The Cactus Patch
Volume 15       December 2012      Number 12

Cider with Matthew et al.
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

We headed up the Feather River Canyon on 26 October, stopping to examine the curled up Dudleyas. The dried flower stalks were loaded with tiny seeds. The fall colors were great, especially the Indian Rhubarb on Indian Creek just above Indian Falls with large red leaves. (Why do they still call Native Americans Indians? We now have a large enough population from India in this country to make it confusing.) We proceeded on to Indian Valley (named for the local Maidu) and the town of Greenville where James et al. live.

We were amazed at how much Matthew has grown. He seems to be skipping the crawling stage. Instead he likes to pull himself up on chairs etc. He’ll be walking in no time. Michael is also succeeding as a first grader, although like most modern kids he spends too much time on computer games.

On the 27th John joined us from Sacramento and in the evening we all went to a Halloween Carnival at Michael’s school (now the Indian Valley School instead of the Greenville School). Michael was dressed as a Mexican wrestler, Matthew was a pirate, James was a space warrior, John was Indiana Jones and I was the Mad Hatter. John was laughing at the fact that the only thing I bought was the hat – the rest was from my closet! (But he should talk – his outfit was just what he normally wears.) We stuffed ourselves on pumpkin soup and chili – both served in bread bowls.

Next day we went to Indian Falls where we were allowed to pick apples (being careful not to step in the digested ones left by bears) and then hand press them to make cider. A country band accompanied this and we again stuffed ourselves on a pot luck supper. That evening we had a moussaka which Polly had baked and frozen back in Bakersfield. Just after making it she found her diamond and sapphire ring was missing. Unfortunately it did not appear in our dinner.

Next day we microwaved the leftovers for lunch and John found the ring in his serving. It survived the maltreatment. We drove around to look at leaves and found a flock of turkeys (plus a deer) just north of town. We drove out to Taylorsville and saw a herd of bison (tame). That evening we again stuffed ourselves on a community dinner. Next morning we had breakfast at the Greenville High School.

On Halloween we drove down to Quincy for a safe trick or treat. The High School band was playing in front of the City Hall (Batman was a drummer) and other high school kids serve as crossing guards. There were costumed adults handing out sweets everywhere. Downstairs in City Hall at the marriage license office was a woman in a wedding dress with a knife in her gut and “blood” streaming down. Upstairs I posed with Alice and the Queen of Hearts (I was again a mad hatter). We met a dachshund wearing buns decorated with wiggly stripes of mustard. At the school office we met James in a striped prison suit. Michael was dressed as a policeman and Matthew was a money bag. (Polly was a sparkly witch and Emily a fortune teller.) We ended with another feast at the eclectic restaurant “Pangaea”.

Next day we headed back to the Valley and arrived in Fresno for the Cactus and Succulent meeting. Keith Taylor was back again with his fat plants (caudiciforms and pachycauls), but this time he only sliced one tuber to show how it could be fitted into a shallow pot. Next day we returned to Bakersfield

The 6th was time to vote and then go to a Party party. (I won’t get into politics by saying which Party, but I did blow my Vuvuzela.) On the 13th we made it to the wreath making, although I think messy activities should be held outdoors. Even Alice was there, though she has been back to hospital again (briefly).

Halloween Carnival

Making Cider

Flock of Turkeys

Safe Trick or Treating in Quincy

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