Gardener's Grapevine 2013.09.11

This beautiful Sunday afternoon Art and I are on a trip to Michigan State University to visit our son. Nick is a senior now and is a very busy young man, so we went to take him some things he needed and to visit. Visiting usually involves a meal, which is fine with us as there are a lot of places to choose from.

MSU has a very beautiful campus with a lot of open outside areas to explore. We noticed some of the trees are beginning to turn. Nothing spectacular yet, just here and there. The sumac is deep red right now adding to the beautiful colors in the woods. The drive up 127 is pretty rustic and a very nice drive.

Art and I were discussing how when we were in college Sundays were a big laid-back free day. It’s nice now and then to have a little time when nothing pressing is tugging on you and you can just take a little road trip. What has amazed me this year on our road trips are the farmer’s fields. I cannot remember the corn being this tall with the big full ears. The beans are really in exceptionally nice shape, too. I am saying all this without a lick of commercial farm knowledge, just personal observation from growing up in farm country. It is always nice to see our farmer neighbors have a good harvest. They put in hard work to make a living and are very much at the mercy of the weather.

The field corn is not the only corn doing well this year. Our sweet corn has been delicious and we had a good harvest. Art noticed this week that we have an area in the middle of our corn patch that looks as if a deer had bedded down in it. We have had deer in our back yard before, however, they never stay they just jump the fence and keep on truckin'. Our drive up 127 did not yield one deer sighting, which is highly unusual.

The squash this year are outrageous. We could eat them every night and not make a dent. We’ve been giving them away left and right. On our way home from East Lansing we came home through Devils Lake for a change in scenery. There are a lot of things to see out there. As we approached the lake we passed a bean field and Art noticed what he thought were baby buzzards, due to their bald heads. We turned around and went back to investigate only to discover a flock of wild hen turkeys. There were  probably five full grown hens and 30 half-grown chicks. They were doing the ultimate composting according to my husband: Eating the bugs and leaving their droppings. They were cute bobbing along the rows, with their little heads popping up every so often.

Nature is so amazing and it seems that so many folks just hurry along from place to place without really looking around. You miss so much of the world on the expressway at 70 miles per hour. The road less traveled will take you home, also, and provide fodder for conversation all week long. Art says to say slow down and drink in the sight of wild turkeys. They are quite enjoyable.