Can you believe that it was so dry on Sunday that I had to water my hanging flower pots? The problem is that such pots from any nursery contain very little soil and mostly what I would call peat moss with some fertilizer thrown in so that they do tend to dry out fast. The other enemy in our area is also the wind that had played havoc with the plants, but we all should know about the wind here - this is the Minnesota prairie.
I was thankful that despite the forecast for a stormy Saturday, that that never came to pass. My vegetable garden finally dried out enough so that I could tackle the weeds that always grow much faster than the plantings. I had managed to get a second planting of green beans in during the early part of last week, but then with no rain since then, I am thinking maybe I should at least water that new row of beans. Despite having been hit by some hail early on, things are looking pretty good for my garden, but after two trips to the cities I am so sad looking at the vast areas of farm fields that are totally wiped out and many other areas of very yellow corn that does not bode well. I say, "Oh, Fiddlesticks!" to the fact that we have little control over those rains.
It had been many years since I had a flat tire on the highway and I don't mean a slow leak. I mean flat. By the time the little warning light on my dashboard showed up saying I had low tire pressure and by the time I punched the button to see how much tire pressure I had, I had pulled into a location and the tire pressure was 2psi in other words, flat, Flat, FLAT! I count myself lucky that I was in Bird Island at the time. The folks at the filling station (no "garage") called a tire place that was within a block of the filling station where I had stopped.
That was service that might only be available in a small town not the big city. Within a couple of minutes, a fellow arrived and took over from where I had already begun jacking up the car and in a quick 30 seconds or so finished the job with his electric wrench to take off and put on the lug nuts. The tire was totally shot, but the rim unharmed and so a new tire was put on by the assistant while I settled the bill with the owner, and in less than 20 minutes we were on our way. Thumbs up for small town friendliness and efficiency.
We left Marshall that morning at 7:20. We were parked in Minneapolis and had managed to get to the third tier of Orchestra Hall, made a quick stop at a restroom and sat down before the Orchestra came on stage at 11. And I don't think I exceeded the speed limit (by much.)
Incidentally the concert was MAGNIFICENT. The 100 piece orchestra accompanied the 120 voice Minnesota Chorale the best program in the last 30 or so concerts we have attended.
We Minnesotans have it all from sports to "cultural" events. We in Marshall also have it all with our own share of these the Marshall City Band on Wednesday evenings at Liberty Park has been great don't miss this evening's performance and then the performance on the 4th of July at Independence Park. Lots of sporting events have been on the Marshall calendar and music (Southwest Minnesota Orchestra) and theater performances and special MAFAC programs to name a few. I can't believe people who say there is not enough to do here. Surrounding communities also add to the possibilities, e.g. Aebleskiver Days, Box Elder Bug Days, Belgian American Days, Box Car Days, etc.
The Sunday sermon at church used a takeoff of the quote, "Water, Water Everywhere/ Nor any drop to drink." It was particularly timely because of the heavy rains we have had in southern Minnesota. The quote is from "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner," a poem in which a tale is told of a sailor on a ship who killed an albatross and subsequently the ship was becalmed on the ocean and without wind and rain all the sailors except the one died of thirst. The sailor had been made to wear the dead albatross hung around his neck.
Unfortunately, the albatross, which is native to the southern oceans and the Pacific Ocean but not the Atlantic, is threatened with extinction. Some years ago we were able to observe these birds on the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador where they showed no signs of fear from humans. The extinction threat is exacerbated by overfishing areas where they get their food from the ocean.
Though there are many species of the albatross, some have wingspans of 12 feet. They are a bit clumsy looking and take great effort to get off land or water into the air, but once up they can glide on air currents for long distances and for great lengths of time.
Their seeming clumsiness on land and getting into the air possibly led to the nickname of the birds: Gooney birds.
During World War II the Douglas Aircraft C-47 was nicknamed the Gooney Bird because of its clumsy looks and its lumbering takeoff. However, it was vital to the success of a number of war efforts including Guadalcanal, the jungles of New Guinea and Burma, the Battle of Bastogne, and in flying "the Hump" from India into China, and the Berlin Airlift. Remember any of those places from WWII?
Until next time: Oh, Fiddlesticks!