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It's About Time - June 2014

In the Willamette Valley the farmers markets are flush with vegetable garden starts. Our traditional vegetable season starts late because of our typical cool spring but lasts long into the fall. I harvest hot peppers in October. I encourage supporting the local organic farmers by buying well-rooted starts. For a small garden, it seems to make more sense than investing in starting from seed indoors. Only my peas and beans are seeded directly into the ground, one following the other.

We know the summer solstice is soon to arrive when the rising sun shines through the windows on the north side of the house. Alkaid, the star at the tip of the tail of Ursus Major, the end of the Big Dipper’s handle, is almost directly overhead at midnight. People who follow the stars and people who follow the sun are prepared for a celebration. As an old friend was wont to say, “Logic today must take care of itself, the sun’s in the hills living it up.”

Enjoy walking on the riverbank paths. Standing under tall cottonwood trees listening to the murmur of great blue herons tending to nestlings in the rookery above is deeply reassuring. Play in ponds for fun. What’s more fun than catching tadpoles for children to see how the legs develop? Bullfrogs, although predatory invasives, make great examples of metamorphosis. Tadpoles may take two years to develop into adults, so a big four-legged pollywog fills the hand of a 2-year-old.