A summer to remember
As we head into another gorgeous, warm, sunny weekend, four months into an extraordinary spell of summer weather, I can’t help but marvel at the summer we’ve just had. While I didn’t do anything spectacularly amazing, I didn’t need to – the fabulous weather was spectacular all on its own, and even though I didn’t take much more than a long weekend off, it seemed like the longest, most luxurious summer we’ve had in many years.
Labor Day weekend was about the only weekend that was “northwest normal” (it poured pretty much all weekend). Starting in mid-May we had sunshine and heat (often in record-breaking temps) and very little of our ubiquitous Liquid Sunshine. Area farmers are buried in produce, with the harvest baskets still filling up with unrivaled bounty every week. Everything came in early, fast and furious. When I went to pick blackberries this year they were almost overdone at a date where it’s usually early peak. Still, it was easy to pick a gallon of berries for two delicious batches of blackberry jam – the Northwest Nectar (and a non-native, invasive species, but don’t tell anyone).
In my own back yard the golden plum tree actually snapped a huge limb under the weight of a load of plums that look more like giant grape clusters. I’ve picked three or four bushels of plums (the first two unripe, from the downed branches) and have at least that many more to go. The chickens have been eating plums like crazy, as have the dogs (not a good thing, there), I brought 20 pounds or so to work, and made two batches of plum jam (it’s as beautiful as it is tasty) and still there are plums… With the wonderful, dry spring, evidently every flower was pollinated by bees that for one amazing spring weren’t grounded due to inclement weather.
I wish I’d planted a vegetable garden this year, but didn’t anticipate being here; or I should say, anticipated I’d be leaving before now, so figured it would be “wasted” effort. Ah well.
The days are getting shorter now – it’s already dark dusk by 8:00 at night (sob) – and the mornings are foggy with crisp evening meeting warm day meeting crisp evening. I’m not quite ready for six months of rain, but when it comes this year it will be a little easier to take.