nolan E wrote:I'll add some northern Willamette Valley perspective and hope others chime in...this is also my first winter here so keep that in mind.

Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the area got between 8" and 13" (downtown Portland) of snow with no temperatures above freezing expected until Saturday. I live in SW Portland and haven't been west since the snow so I'm not too sure how the heart of wine country fared. Our winery driveway was plowed today so hopefully we can get back to work tomorrow.

A good amount of rain and warming up to 50 over the weekend should get us back to normality.
The Willamette Valley didn't see nearly as much snow as PDX. We got 3 inches at our house, and that seemed pretty typical. Of course nothing is melting as the temperatures barely get above freezing during the day. By Tuesday we're supposed to be back into 50 degrees and a lot of rain - something like 5" in three days. Given all the snow on the ground and all the rain coming, we're going to have serious flooding issues. None of this should affect the vineyards, as they are up in the hills, but it could cause problems for the landfill just upstream from McMinnville, which is pretty much universally despised.

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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#43 Post by Nolan E » January 13th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Rick, I finally made it to work today (NW Newberg) and was surprised at how little snow the area got.

Also, over the last few storms 240 seems miraculously clear, does Yamhill County treat the roads more aggressive than Washington?
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#44 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 13th, 2017, 5:43 pm

Sun! Blue skies! Warm 57 degrees. The cover crop is going to go wild after all that rain and now a few days of this....
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#45 Post by Stewart Johnson » January 15th, 2017, 7:54 pm

Bud swell and bleeding pruning wounds in viognier already. Godamnit! Never crossed my mind that it might be too late to collect budwood for spring grafting on Jan 15. Crazy. So much for the salubrious effects of the recent cold.
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#46 Post by Evan Pontoriero » January 15th, 2017, 11:00 pm

Stewart Johnson wrote:Bud swell and bleeding pruning wounds in viognier already. Godamnit! Never crossed my mind that it might be too late to collect budwood for spring grafting on Jan 15. Crazy. So much for the salubrious effects of the recent cold.

Wha!!!
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#47 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 17th, 2017, 5:51 pm

I read today that Nate Weiss has been named Director of Winemaking at Silver Oak, following Mr. Baron's retirement at the end of 2016. Nate, I thought you already had that post. But if this is indeed new news, congratulations!
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#48 Post by Merrill Lindquist » January 18th, 2017, 11:14 am

And it is raining again. After some lovely days, we are back in the rain pattern. Although the puddles and build-ups had dried out, it has taken no time at all for them to come back. The ground is just saturated to that point. Temperature is around 45: just gloomy and nasty.

In my travels yesterday I saw some pruning - some first cut and some true pruning. Got to get it done.
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2017 West Coast Vintage Weather Thread

#49 Post by Evan Pontoriero » January 18th, 2017, 9:30 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:And it is raining again. After some lovely days, we are back in the rain pattern. Although the puddles and build-ups had dried out, it has taken no time at all for them to come back. The ground is just saturated to that point. Temperature is around 45: just gloomy and nasty.

In my travels yesterday I saw some pruning - some first cut and some true pruning. Got to get it done.

Yep full on pruning in the RR earlier this week with wound painting. We were flooded again today, man it was coming down.
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#50 Post by Casey Hartlip » January 23rd, 2017, 7:14 am

Back to reality. Lynne and I are back after a two week stay in Zihjauatenjo MX. This was the first time I enabled text on my phone. Although I was able to relax, it was good to check in with my guys as the storms came through. They were also nice enough not to bother me with day to day details. One last image I'm going to try to keep for a couple more moments.
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IMG_20170109_174129791_HDR.jpg (35.45 KiB) Viewed 7481 times
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IMG_20170120_201931013.jpg (23.97 KiB) Viewed 7481 times
Ordway's Valley Foothills

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