At the end of September, I wrapped up a short-term gig with the United States Census Bureau. My official title was enumerator that translates to “door knocker.” Armed with a list of addresses that were missing Census data, knocked on doors (wearing mask and gloves) and completed the census questionnaires using a software program installed on a government issued iPhone. I saw more of the city of Sonoma in six weeks, than I have in two years. It is a town of extremes running the gamut from weatherworn “homesteader homes” to hundred-acre estates sequestered behind elegant cast-iron estates.
Sonoma County is huge: the town of Sonoma is barely 11,000 strong. Basically, it is a farming community with substantial income from the tourist trade. To the right and the left of every road are hillsides covered with vineyards. Between vineyards, pastures filled with sheep, goats, and beef cattle. There are horses as well. Just a mile up the road is a field inhabited by a herd of Clydesdales. All of which are happy to amble over to the fence to cage treats and pose for photos.
‘Late-blooming gardener” is a new hat for me. Over the last months I slowly built a small rock garden. Next to that I gradually installed a miniature water garden which is now the favored spa for several hummingbirds. At a snail’s pace I am assembling a little walled garden planted with succulents that surround a weathered old statue of an angel.