Sunday, August 2, 2009

...and the Rains Came Down

From my earliest childhood, I have always loved thunderstorms. The distant rumble of thunder, the startling flashes of lightening, and then the heaviest downpours always seemed to bring a sense of relief to hot, muggy summer days.

As a gardener, I delight in heavy rains as they mean a day that I don’t water have to my garden because it’s being done for me. That situation, however, has it problems.

Looking out my front door recently after a brief but particularly heavy rainstorm, I was distraught to find all of my cornstalks lying parallel to the ground. There goes my corn harvest, I thought. I’d taken such care to plant the corn in a square (as I had been taught by my farmer Pam) as opposed to a line. I’d even been shaking the plants to get them to pollinate each other. The position of the stalks flat on the ground did not seem especially good for pollination.

Never one to work out a problem alone, I called to my husband for help.

“Oh, save those plants”, I cried. He’s my hero, you know.

Off to the rescue with tall stakes, perhaps even a shovel handle or two, he gently lifted each stalk upright, in the same way a parent might tend a fallen, despairing child. He secured each stalk with a soft length of twine so that the stalks would know that we expected them to grow upright and not sideways.

We waited. A few days later, there did not seem to be any apparent damage to the cornstalks from their sudden collapse. In fact, I even discovered some corn silk peeking out of one of the plants. Corn harvest, here we come!

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