One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Just Another Day

The annuals really own the garden this time of year. Most of the big ticket perennials have come and gone. Of the fabulous lilies only green leafy stalks remain. Just a few of the former multitude of daisies are still showing their cheery faces. There is still some phlox to tease the eye and scent the air.

But the day belongs to the hardest working residents in the garden: the allyssum, the marigolds, bachelor’s buttons and sulphur cosmos.

The other cosmos still have not joined the show yet, though there are buds forming. I can’t believe they are waiting so long this year. I think there’s some reason behind that I’ve not quite figured out. The seeds were certainly sown early enough. Perhaps the soil is too rich for them. The plants are tall enough, some of them topping off at nearly four feet.

I hadn’t thought I was going to show you any morning glories this morning, though there were plenty in bloom. And then I spotted this bumblebee tight-rope-walking along one of the twining stems, clambering over tomorrow morning’s flower buds.

And this pale pink morning glory was a bit of a surprise, since I’ve not seen any this color before today. At first, I thought it was actually a bindweed flower, but a closer look showed it to be another color of glory heard from.

Pretty, eh?
Here’s something for the Big Book of the Minorly Weird: at work today, one of the waitresses was cutting lemons and discovered this lemon with another lemon which had grown inside the first.

Hardly a sign of the coming apocalypse, but vaguely interesting nonetheless.

We heard of a severe storm warning around 1:00 this afternoon, and within minutes it was swirling in on us, thunder echoing in the distance to the west.

In a matter of minutes, the clouds billowed out of nowhere to obscure the sun and the sky grew very dark. It was sort of amazing how quickly it happened. I learned late tonight that there was actually a microburst causing lots of tree damage not far from the Cape Cod Canal at about that time, which explains the speed with which everything was moving.

As the thunder continued booming and lightning flashed across the sky, the gusty winds arrived first and then the rain. At first, it made a sort of fog as it came in contact with the hot pavement and evaporated.

Then suddenly it was falling in sheets and making visible the great gusts of wind that were blowing in a variety of directions.

I understand there was golf-ball sized hail connected with the microburst, but we didn’t see any of that in Orleans, just lots of that heavy, heavy rain, sometimes blowing sideways, helping us feel a sort of kinship with our friends and family in Florida who were braving the battering wind and rain of Tropical Storm Fay.

I did download an impressive radar map of the storm’s track and another detailing the frequency and location of the lightning strikes…but sadly, I’ve misplaced those files, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was a big, unexpected storm.

[EDIT: 8/20/08, 8:20 am: here’s a link to more coverage of this storm, if you’re interested.]

After work, I stopped by Rock Harbor for a look out across the bay, where it was cloudier than I’d expected, since we’d ended up having a pretty sunny afternoon following the storm. It wasn’t until I got home to Harwich that I discovered that they were having a second storm about that time.

It’s much cooler this evening, with temperatures dropping down into the low sixties…and now, after midnight, we’ve slipped down into the 50s. Definitely a nice night for a sweatshirt. I think I’ll sleep well for a change.

There’s still some fast moving clouds passing by overhead, and I didn’t find the right setting to capture those crisply on the new camera yet.

But really, I wasn’t so into photography tonight and mostly just sat in front of the TV and enjoyed some more Olympics coverage. Men’s diving, women’s gymnastics, BMX bike racing, more running and hurdle-jumping.

It’s all good, though I am often a little disappointed that, in trying to make sure we see as much of the games as possible, some of the “lesser” contenders don’t get their televised moment of glory. We see all those countries’ athletes enter the stadium on the first night, and many of them are never seen again.

Succeed or fail, they are all part of the beauty of the Olympic experience.


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