Hope everyone had a patriotic Fourth of July. May the USA live long and strong. With the Helen Keller Festival last weekend, the fourth is usually a quiet one in Tuscumbia. I drove into town looking for another belt for my 5 ft finishing mower. The sidewalks were rolled up and the only thing moving were the flags hanging around town. Tourist were doing the historical driving tour and were parked in the middle of the street while they read the brochure and no one disturbed them. Down in Spring Park and few families were having picnics. While I had the chance I walked the streets myself taking pictures of some of the historical buildings for a historical calendar I’m working on. Eventually a jogger went by, going down the hill to the park and back up the hill to town. My knees hurt just watching him.
A large number of folks head to McFarland Park on the river in Florence for the Spirit of Freedom Festival. All day concerts on two stages and a fireworks display at the end. Several businesses sponsor the event and TNT fireworks located in Florence put on a spectacular show from a barge in the middle of the Tennessee River. If you can manage to find a seat on the road on the higher bluff on the Sheffield side, the explosions look like they are right in your face. One thing that is on my bucket list is going to Boston for the Boston Pops fireworks show one year. The next festival coming up is the W. C. Handy Music Festival all over the Shoals at the end of the month. Bring a lawn chair and just take it easy.
An update on my escape artist Patches. I caught her out late Monday, rather Blackie squealed on her when she got out. After I walked her home making sure I had hold of the end of the dangling fence collar as we came across the line, I marched her to the greenhouse and locked her in. I know someone who wanted to see what the collar felt like and her husband had to jerk the collar from her hand as she laid there frozen being shocked. The sun was setting so it had already cooled down more than the barn had, especially with all the windows opened. I brought her two bowls of water, tightened her fence collar just a hair and told her I’d see her first thing in the morning. All through the night I could hear a woof, woof like hey you forgot me. As the sun was coming up, I let her out on my way to work. When I let her out I told her that she would go back in there again tonight if she was out when I got home. So far so good. She may have won most of the battles, but hopefully I’ve won the war for now that is.
The weekend was another scorcher. Saturday temps were in the high nineties with heat index over 101. One of my neighbor’s elderly dogs had heat stroke and had to be put to sleep. She called me to tell me about poor Sydney and said they had a spot picked out, but were having trouble digging the hole and her husband had hurt his back. When I asked why don’t you dig it with your front end loader, she asked yours? I said, no you have two of them. Sometimes City Slickers don’t realize what farm equipment can do and have to do it the hard way.
I’d plan to spend the 3 day weekend digging up iris, adding compost and rotten sawdust and digging up the bed for replanting. After 6 inches of rain in a week, the grass in the bottom three acres really needed a haircut. After taking off the tiller I started mowing for about an hour when my new $43 belt broke. The repair shop in Tuscumbia had sold me a belt that wasn’t as thick as the one which came off of the mower. Since I couldn’t mow I worked on weeding some of the flower beds. I have a compost box made of recycled concrete blocks and as I took a loader full of weeds to dump into it, I noticed a tail wagging out of the previously dumped material. Blackie had rooted herself into the pile again chasing after mice. Last time she was in there I buried her. I didn’t know she was in there until she dug her way out and looked around like “what happened?”
The 13 year cicadas are gone and the Japanese beetles are plentiful. I’ve been changing out 2 or 3 bags daily on my traps. I lost 2 and possibly four fruit trees to the cicadas. A few late daylilies and oriental lilies are in bloom. One of my favorite almost white late blooming daylilies called First Lady Barbara is flowering now. I’ve offered some of them for President Bush’s library under construction, but haven’t heard from them.