Saturday, August 23, 2008

S.W.A.T. - never be surprised at what you see ...

Well, I learnt that turkeys, really ARE turkeys!

But nearly every day has me wishing I had my camera along as I see something unexpected.

Living in the 'country' but in a valley of some 250,000 people within the communities there - Medford is the largest. It has 70,000 ... AND boasts an INTERNATIONAL airport!

Living on a ranch, I'm virtually 'in the country', you see. From here it's 3 miles to the road that leads into Medford (total of about 12 miles away).

So the other morning I'm heading out and pass by a deserted pear orchard. 2 miles down the road. The pear trees there got infected by some disease a few years back, and were all destroyed, so the land is barren. I hope it recovers and gets replanted as this is the pear capital of the world. I have NEVER tasted such delicious pears - the very same ones that come in Harry & David boxes as gourmet treats at Christmas time.

OK, where was I ... 2 miles down the road. Instead of a deserted old farm there is activity! A lot of cars parked down one end, and it looked like police directing traffic. As I passed the little workers' huts I suddenly didn't believe what I was seeing ... a barricade - with about 8 fully uniformed police officers hunkered down behind it with rifles aimed at one of the huts. Oh my! Should I be here? Should I duck down? What to do?

First, calm down. If in danger I think the road would have been closed off. But really, it made SUCH a sight! I wasn't gone long, and when I came back there was a sign "Police training exercise". Phew. I'm SO glad. I guess that 'dead' body on the ground by one hut was a dummy? I guess the yellow 'crime' tape that was draped between buildings was just for practice. Nice to know.

Anyway. I love this old orchard. I can imagine it at time of harvest. White-washed buildings with character. Coming from the opposite way you get to see Mt McLoughlin, but that is a story for another day.

These photos show the old barn, with lower table rock in the background, and the second one is before reaching the barn - the workers' cottages. The atmosphere here leaves such delightful colors at all times of the day.

These photos were from early spring. Instead of lush green, the ground is light brown of a sunburnt summer - through lack of rain.


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