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essex 8/14

This past week I've been busy mowing my back fields, the ones too small or rough to cut hay from. The birds that nest in tall grass, like bobolinks, have finished with raising their young by now. Mowing keeps the trees and brush from getting a foothold, and encourages grasses over plants like goldenrod or milkweed.

Riding a slow moving and loud diesel tractor is tedious, but there are pleasures to be had, like seeing throngs of swallows and dragonflies chasing the insects the mower kicks up. Both tree and barn swallows stayed with me one afternoon, swirling and diving, picking bugs out of the air. My favorite thing is to mow around wet areas, where wild mint and something that resembles oregano grow. The sweet smells are heavenly.

On Saturday, Aug. 14, there will be a food sale to benefit the Belden Noble Library. The sale will start at 9 a.m. and will be held in front of the post office on Main Street. Please call the library if you'd like to donate a food item to sell.

I'd like to offer condolences to the family and friends of Polly Crowningshield, who died last week. When we moved to Reber, our post office was in Whallonsburg, and Polly was the post master. She could not have been more welcoming to us and, over the years, helped lots of newcomers like us settle in the area. Her post office was tiny and had no storage space, but it was a cheerful place, thanks to Polly.

The roadway into the site for the sewage treatment plant is nearly finished, and the site itself has been cleared of trees and brush. This week they'll be working on more excavations for the building and treatment tanks.

Last week's wind and rain storm pushed a lot of my sweet corn over, but within three days, the plants had straightened themselves out and now look normal. The pole beans suffered a severe lashing from the wind, but with this warm and rainy weather, they'll recover too. This has been the best gardening summer in my memory.

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