Many would agree that this has been an unusual summer, weather-wise. It warmed up early, which we were grateful for, and the plants in our gardens responded by growing like gangbusters and blooming earlier than we're accustomed to. Toad lilies blooming in July...asters and mums, too! We wonder what fall will bring in the way of blooms.
With most of the country experiencing scorching hot temperatures for the last couple of weeks (or longer!), the air conditioning has gotten a workout and we're grateful for it. Throw some high humidity in with the high temps and you've got some amazing "real feel" temperatures.
I'd picked nine long English slicing cucumbers last week and decided to make refrigerator sweet pickles from them. I added sliced red onions from our garden and whether they end up tasting good or not, I sure like opening the refrigerator and seeing the pretty veggies in their glass jars!
Once I completed that, I baked a couple loaves of zucchini bread, with shredded zucchini from our two vines. We are growing a baby round from Botanical Interests seeds, a French heirloom variety that is picked when it's 3-4 inches in diameter. We grew them last year too, and though we had beautiful orange blossoms, we had nary a zucchini! I had to actually buy zucchini at the store! This year, we've got a few zucchinis, but still not nearly the number I expected and wanted. The plentiful blossoms just aren't being pollinated for some reason.
Older daughter Kara came to visit with her husband Adam and we enjoyed this "just right" day by spending time poolside, where we were later joined by niece Sarah and her husband Andy. Conversation was plentiful and joyful and snacks and cool drinks kept us satisfied until we grilled brats and burgers. Kara and Adam had brought sweet corn from Adam's family farm, and it was some of the best we've ever tasted.
Late in the afternoon, we took a walk down the road to the woods south of us. Romie and Kara were hanging back from the rest of us as we returned home, and when I turned to look back at them, I noticed Romie was carrying something. I couldn't tell what it was, but Sarah suggested that perhaps he'd picked some wildflowers for me for our anniversary. When they caught up to us, Romie handed me a flower he'd picked and I was so surprised to see what it was...
...a golden tickseed, a.k.a. plains coreopsis! As long as I've lived here, I've never seen it growing here and neither has Romie, though it's supposed to be native to most of the US, including Ohio. Yet he'd found a small clump of it growing in the ditch by the bridge. The one he'd picked for me had roots so I planted it when we got home.
Maybe it wasn't the most exciting way to celebrate an anniversary, but it sure was an enjoyable one!