More Dogs on Main Street
July 10, 2009
The cottonwood trees around my house all released at the exact same second last week. Usually, the cottonwoods let their seeds go sort of gradually, and the stuff is blowing around for several days. This year, for some reason, they all let go simultaneously, which in the world of plants is maybe as good as it gets. We were sitting around the bonfire over at the old family house next door to mine. It was a perfect July barbecue, topped off with my sister’s potato salad and homemade raspberry ice cream. Suddenly the air was thick with blowing cotton.
One of the little kids ran to my sister and shouted, "Look, grandma, it’s snowing." It really looked like a blizzard. When the wind was still, the stuff would slowly float down and accumulate on the roofs. Then, with the slightest breeze, it would come swirling down in a raging January blizzard. The kids ran around gathering up big balls of it. It doesn’t pack into a snowball, but they had a couple of wads that were about tennis-ball sized. The front porch had a drift a few inches thick. The pond was covered over so solidly it looked as if you could walk across it. It piled up on the lawn and got into the potato salad.
The sneezing fits that followed were both funny and painful. The next day, I went for a bike ride and ended up inhaling more of it than is probably healthy. It blew for two days and is now more or less over. Everybody had a theory as to why the trees all let the seed go at the same time. The consensus was that the cool, wet spring held everything back just a little, and when the first really hot week of summer weather hit, the plants started making up for lost time.
Of course we’ve had snow real snow on the Fourth of July before. I remember watching a couple of Park City parades in sleet, and even waking up to the sound of a few inches of accumulated snow sliding off the metal roof and hitting the ground with a slushy splat. Of the two choices, if we’re going to have a blizzard in July, I’ll take the cottonwood variety.
I got my first good Crenshaw melon of the season this week. I bought one at the grocery store that was hard as a rock and tasted like Styrofoam. I was in Heber this week and hit the produce stand on the north end of town. He had some great raspberries and a Crenshaw that may be the best I’ve had in a couple of seasons. It was just perfectly ripe and rich with flavor. So I’ve been eating melon for dinner lately, and it makes a fine meal. He also had some sweet corn that looked OK, but I’m always skeptical of corn dragged in from someplace else. The local corn is still a month away. Of course the raspberries had a lot of miles on them too. Somehow they had been trucked in from California and were still fresh, and the melons had to be from someplace else, too. But corn seemed risky. No point pressing my luck.
After a slow start, the hay crop around the area is looking very good. We got lucky and didn’t cut until the rain had given up, so we should get it cut, dried, and baled without getting soaked. That’s pretty unusual. Around the state in general, at lower elevations where they are cutting earlier, there was a lot of rain damage. Locally, things look pretty good.
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The cable news people are still reporting that Michael Jackson is dead as a mackerel. Should that situation change, I’m sure they will let us know. If you missed the funeral broadcast, you can catch the reruns 24/7 on any of a dozen satellite channels. Or buy the DVD for $29.95 plus shipping. The only question I really want answered is whether the Staples Center demanded cash up front for the circus, I mean funeral, or if they will get stuck for the bill. The only fitting end for a spectacle like that is to leave the bills unpaid. The only ticket that was harder to get than the Jackson funeral was the Demolition Derby in Kamas, which was sold out months ago. It’s a better show, too.
Meanwhile, the Republican demolition derby continues, with Nevada Senator Ensign’s affair and putting his mistress’s kid on the payroll, Governor Mark Sanford and his Argentinean squeeze, and now Sarah Palin resigning to spend more time gutting fish. Nobody seems to know what she’s up to, though the assumption is that we have not heard the last of her.
You don’t suppose she’s been to Argentina recently?
Tom Clyde served as Park City attorney in the 1980s and is the author of "More Dogs On Main Street." He has been a columnist at The Park Record for more than 20 years.