I can’t remember ever seeing so many blossoms in the fields and roadsides. Going to Scotty was a pure pleasure, as each field I drove by seemed to have more buttercup blossoms than the last. Too bad for the hay though. Buttercups make the hay taste bitter, so my Bossy Girl told me once.
Also, every wall and strip of bushes is white with blackberry flowers. We are surely going to have a bumper crop this year. And speaking of bumper crop: my strawberries have responded to my daily watering by sending out thousands and thousands of juicy, ripe, and tasty strawberries. Robin is partial to crushed strawberries on vanilla ice cream. Personally I pick them as fast as I can eat them right in the patch.
My old friend Nancy Callahan has been here twice with her two granddaughters and we now have 12 quarts of berries in the freezer and 12 jars of strawberry jam on the pantry shelf. Yee hah! Better yet, the patch is just getting going. If you can’t stand store-bought, come visit and pick some of mine. Might have to fight off the laying hens!
My gardening this year is greatly influenced by the severe drought we are presently experiencing. Don’t be fooled; it is dry. The soil is dry way down deep. You will notice as you drive out in the country how many pine trees are showing signs of distress and dropping their needles.
I have spent many hours this year just standing and watering every plant in my very large garden. I also have been watering the shrubs and small trees. I am very concerned for later this summer when the gawkers are here and throw out their lit cigarette butts while touring our countryside.
I remember a very dry summer in 1947, I believe, when all the men on all the Whitefield town roads took turns slowly driving their section of road all night long watching for fire. Our well went dry and we hauled water from the Head Tide well house built by Robert Tolley, who owned half the village at the time. We had little from the garden that year.
I can clearly hear Mamma say “Oh Jesus God!” as she looked toward Augusta and saw black thunder clouds and lightning. It was a prayer of fear not a cuss. With dry woods and soil, lightning was the thing that frightened anyone who could think. I think that might have been the year the Biddeford area burned down. Well take care, water the posies, and keep down the dust!
(Doug Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at email@example.com.)