Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Sweet Stretch of Weather

This weekend was the best of the summer, weather-wise. Today was ideal with temperatures in the mid-70s and humidity down near 50 percent. Rainfall in recent weeks combined with warm temperatures has helped the garden grow and the lawn stay green. Usually by mid-August much of our lawn is crispy brown, when even the crabgrass looks parched. This year, the periodic rains have kept everything lush. We are fortunate given that much of the country remains in a drought.

Today we sensed a hint of fall in the air: a morning cool enough for a long-sleeved shirt, acorns underfoot, potatoes to dig, and a few red maples showing a touch of red in their leaves. The garden bounty continues to make us proud. For Sunday Supper tonight we created several dishes with vegetables plucked straight from our garden: potatoes and kale with onions and garlic, sauteed okra, and eggplant with tomatoes.

The periodic rains feel extra special--keeping the gardens lush, filling the aquifers (the source for our drinking water) and causing mushrooms to spring forth. This past week has seen an explosion of new fungi emerging, of all sizes and shapes and colors. On my woodland walks with Kodi I stopped often to check out each new mushroom that was not there the day before. Here's a sampling from this past week.
I don't search out edible wild mushrooms, although that would be a plus if I found some. Just seeing mushrooms push up through the forest floor makes me happy. For me, these mushrooms are a sign of plentiful moisture. In these times, with the climate fluctuating and heating up, these mushroom sightings offer a respite from my climate worries. At least for a day or a week or a month, we are okay. The mushrooms tell me so.

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