To all you dads out there: Wishing you a happy and wonder-filled Father’s Day!
Yesterday was a very full day. I spent about 90 minutes picking strawberries out at Hilgert’s farm. I brought home a large mound of strawberries. I’m not quite sure how many quarts are in a large mound of strawberries but I think it’s about 6 quarts. M picked about 4 quarts of raspberries. We’ll be making preserves later today.
The weather was hot but there was a nice breeze blowing while I was picking. It was hard work for the old knees and back, but I didn’t really notice it until I finished and realized I was tired. I can’t imagine doing that all day long. When I was younger I could. One of the wonderful side-effects from being out in the strawberry fields was having the scent of strawberries linger in my nose for an hour or two after I finished. Lovely.
At lunch time a friend stopped by with the sammie ingredients for our picnic at Blossom that evening. We ate lunch first, and then put together delicious sandwiches of provolone cheese, artichoke hearts, sweet red peppers, black olives, and giardiniera (using a hot giardiniera on one and mild on another). We used loafs of sourdough and roasted garlic breads, spreading on a goodly amount of pesto before adding the cheese and other ingredients. After assembling the sandwiches we bagged them up for transport to Blossom.
The weather predictions got steadily better throughout the day. In the morning strong storms were predicted. By the time we left (around 3pm), the radar was clear and the chances of rain had decreased considerably. It was hot (in the 90’s), but look at that beautiful sky above the pavilion at Blossom.
We picked up one friend at her house on the way over to Blossom and met other friends there who were wise enough to find us an excellent spot on the lawn in the shade. We picnicked, talked, had some wine, and enjoyed a tasty dessert of strawberry shortcake (brought by the wise friends).
During the warm-up for the show Garrison Keillor and Andra Suchy walked through the pavilion and to the edge of the lawn, singing a romantic medley.
We all hoped they would come over in our direction but it was not to be. Most of the photos I took during the warm-up and the show had to be taken with the zoom since I couldn’t hobble over quickly enough for a better close-up.
It was a most enjoyable evening. Those of you familiar with, and who like, A Prairie Home Companion know why I like it. Those of you not familiar with it ought to hop on over to the website and check it out. As for those of you who don’t like it (is it possible??), you are probably related to me in some way so I will excuse you. The cast of usual suspects (Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Fred Newman, and The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band) were great, as always. The guests — Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Andra Suchy, and local girl Jessica Lea Mayfield — were great too. And nobody can host a radio show (and all the parts that go with it — Guy Noir, for example), sing, or tell a story like Garrison Keillor.
Gotta love those trademark red sneakers.
Near the end of the show a large card was passed over to us from our neighbors on the lawn (who, by the way, were friendly and good sports, giving as good as they got from us in terms of joking back and forth). The card included a note asking everyone to sign the card and then pass it along.
Rumor has it that the card was for Garrison Keillor as this was his last performance at Blossom. I have not been able to verify that rumor. Written on the note:
Hi Please sign card and pass it on … When full take to stage and [paraphrasing here as I’m missing part of the note] give to usher Rick.
The wording may be off. It’s possible it should be “give to usher. Rick.” It’s hard to tell from the photo.
Rumors are only rumors. For all I know, the card is for an usher or another member of the Blossom staff who was working their last night at Blossom after years of good service.
Based on some of the messages, a lot of folks believed the rumor as they addressed their notes to Mr. Keillor and the cast.
After the show M and I came home and sat on the porch and listened to the green frogs ponging and the Great Horned Owl hoo-hoo-hooing as the bright light from the half moon peeked out from behind the clouds every now and then.
It was a full and fun day. 🙂
I’m excited. The lack of exclamation points might make it seem as if I’m not all that excited but I am. The strawberries are ready for picking at Hilgert’s Farm. Or you can go to the market and buy already picked berries if you’re not up to picking your own. M and I stopped by the market yesterday to buy a quart to sample. I’ll be joining a friend on Wednesday to do some picking. I’d like to freeze a bunch of them this year.
The reason strawberry season excites me so much is because it is the beginning of the fresh, locally grown, produce season. The peas and sugar snap peas will be coming in next. Some of the other farmer’s markets have lettuces, green onions, radishes, and fresh herbs that are locally grown. From now until sometime in November we’ll be eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.
We also went to the Hartville Marketplace to see what was available there. As usual, we loaded up on lots of goodies such as red leaf lettuce, radishes, green onions, and new potatoes. We came home and made a lunch that was a feast of mostly locally grown vegetables and fruit (with a few not-local nuts thrown in for good measure).
The rains continue, almost unabated. I’m beginning to feel as though we live in a rain forest during the monsoon season. Everything is lush and green and beautiful. And wet. The pond is filling up nicely. We decided to raise the water level this year to see if that helps with the weed and algae control.
The rain has also brought something that the birds are attracted to and that something is on our deck. I don’t know what it is. There were dozens of birds pecking around on the deck and under the porch, seemingly enjoying whatever it was they were feasting on. Bugs of some kind, perhaps. Or seeds from the trees. I’m not sure. Whatever it is/was, it gave me the opportunity to practice with the zoom on the new camera. Most of the photos were pretty bad. I got lucky with one or two fairly decent shots.
The flamingos are an easy shot since all they do is stand there. They don’t seem to mind the rain although they might be swimming or floating soon if the pond gets much higher.
Strawberry season is just about over here in the Bogs. It was unusually long this year. I think that’s due to the cooler weather, and the fact that it was a later season than years past. The strawberries were, in my opinion, better tasting than usual. Locally grown, freshly picked strawberries are always yummy, but this year they outdid themselves in terms of good strawberry flavor.
I’ve noticed a red trend here since I started food blogging with NaBloPoMo. It’ll be interesting to watch the summer colors as I continue through the month.
In terms of flowers, this is our orange month. The daylilies are blooming and most of the roadside daylilies in this area are orange. I love riding along the back country roads lined with daylilies.
I’ll do my Move 2008 update tomorrow since Sunday is my last day of the exercise week (mine runs from Monday through Sunday). I might get some more walking in today (I did 4 miles this morning). I had an excellent week. My best this year, I think.