It’s late, but I’m not in the mood for going to bed. I have work to do, but I’m not in the mood for that either. So, rather than clean house, or pick around on my guitar, or bake something…I’ll just ramble here on my blog.
The past few afternoons, I’ve thought surely we are in the dog days of summer. It’s been very hot and humid this week. When you step outside from any place that’s air conditioned, you can almost drink the air. It caused me to wonder where that expression comes from (dog days), so research ensued. The Farmer’s Almanac has a wonderfully descriptive explanation. In a nutshell, the dog days last for about 40 days (July 3 through August 11) that relate to Sirius (the Dog Star) being visible in the morning.
Sirius is the brightest star (not counting the sun). It is in Canis Major (the Greater Dog). You can find it by drawing a line down from Orion’s belt. So that is our astronomy lesson for today. Technically, we are past the official dog days, but unofficially, it has been hot as hell.
On Thursday morning, because I had no classes to teach, I went outside early in the morning and picked beans – lots of beans, 3.5 pounds of them to be exact. It made a huge pot of beans on the stove, but Someone eats beans like they are going out of style. I like corn and beans and much as the next person, but nobody can put them away like Someone does.
In my mind, picking beans was to be a chore. But 15 minutes into the task, my mind wandered and it was a marvelous way to blow the morning. The local deer have become bold in their quest for apples. The apples on our trees are very large this year in comparison to prior years. I fertilized all the fruit trees last fall and the benefits are obvious. Gracie sat on the driveway and kept a watchful eye on the neighbor’s cat while I picked beans serenaded by the shrill songs of jar flies. A doe and two spotted fawns ventured to the trees and ate apples on the ground for several minutes, all the while keeping eyes on me and on Gracie. This evening, an 8-point buck visited the trees.
When I was a kid, we lived on my great-grandparents’ farm in the summers. In those days, there was no air-conditioning. During the days, they kept windows open and ran fans to keep the house tolerably cool. In the evenings, it was much cooler outside than inside, even with the fans. People sat outside in the evenings, and then went inside and went straight to bed.
I hated working in the garden in the summers. As kids, my brothers and I were given plenty of chores, but we also had time to play, especially in late afternoons when it was too damn hot to be working in the sun. In those days, I told myself that when I grew up, I was going to live in a big city where there would be no gardens to tend and no grass to mow. As it turns out, I hate big cities. If I had my way, Someone and I would move farther out from town. Things are starting to develop around us a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, progress is a wonderful thing. But now that I’m not in an office 60 hours a week, I wish we lived someplace quieter.
This evening, I planted green beans, more lettuce, and more carrots in my raised bed. Radishes will be ready to harvest in a few more days. Carrots are plentiful just now. I love the raised bed, but what is best is the hummingbird feeder beside it. I love watching the little hummers. Just about any time that I peek out the window, there will be a hummer at the feeder or sitting on the fence beside it. They are shy. If I step out on the porch, any birds near the feeder will fly up and hide in the maple tree. If I go near the garden, one will fly down and confront me – hover in front of me. It’s fun.
|Carrots from the garden|
We had a hard rain this morning, and tomorrow it cools down to the low 80s. Perhaps our dog days have ended. Someone and I will play golf tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow morning, I will grade assignments, and make an apple dump cake or perhaps an apple pie. Someone will be happy when he smells something baking in the oven. It might be that I've become more domesticated in my old age.
|Apple dump cake hot from the oven (glaze is added over the top when it cools)|
|Gracie (our Canis Major)|