The date and the weather aren’t completely jiving. One would think we’re in the dog days of August. It appears that September is making up for a cold wet spring which lasted through the beginning of summer, staying cool for the better part of July. Lightning strikes triggered several wildfires in various parts of Oregon spreading smokey haze across the skies.
Last Saturday evening on the way home from a wedding in Portland I had to pull over to try to capture the glow and colors of the sky at the Willamette Falls overlook. My Kuchulu was delighted the wedding started half an hour late so was able to see plenty of action. The wedding took place at a very casual venue where guests mingled and drank as we all waited for the bride to appear. After talking with the groom, the handful of his relatives and his parents, whom we’ve known for over 30 years, Ed and I were content to sit on a sofa and enjoy people watching. As the kuchulu happily danced in my hands.
Shortly after seven yesterday evening I caught a glimpse of slanting sunlight on a neighbor’s oak tree and tried to capture the contrast of the fading day and glowing tree.
Twelve hours later I went out to water the garden and was struck at how the rising sun shining on the eastern side of the same tree. The 24 hours are evenly divided between night and day right now, though it won’t be long before the length of darkness surpasses the hours of daylight. Our garden isn’t big but it’s still producing well, tomatoes are just now ripening. I’m still waiting for the Roma tomatoes to turn red so I can begin drying them. With this stretch of 90F days it’s a shame they aren’t ripe enough to take advantage of the solar heat and drying winds that play along this little valley.
A cherry tomato, anyone?The garden is still producing brocolli, sweet (sugar) peas, green beans, beets, carrots and cucumbers.
This is the first year deer decided to cross the neighbor’s fenced yard (seen pictured above) and munch on our produce. For quite a while I was baffled that the sweet peas and carrots weren’t growing, until I spotted the markings of the deer. The next morning I got up early and soft footed it to the kitchen door. Sensing movement a mother and yearling froze before soaring back over the fence and dashing under the oak trees by the creek. (I wonder if deer are bothered by poison oak?)
Today was spent canning green beans with our daughter. Ed worked in the shop all morning cutting rough-cuts for more spindles. As soon as the garden was watered (Why, yes, I water by hand. No sense watering the paths between the rows, plus it’s a wonderful opportunity to savor the quiet of the new day.) I wrote on the spindles he’d made yesterday then readied the work area on the back porch. Aurora arrive shortly after 8, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and some delicious blueberry donuts before heading out to the porch. Ed joined us in the afternoon to lend us a hand. The three of us make a good canning team! Thirty-some pounds, 14 quarts, 9 pints and 1 quart of dilly beans later the gas was turned off to the big camp stove, the area cleaned up, the jars cooling on the shelve admired. A productive day! Between this group and the previous batches processed as the beans have ripened I’ve canned 26 pints and 21 quarts of beans plus 3 quarts of dilly beans (those don’t need to be pressure cooked so I do those when there’s only enough beans ready for a quart jar.