Monday, July 14, 2008

The Heat is On

Gosh, it's hot. It is supposed to be even warmer tomorrow. You can tell it's time for the county 4-H fair. It still seems odd not to be caught up in the frenzy of last minute projects, photos to be developed and mounted, cats and chickens to bathe in preparation for their shows, and deadlines to meet. It is always hot during the fair. Most years we would have to freeze water in 2-liter soda bottles to put in with the poultry to cool them on the most smoldering of days. I miss it, but I don't.

Thank goodness for the garden boxes. I do not miss being out under the hot sun pulling weeds. I do have to fill the water reservoirs in each box every day, even when it rains. The plants have grown large and thirsty. The garden hose is already stretched out to the garden and ready to go making this chore a fairly easy one. Next year, however, I will leave more space between the boxes. As usual, I underestimated how big everything will grow and it can be a bit challenging to pull the hose between the boxes without crushing a vine or leaf. Problems like this I can live with.

One chore that hasn't gone away this year is trapping the Japanese Beetles. I hate how these "June Bugs," as we used to call them, show up in late June and early July and proceed to defoliate our Rose of Sharon shrubs and whatever else meets their fancy. Some people say you shouldn't use the traps because they only attract the beetles to your yard. I disagree. For one thing, I don't set out the traps until the bugs have already arrived. Setting out the lures and trapping the beetles in bags is much safer for the bees and beneficial insects in the yard than spraying poison. Also, by trapping these beetles, thousands more offspring are prevented.

Another indication that it is mid-July is that the raspberries are nearly finished for the season. I didn't get too many picked this year, but did manage to get enough to make a good pie. Now it is time for the blueberries--my favorite. I have only one shrub at home which now yields enough for my morning oatmeal two or three days a week. I hope to add more blueberries next spring. For now, I will pick them at one of the local farms.

The flowers continue to bloom and brighten the yard. I hope you will enjoy these photos.

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