Saturday, July 16, 2011

How sweet it is!

A cold front has swept down from the north and brought an end to our sizzling heat!  A temporary end, to be sure, but more welcome than I can even describe.  When I left work yesterday just before 3pm the temp on my car dash was under 80 for the first time in months.  The afternoon and evening got progressively cooler, all doors and windows flew open once I arrived home, no fans necessary through the night.

After a decent night's sleep, with the temp hovering around 70 this morning, I headed out early on my bike -- around town, this time, rather than on the Silver Comet.  It was wonderful!  Trails are great -- and the SC is one of the better ones I've seen -- but at heart I'm a road cyclist.  I love the feel of the open highway where I can fly on long straightaways, ridding my body of pent up energy and frustrations and stress and..... whatever needs to go.  Until now, I've been a bit squeamish around here, with the good old boys driving monster pickups and maybe even the little old ladies driving big sleds.  But it was early on a Saturday morning, and I knew traffic would be light on the streets I chose.  Actually, for the most part I was on residential streets right in town, but the first part skirted the edge of town.  All in all about 45 minutes, and it felt wonderful!

Freshly hand cultivated (have I ever mentioned how much I love the feel of dirt between my fingers?), plenty of compost and a bit of cottonseed meal, and it's headed towards being ready for fall planting. After the marigolds die and after I figure out where to put the other ornamentals.

Back home, after a little protein in my body, I headed out to the garden.  The sky was still grey, the temp cool.  Lovely.  I dug 4 or 5 or maybe more buckets of almost-finished compost out of my oldest pile and spread it here and there in the veggie beds, the blueberries and the dogwood.  There's plenty more in that big bin left for fall bed amendments and planting.

These guys are far too old and woody for my old teeth to enjoy eating, but after some cooking, I'm thinking they'll be pretty good as soup.  Wonder what would happen if I also put eggplant in the soup, since I have so much of that?

In the process, I opted to finally pull all the carrots out, but I left the green tops and flowers across the bare bed to keep cats out and to keep the birds happy.  I love that my garden always has birds popping in and out of the beds, getting seeds and/or bugs.  This morning, for the first time, I saw a pair of goldfinches fly from the wildflower bed after they noticed my presence on the back porch.  Lovely!

I've also noticed the presence of a surprising number of dead June Bugs on the cedar around the beds.  Enough, in fact, that I'm beginning to wonder if the nematodes got them.  June Bugs come from grubs in the soil.  Nematodes will attack the grubs with great relish.  I would have thought that it would be the grub that would die, but is it possible that the process was slow enough to allow the bugs to emerge, then die?  I don't know, but it's a thought.

All those carrots -- too big to eat comfortably -- are going into soup, since the day is cool enough for a little cooking.  Yum.

All this, and it's only 10 am.  What will the rest of this day bring?  I'm not sure -- but I think a shower would be in order at the top of the list.  And there are always errands to run.  This cool spell is supposed to last for a couple of more days -- we can only hope the weatherguessers are right on this one.

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