Archive for July, 2011

Last night it threatened rain. Big clouds boiled up from the south and the thunder rolled. Skinny lightning strikes drove through the clouds, but if it rained, it didn’t rain here. There was even the hint of a rainbow, threaded through the clouds, showing no beginning and no end. Like this heat wave.

After a summer of two or three hummingbirds at the feeder, this morning we awoke to a cloud of them. I’m out of sugar, so a trip to town is in order.

Every night the resident raccoons come out to mervil around the bird feeder, looking for snacks. They’ve even been tearing down the corn stalks, which is okay. The corn produced little this year and the coons need the nourishment more than we do.


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Almost Halloween

The garden is dying, as is the yard. Even the trees are suffering with brown leaves.

Last night the barn cat lay spread long on the concrete floor of the barn, her mouth open as she panted. You can hear the chickens panting before you go into the chicken house. The calves’ backs are damp and the cows flanks are hot to the touch. No one is comfortable.

I pulled up the zucchini, which produced beautifully this year. As did the cucumbers. I pulled up the dead vines of summer and winter squash that did not produce anything but mushy fruit. Into the compost pile went the bug eaten eggplants.

The only thing that came up fruitful was the pumpkin crop. I picked more than 20 sugar pumpkins. Because we had fired up the bread oven this weekend, I sliced the pumpkins in half, pulled out the seeds, and set the halves cut side down on cookie trays. Then I slid the pumpkins into the bread oven where they cooked for an hour or so. Once the pumpkin seeds were dry, I sprinkled them with salt and olive oil and spread them in thin layers on cookie sheets as well. They went in the oven next to the pumpkin halves. Out came pounds of cooked pumpkin for pureeing and freezing, as well as a big bag of toasted pumpkin seeds for snacking.

It smelled like Halloween.

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Heat Wave

I’m trying to apply yogic principles to this heat wave. I try my deep breathing, of letting the heat roll over me in a wave, of stilling myself. It isn’t easy to feel still with sweat rolling down your back, the backs of your knees, or your skull where it then proceeds to slip stingingly into your eyes.

The animals puff and huff and stand in snitches of shade.

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City Life

Not only did I think about my friends in their comfortable homes in town, AC blasting, I started looking for condos to buy. Something without a yard. Something with a pool. I found the perfect place, but John wouldn’t even consider it.

Of course, not having done any research on the property, it’s possible we couldn’t take our dogs. Certainly not the cows, horses and chickens. Which is, I suppose, the point of living in a condo.

Yesterday was the first time in 30 years (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have done something for 30 years) that I had to get off the tractor and cool down. I took an hour and a half long break that included a light lunch, cool shower, and a nap.
Not only was the heat index at 116, but the hay I was mowing was ringed by trees. There wasn’t a stitch of air moving through that field. Every time I headed north I could feel the heat from the hood of the tractor pulsating over me. There were no hawks, no coyotes, nothing moving, except me and the tractor, and eventually, not even that.

After my break I felt rehydrated and ready to go again, though John had to finish the field when he got home.

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