July

July sings summers high note and the festival of green and living things makes me glad for every created morning I awake to. There is nothing that doesn’t breath life in all I see. Looking out my back door to our meadow there is no line between what I see now to what one would have seen a thousand years ago, it is an unbroken circle. And here we are for but a moment, we visit.

Our rooster is starting to crow so with him beginning to come of age means the hens won’t be far behind in laying eggs. Although our rooster knows all the lyrics to his song, he just hasn’t learned to sing from his diaphragm yet so his crow lacks bravado. However, from time to time I can hear him having his way with one of the hens so I know he’s growing into his place as alpha chicken. In time he’ll learn to strut as he continues to find happiness in the chicken yard.

Last week in the afternoon I came upon the chickens terrified and huddled in the corner of their pen with a freshly killed hen lying just to the other side. A Red-Tail Hawk had come down suddenly and tore her to pieces then had her for lunch right in front of all her friends. It wasn’t until the evening that the flock made it’s way back to the chicken coop and in the morning they were still reluctant to come out. None chose to talk about the grizzly scene they had witnessed the day before and it wasn’t until the afternoon that they seemed back to normal.  A 24 hour turn around is not bad though, I wish I was able to get over some of my life’s traumas that quickly. Then again I suppose I would have to walk around with the brain the size of a marble to do so.

I have a 5-gallon bucket of Cherokee black beans I need to hull and my hot peppers are loaded and promising more. The cantaloupes are coming in with the watermelon still trailing and will probably do so until the end of August. We put up the garlic and onions and I’ll have more onions ready by fall. Of course tomatoes and squash, but best of all this year is my corn. 6 looong rows in all, I planted the rows 2 at a time, 3 weeks apart, 3 seeds per hole, so now we have fresh corn coming in through September.

Freshly picked sweet corn is a staple on the table right now and if it were up to me, I would have corn with everything including spaghetti, ice cream and peanut butter sandwiches. I’ll often pick a few ears and have them for lunch. That’s it, just sweet, sweet corn on the cob with melted butter and a little salt. There’s nothing more summer time and nothing more American than corn on the cob! It even predated the pilgrims from one side of this continent to the other. My corn stands proud at 7 feet tall and looms right over the green beans from hell. Green beans, the thorn in my side, the fly in the ointment, the salt in the wound, the Borg to the Starship Enterprise, but I suppose every story needs its nemesis.

The latest heat spell broke last night with some rain and we awoke this morning to a crisp blue sky as fresh and clean as sheets pulled off the line. We did some gardening chores early and I could tell the heat wasn’t going to hang over us like a bad omen as it had been but would be just about right. My morning walk was quiet and reverent; I spoke briefly to a neighbor on his way to church and then I went to the ridge and took in the view of the Ozark Mountains looking west toward our former home. I thought it might be good for me to take a swim in the mill pond down at the river this afternoon, I’ll wish I had come winter. In the evenings the frogs croak in concert, the Cicadas buzz and drone, and you can still see a few fireflies dancing in search of a mate. Inside me there is a song that plays a melody and its name is July.

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Published in: on August 1, 2010 at 5:05 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Awesome! I could taste your corn Gregg and I swear I was standing with you under that crisp blue summer sky! Thanks again for transporting me, even if only but a moment….

  2. Wonderful ode to July, Gregg. Your garden sounds magnificent! Even the part about the hawk wreaking havoc in the chicken yard is part of the natural cycle you describe. There is always a little bitter with the sweet, to temper it and make us able to enjoy it longer. Remember what I told you Ozarkians call ears of sweet corn, dripping with butter…..roastin’ ears! Your having roastin’ ears three times a day!


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