Difficult growing season gets tougher

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By Dennis Morgeson

It has been a very difficult growing season, to say the least, with the drought and extreme heat, but something happened last week at my house that added to that. First of all, I did get a beneficial rain of two inches, which I was pleased and am sure the surrounding farmers were too, but we didn’t bargain for what we got. The storm was ferocious. It blew flashing off my house, destroyed the chicken coop door and the dog house, blew cans and flower pots all over the yard, knocked down my sweet corn, sunflowers, tomatoes, etc., and most plants just looked battered and bruised. But, we got rain! I knew I should have taken the cans to the recycle center instead of letting them pile up, but I got busy and just didn’t get around to it. I will probably pay a little more attention to that, after spending an hour picking them up!

Something a little funny happened in the storm, too. A rooster has learned how to escape from his pen recently. We will call him Houdini. Thursday evening, as the storm clouds and wind roared in, he got out. I ran out and after a little chasing, caught him and put him back in his pen. Before I got back to the house, he got out again, but just as the wind and rain were moving in, not to mention the crackling lightning, so I decided he was on his own!

We also have a new dog, Zeus (he came with that name and Gabby has called him everything but that), and as far as we know he has been indoors for most of his life. So now, being a country dog, he has learning curb to overcome. He learned what an electric fence is a couple weeks ago and if you remember I had mentioned the doghouse was destroyed (he wasn’t in it). Amy saw his doghouse go and called him to the front porch and told him to get behind the glider. He did!  Zeus wanted to come in, but there was no way a wet dog was coming in, and after all, he needs to learn how to take care of himself in case we aren’t home.  Our neighbor’s dog, Dixie, who is an older farm dog, comes over and plays with him and actually I think is teaching him how to be a country dog. Of course, this being the first storm since we have had Zeus, she hadn’t gotten around to teaching him everything.

The garden situation was pretty bad, well, very depressing, Friday morning. I was sure there would be no more sweet corn, as it was flat!  It actually has gotten up, for the most part. I have witnessed smaller corn get blown down pretty badly and raise back up but this corn has tassels and it was blown so far down it had mud from top to bottom! Every day it gets a little straighter, almost like it just wants to show me it can. I still can’t walk down the rows very well, but Friday I wouldn’t have given you a nickel for it. The rest of the flowers and garden are looking a little better, too. The rain was beneficial enough that many of the plants have the ability to make a comeback. I am even going to have to mow my weeds, I mean yard.

Thursday evening, after the worst of the storm was over, and in the dark, I thought I should at least try to find Houdini, dead or alive. I had to at least find him. He was hunkered down on our side stoop, fairly dry because he was out of the wind and side-ways rain. He didn’t budge as I picked him up, actually seemed happy, if roosters can show that. Since then, when he gets out I go out, open his door and he just goes back in as easy as you please. I guess new dogs and old roosters can learn new tricks! 

Happy gardening!