One hundred and seven degrees at the corner store. No rain for weeks. The creek is barely alive, and clogged with algae, and the pasture pond is as low as its been in my Sulphur Creek lifetime. The birch tree is shedding its leaves in protest, and the shrubs are wilted and drab. The heat is like a sledgehammer.
In spite of it all, the rich composted soil in the farm gardens is an amazing medium, and the farmers have not yet watered very much, the peppers still look pretty perky, and the pigs are still happy in the woods.
I personally was felled by a sycamore tree last Saturday--a large branch hurtling down on me as I ran in to the West End Farmer's market to pick up a bag of blueberries. Dizzy, bleeding, and a bit nauseated, I was ambulanced in to the ER, observed for a while, and sent home to complete recovery. (We kept the plastic-wrapped frozen sausage that a kind merchant had clapped to my bleeding head...)
And a word about our old friend Steve Rudd, who died unexpectedly last week: one of the most brilliant minds I've ever met, wildly funny, and such a decent heart. We always missed him--he was endlessly evasive when it came to visiting--but this is different. Well, you usually did sneak away without saying good-bye, didn't you?