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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What DO We Have This Summer?

Cherry harvest is getting underway this week in Leelanau Township. It feels early but is actually just about right on schedule. “Black-eyed Susans already!” I exclaim, but what should they have waited for? It’s their time. Just because Dog Ears Books opened on July 1st instead of May 15th doesn’t mean Nature or farmers were snoozing. 

So many things are not happening this year that it’s easy to be caught up in everything we’re missing. No Music in the Park on Friday evenings, for instance. But since we’re all aware of the many cancelled events, I don’t need to get into listing them here. Instead, let’s see what we have this summer – and I refer you to the cherries at the top of my post and offer you more, along with a reminder that Farmers Market is happening, every Friday in Northport, as well as other mornings in different villages of Leelanau County, as well as Saturdays in Traverse City.

In terms of fruit, we had wonderful strawberries in June, and raspberries are coming in now. The trellis on our old barn (originally intended for wisteria that has now climbed up to bloom on the roof) gave me a strange experience yesterday: climbing a ladder – very carefully! -- to pick black raspberries, a wild “crop” particularly abundant this year, and I look forward to making what I call my “blackstraw” jam, as strawberries wait in the freezer while raspberries accumulate…. Fruits of summer are colorful, as are vegetables and flowers. 

The lovely, lush, eagerly anticipated tray of fresh parsley, however, is not to be, as ground squirrels are also present in plentiful number this season. Those little rascals! And they are so darned cute, too, the little stinkers!

Books I have in every season, wherever I am, as you know, and this summer is no exception. Always a re-reader, I may be doing more of that right now – hungry for visits with old friends – but I’ve been venturing far and beyond, as well. Nelson DeMille is a popular author whose work I had never sampled before. Though family members recommended Up Country two years ago, it was only now, July 2020, that I read the book, and I feel as if I’ve had a tour of the country from south to north, complete with historical episodes of French and American involvement and sociological lessons on ethnic hill tribes. With plenty of dialogue and suspense, however, the novel is anything but dry. It's a page-turner!

Other books I’ve read recently appear in the list at right. What have you been reading, and what is on your To-Read list? How about this one?

Here in northern Michigan, on our little peninsula jutting into what we often call simply the Big Lake, we have plenty of blue sky and blue water and even many smaller lakes. No need to be loud and rowdy. Peaceful and serene is the order of summer pleasure this year.

As you bicycle or walk or cruise along county roads, be sure to notice the lovely fields, both cultivated and fallow or wild.

Revel in natural greenery, majestic trees, and abundant shade.

Be grateful for loving companions, whether or not they are readers, too. 

Say "Yes!" to life!


Jeanie Furlan said...

HaHa! Great to see Sara Girl and, Yes to Life in the same phrase. Your pictures of nature, close-up and faraway, are so green and dotted with color! Here, on our way to Antonio’s sister’s country house, we have beautiful expanses of cultivated and wild forest. It’s dry now, with sinter here and less rain, but there’s still a lot of green to go ‘round. Nelson DeMille’s Üp Country” sounds wonderful, so I’ll try to get that on my list. Thank you, again, Pamela!

P. J. Grath said...

I should warn you of what you might already guess, Jeanie, that a character revisiting places in Vietnam where he was a soldier contains some pretty tough stuff, but my veteran brother-in-law recommended the book, and it was definitely worth reading.

I'm glad you are safe and healthy. Stay that way!

Jeanie Furlan said...

Ah, OK, I’m duly forewarned.
If a veteran has recommended it, and you also, then I am sure there is truth in this telling.
We’re doing well and being careful. Our best to you and the Artist!