Hello, Brunswick County!

Like you, we have been enjoying this mild summer. The mornings have been perfect for working in the yard and in the garden. The late evenings were wonderful for walks and sitting on a swing.

And then the bugs arrived. It was almost like they appeared overnight. The flies, the gnats and the Japanese Beetles.

(I am especially sensitive to those destructive beetles being named after the place, Japan, where the Lord has called Cindy and me to go and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in a few weeks. I wanted to suggest an alternative name based on the beetles wanton destructiveness and complete disregard for the property of others but I couldn't think of anything. )

Still, in spite of insects, I've been getting daily reports from my fellow gardeners about the bounteous harvest we have been blessed with as a result of the wonderful rainfall we received last month and in the beginning of June. Cucumbers galore and green beans and squash have been reported by almost everyone. One patient even brought some squash and cucumbers to the office to share because he had more than he needed. We've been sharing some ourselves, with patients and friends. I mean, what do you do with 38 cucumbers when there are still jars in the pantry with pickles in them that we bottled 4 years ago?

This year we planted some short season (78 days to maturity) corn. We planted 6 different small plots of the same seed about 10 days apart with the hope that at least 4 or 5 of those plots would bring a good return (IE: catch the rains at the right time and not get scorched). One plot has already produced about 12 ears of corn with another 50 or so almost ready.

What will probably happen is that the squirrels, raccoons and deer will have a longer garden corn destroying season. So far we have captured 3 raccoons in our live trap and relocated them to your back yard. (just kidding)

I have one raccoon at the house that is incredibly clever. It has managed to get an entire tin of sardines out of the trap and not activate the door. It eats the sardines and leaves me the empty tin. This has happened twice even after I attached the second sardine tin to the cage. Tonight I am going to attach an additional activation wire to the tin so that when he grabs it, while avoiding the spring plate on the bottom, he'll be captured.

I have an idea that this raccoon is so intelligent that we will be able to carry on a wonderful conversation as we drive together to a faraway forest where he can live happily ever after.

Really, I like raccoons, except when they tear down a couple of corn stalks every night when the corn isn't even ready, and when they get into the bags of chicken feed, and when then go in the cat door in the garage and eat the cat food.

Certainly, they are a lot cuter than a possum.

Or a copperhead.

Speaking of which, I saw a post on Facebook the other day that made me smile.

Things that make a person feel powerful.....

1. Lots of money

2. Social power

3. Growing a tomato

Ours aren't red yet but I'm feeling powerful!

I hope all you Brunswickians are, too.