Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Lightning

My mother believed summer lightning always helped her gardens grow.  It's the electricity in the air as much as the rain, she'd say.  My guess is, she was right.  We've had a 'passel' of summer storms this month-- over a foot of rain fell on Shelby County, all accompanied by incredible thunder and lightning displays. 

Windows rattled, downspouts gushed and more than a few small limbs hit the roof....  Tobey has established a permanent address under our bed....

and my sweetcorn stands a towering 7 feet, full of tassels.  The tomatoes and squash are doing much the same, not as tall, of course, but full of young fruit and blooms.

Unfortunately, my peas have drowned out.  The beans aren't fairing much better but may yet rally.  Both are planted in a low 'dip' and had to endure some standing water.  I've heard several farmers had to re-plant, a few planted three or more times, so I thought 'what the hay' and just re-planted myself. 

This has definitely been unusual  weather for June-- high temps during the day, thunder storms at night,
and once again, I've learned not to count my chickens.  All those garden-fresh peas and beans I had hoped to put up for winter may come from our farmer's market after all. 

This morning, Tobey crept from under the bed.  It's in the mid-70's, the sky is clear and blue and I've discovered weeds favor lightning as well.   


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Mead Moon

Summer Solstice has come and gone and Missy Moon has climbed high enough tonight to show us her lacy petticoat.  The "Mead Moon", or honey moon has turned full for lovers. Shakespeare wrote of this midsummer's night and I'd bet money Mab and her crew are dancing the light away.

I've always loved the Solstice-- summer or winter.  Just the word 'solstice' conjures antiquity, a time when we were so interconnected with nature, so intricately woven, rituals celebrated the effects.  However, the summer solstice is my favorite even though it's somewhat bittersweet.  It marks the tipping point for our longer days to toggle back toward winter, when the sun's arc swings low and away and we ride this big blue marble into woolly sweaters and the evening star arriving at 5:30pm.  Maybe it's just the kid in me, but there's just something magical about considering the 'longest day of the year', something mystical about the sun going down so close to bedtime. 

For now, though, that sweet, full moon drips its honeyed light into the woods and lightning bugs are playing 'slips' in the garden.  We have weeks and weeks of daylight and an equinox smack in the middle to soften the arctic blow. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Lovely, Albiet Unwelcomed Visitor

Well, it's late June and they have arrived, those iridescent copper-over-emerald cloisonne pests are visiting the gardens in droves!

It seems their culinary tastes have taken a more cosmopolitian turn over the past year.  They have developed a very keen liking to my Genovese Basil--  completely ignoring the Lemon, Cinnamon & Red Ruben varieties.  They've chewed through enough of one plant to make themselves a sizable amount of pesto....the buggers!!

Not only is my basil one of their culinary delights, but one of my crabapple trees seems to have been touted as the perfect light dessert on these hot summer days!  The poor thing is half skeletonized! 

Last week, CBS Sunday Morning profiled an artist whose medium of choice was insects, and most especially colorful beetles.  His creations were very exotic and absolutely gorgeous!  He made the comment he thought his studio might look like "God's Living Room" with elements from all creation skillfully arranged, mounted and displayed under glass.  It was facinating! 

I wish I had his studio's contact information.  I'd make him a really sweet deal on some drop dead gorgeous little buggers......er...bugs.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Language of Marriage

After 30 yrs of marital bliss, I think couples develop their own specific idioms. For example, when recent storms caused us to track more of the great outdoors in, my husband observed "oh, looks like we need to mop" which was immediately interpreted with a 2nd person POV.

And just so no impressions of chauvinism are left afoot, I responded, "Yes Dear, I see we do. We also need to clear away all those limbs that were knocked down and the cat left us a 'present' on the front porch. We need to clear that away, also."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Garden Earth

Yesterday evening, I was working in my garden-- pulled weeds, planted a bit more in hopes of a late-season greenbean harvest, and I noticed the soil was incredibly warm. I guess maybe it's never registered in my frontal lobe before just how warm the ground becomes under the sun all day. Of course, rationally, I know sun-warmed soil = growing plants but it has never been a conscious experience, never an 'in the now' moment. Have to tell ya, I just stood there for a bit with a pile of warm earth in my palm totally smitten. Yes, I'm sure there's a pill for what ails me regarding this, but I'm going to ignore it for a while...

Have a good one.....