Minnesota in for a hot, wet summer

Bill Hamm
Staff Writer

As hot and wet as it is getting here in Minnesota this summer, I thought about planting pineapples, but they take too long. If it hadn’t been for that end of April blizzard I might have anyway. With our heat and thousand-year flooding here in the Northland, all we need now is Malaria in our mosquitoes to give us that Amazonian tropical feel, I guess the Lymes makes up for it. I have been paying some attention to the plight of those of you south of the tree line down in the Mankato area as well, wondering if the floating walkways in Rasmussen woods have been carried downstream yet.

With the garden all finally in and the weeds growing faster than the food, the fun never ends till twilight comes bringing the mosquito squadrons, dive bombing until you retreat in defeat. When darkness grabs you, or the rain starts again, there are always the online summer courses to fill those lonely times when there is nothing else to do, or you cannot find a friend to go fishing with.

Although fishing isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be when the grandchildren were along to make it entertaining. Not even getting the free fishing license replaces those days of never-ending adventure and calamity.

I got 575 free strawberry plants from a “good” friend this spring, they sent him a thousand instead of the 500 he ordered changing my life for the summer, and many more to come. Lucky for me I found several somebodies equally as foolish as myself to pawn off 350 of them on.

One of them a fellow alumnus from Hibbing Community College, has a lot of relatives. So, instead of getting my new greenhouse put up I have the strawberry patch I wasn’t ready for. It is a good thing I love strawberries more than the work it takes to grow them, it is also a good thing I have a daughter who doesn’t mind helping.

Resulting from our warmer than average May the wild blueberries are going to bring another bumper crop for us in a few more weeks. For those who have never enjoyed Minnesota wild blueberries, you have missed a real treat indeed. I try to freeze up at least four to five gallons every year.

Between them, wild blackberries, and now strawberries I never have to worry about fruit on my cereal, berries in my pancakes, or in my cupcakes till at least next season. I also manage to have enough for those holiday pies everyone loves so well. I do, on occasion, take novices out for a berry good picking adventure should anyone show interest.

Now that I have aroused your sense of adventure and your taste buds, it is getting time for my afternoon walk. I must do this regularly to straighten my spine from bending over to weed all those damn strawberry plants. Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am, take care.

2 thoughts on “Minnesota in for a hot, wet summer

  • August 8, 2018 at 8:59 pm
    Permalink

    A beautifully crafted piece, Mister Hamm. I am an MSU alumnus retired in Cambodia, and, unlike last summer, the last monsoon season, we are suffering from three crashing deluges a day, but we are weathering it quite well despite having to push our bicycles through knee-deep mud ruts to get to downtown Seam Reap, a town of a couple hundred thousand overrun with international tourists to the ancient Angkorian ruins. Naked toddlers yell “Hello” through my door in the morning wanting me to shake their moist little hands and toss each one over my head into the sultry sky then catching them as they drop like jack fruit. Mommies hand wash their clothes in large plastic basins. I take walks among the mango, papaya and cassavas under those tall fig trees that strangle the Angkor ruins. But thirteen degrees North is not as tropical as I have been accustomed to as the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo and central Sumatra as well as the Amazon are far more tropical with trees swallowed in leafy vines and with lianas as thick as boa constrictors dropping from the canopy

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