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Tomatoes and Thistles

July 28, 2009

Some of the tomatoes have ripened already.  It’s unusual to have them so early; it isn’t even August yet.  I haven’t tasted them, but they look very fine.  This summer has been cooler than usual.  I didn’t think tomatoes would ripen so quickly in this weather, but they are.  The grass is beautifully green.  Everything is so lush, it looks more like North Carolina than Ohio.

I love tomatoes just plain.  When I was a kid, sometimes I’d go to the garden and just pick one and eat it right there.  We had so many tomatoes that by the end of summer, my tongue would be raw and sore from eating them.  I love to cut them up and put olive oil, salt, pepper and basil on them, too.  And if I don’t eat them that way as a salad, I can dump the mixture into some hot pasta.  It has to be kosher salt.  Table salt is too harsh.

The milkweed is done blooming.  The seedpods haven’t started forming yet.  But the thistle has gone to seed.  The field looks like the aftermath of a pillowfight.  The goldfinches were having a heyday in that patch of thistle when it bloomed.  They ate long and furiously.  I could walk within less than ten feet before they’d react.  I don’t feed the goldfinches.  But I’ll leave the thistle be.  Oh, of course, it’s an invasive weed, just like the milkweed.  But it’s beautiful to me.

Summer is in its full and robust stage.  Tomorrow is the first day of the Ohio State Fair.  It used to run at the end of August into the beginning of September, for almost three weeks.  Now it’s moved up to the end of July – a whole month!  And it only runs about ten days.  I liked it better when it was later in the year.  The Agriculture building would be bursting at the seams.  Having it so early, why, the entrants have to play beat the clock with Nature.

I’m not sure why it’s been moved up so much, but school has been moved up as well.  Many districts start in mid-August.  School didn’t start till Labor Day when I went, but we didn’t have a week for Spring break, nor so long a Winter break.  The connections are endless.  Ironically, many youngsters enter crops or animals in competition at the State Fair.  These scheduling changes work against them.  They must start working on their projects when we still have a good chance for frost, and they are still in school before Summer break.  I admire their tenacity.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 8, 2009 1:31 PM

    A touching and heartwarming journal entry… beautifully written.

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