Usually the heat wave hits in time for the Helen Keller Festival, cools off a little, then hits again during the W.C. Handy Music Festival. This year, it hit in May with very little rain until the end of June. We have been seeing August weather. Some of the corn crop is stunted and shriveled up with very little chance of a good yield. Other areas seemed to catch most of the rain and looks like it will be a bumper crop. Wheat has been combined, and soybeans are coming up through the stubble.
I was able to take off work to volunteer as a photographer again for both the Helen Keller and the W.C. Handy Music Festivals again this summer. So I’ve been listening to a lot of music and attending the parades. Helen Keller is a native of my home town of Tuscumbia, and W.C. Handy is a native of Florence, just across the Tennessee River, north of Tuscumbia and Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. Eric Paslay was the headliner at the Helen Keller Fest, and apparently was watching this ole woman walk around in the heat all day from his bus. After the VIP meet and greet, he looked at me and said, "You’ve been walking around here all day. How about getting a picture with me?" It was so sweet of him. (Notice I had my GRIT blogger shirt on.)
The W.C. Handy Music Festival is eleven days of music, a large percentage of which is free. Just bring a lawn chair and rub elbows with several Hall of Famers of Muscle Shoals music. Several of the restaurants have live music for lunch and supper. Those concerts along the Tennessee river have an added bonus of great sunsets. Mom is telling folks that she and the Hooligans are W.C. Handy orphans.
Every year since the invasion of the Japanese beetles, I’ve been using the traps in several areas of my property. This year, as soon as I spotted one, I put three traps up. This is the first year that I’ve had minimal damage. Each year, the invasion has been less and less. When we first saw them, I was catching gallons of them each day. This year I only replaced the bags once.
Now that my zinnias are blooming, I’ve had a lot of butterflies visiting. I’m seeing a lot of Gulf fritillary at my house and a few swallowtails. The hummingbirds are really hitting the feeders since the drought and hot temperatures have killed a lot of the flowers. The bluebirds in the box along the driveway are busy feeding their young.