Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Drumstick Month

It’s somehow a third way into the month.

Fourth of July celebrations nicely take care of the first week or so. It shortens all the rest.

A rather big group of us were together for the holiday already sliding into the past. 

This included the out-of-state contingent. They and the July heat arrived simultaneously.

It was a steamy 4th. We kept active despite the warmth. We jumped in the water a bunch of times and found room for all the good food and the watermelon besides.

After sampling smoothies made in the blender, and the salted nut rolls and banana cake, we talked once again of compiling a family cookbook. We advocate for it every year as we linger over the spread of items brought.

A collection of recipes from our different backgrounds was suggested when the cookbook came up this time. It was welcomed as a good idea.

The hypothetical cookbook would reflect a diverse heritage. The family has become a tasty stew seasoned with many nationalities.

My contribution to the get-together was a white bean salad made spunky with chopped red onion, feta cheese and fresh basil. It went well with the hamburgers done on the grill.

Triple digit temperatures melted parts of the state. We kept cool by remembering ice cream snacks enjoyed when young. 

Fudgesicles were mentioned. A trip to Dairy Queen was always a hit. For me you couldn’t top the Drumstick cone dipped in nuts. 

This is certainly a summer to indulge in ice cream or take a glass of lemonade into the shade with you. You beat the heat when you succumb to it, as dear friends of mine believe.

Sweltering weather isn't slowing visitors to the Arboretum from what I can judge, being among them. 

On more than a few toasty afternoons we've strolled the grounds, taking pictures and bending to admire the blooms. 

After several trips I feel a concentrated course in botany has been achieved. All the plants have been noted and studied. Everything is so beautiful.  

The daylilies in particular are stunning. Ordinarily they’re not my favorite flower. But this year an exception will be made.

The mild winter has boosted the local deer population. They’re everywhere and in broad daylight. Perhaps the pesky mosquitoes are driving them into the open areas.

We’re careful as we drive. We’re learning to expect deer  in front of us as happened last week. A doe leapt ahead of the car. 

She bounded safely across thanks to two sets of car brakes applied quickly. We were glad the other driver was paying attention as we were.

In the car after church a couple days later I pointed out another deer. It was reaching up to browse on branches.

“Sunday brunch” I said of the forenoon graze. “Tree pizza,” Al replied. His comment earned a laugh. 

All this greenery is free pizza to the deer. They must think that of our strawberries and hostas too. They help themselves liberally, such as the buck working on our strawberry crop in the garden.

On a walk about this same time I came past a large deer lawn ornament.

The artist got it lifelike entered my mind as I drew even with the yard embellishment. It must be a recent acquisition. I hadn’t noticed it before.  

With a start I realized it was a real deer. We were close. Only the fronds of a spruce tree shielded it from me.

The deer didn’t flinch. It was up to me to widen the distance between.

It stood bolted to the spot long after I went by. Like Lot’s wife in the Bible I turned back to look.

Ro Giencke – July 10, 2012










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