Saturday, August 23, 2014


The last days of August really do test your resolve to make something of the land around you. Sagging flowers, pocket infestations of this bug or that beetle, the strawberries you never got around to splitting and dividing, corn -- one variety completely eaten by deer, the other, thankfully, left alone, regrets about too many heirloom tomatoes and too few traditional hybrids that actually resist blight even in hot humid weather and of course, the resurgence of mosquitoes and pesky flies that especially love the prairie grasses out by the vegetable patch. You know, the grasses you stopped mowing after the wedding came and went.

I start getting fall planting catalogs in the mail and I throw them all away. You kidding me? I can barely keep up with what I have already planted!

And yet, dreams pinch at you! Maybe we should remove the awful creeping rosebushes that grow by our parked cars and put in some of the divided daylilies? Maybe if we prune the young orchard right, it will reward us next year with more mature trees? And maybe we should move on that last prairie field and clear it for Farmer Lee, or figure out how to do a controlled prairie?

Alright. I gave my future gardens some thought. Now let's get back to the present. Which begins early, on a humid, foggy morning...


I'm out with the cheepers, but not for long. It's just not very inviting outside right now.


After breakfast (on the porch! Our bubble of outdoor bliss!)...


...I meet my daughter for our weekly walk to the downtown farmers market. She is exactly at the halfway point in her pregnancy. To me, she is obviously pregnant, though I can see how to the world, there can still be doubts. We pause on our walk. She has her rather regular bout with not feeling well. As I wait for her by the side of the path, three young men walk past and chuckle. It's obvious what they're thinking -- mother walking with daughter who has one mighty hangover! Well now, in case you haven't yet thought this -- a child is the offspring of two people, but a pregnancy is the burden of only one. I do a quick calculation as to whether I should shout after them -- she's pregnant, for God's sake! -- and decide against it. She laughs when I tell her their reaction. I'm used to it. Every time this happens, people think I've been drinking!

We make the market round. There was a time when I would seriously hunt down the best vegetables and fruits at this market, but now there are so many such markets that I pick and choose selectively. At the Saturday one, I always get oyster mushrooms. This time, I also pick up sour cherries for a cake and more pickling cucumbers. (We may not have grown enough for a year's supply of pickles. We really like pickles.) My girl has her own list. But for the most part, we do not expect to fill our bags. There is great pleasure in just looking.


It's still humid, still quite warm, but we make it back to her place before the storms come yet again and dump the next batch of rain on the now perfectly soaked land.

The cheepers hide under our cars at times of big rainfalls. And these days, Isis hides under our bed during storms. I look at the weather map for the next ten days. This I can say for sure -- there'll be a lot of animals  hiding!


A few photos of lingering flowers. I know they will seem utterly brilliant come November!