Monday, August 15, 2016

Meteors, Corn Sex, Pool Frivolity, and Sunflowers

What a great weekend!  We spent Friday evening floating on the lake with family and friends while we watched for meteors.  I did see a few bright streaks in heavens, but it seemed like other folks were better at keeping an eye on the sky than I was.  I missed lots of good ones, I think, but I didn't miss out on any of the good times.  

Brandon and I spent Saturday at home, recovering from our late night meteor gazing, and catching up on chores.  I did quite a bit of garden gazing and laundry, but Brandon packed his truck full of sculptures in preparation for a solo art exhibition in Illinois that he is installing this week.  

I think the corn I planted is actually going to make some ears of corn!  Corn sex is strange. The tassels at the top of the plants have the small flowers that make the pollen, which the wind knocks loose so it can fall down to the fluffy sprays of silk that have sprouted down below, on the stalk.   

If I look real close at the silk strands, I can see tiny hairs sticking up, which I imagine are helpful for catching tiny pollen grains on the wind.  Once a silk strand catches a pollen grain, it's fertilized and makes a kernel of corn.  I don't have many corn stalks, so I won't know if there's enough pollen grains to fertilize all my silks until the ears develop.  

By Sunday afternoon, we were fully recovered from the late night meteor gazing, Brandon had all his art packed up, and we were ready for friends to join us in breaking in our new pool!  It was just as much fun as I hoped it would be.  Nothing fuels the appetite like swimming, and the food grilled foods and summer garden salads were perfection.   

Getting our pool up so late in the season meant that most of the floats and pool toys that stores have carried all summer are no longer available, as they've been replaced with back to school supplies (boo!).  I did manage to find an inflatable beach ball on the sale rack at the dollar store though, and even though Wendigo helpfully poked a hole in it, we enjoyed hitting the ball back and forth to each other while we were in the water.  Our team record was twenty-nine passes before we let it hit the water!  

Hopefully by next pool season we will have a better way to get in the pool.  Right now, you have to walk down a hill through clumpy grass, step over a ditch, avoid the mud, climb a big ladder, and then cross over the pool wall onto the plastic pool steps.  The steps would be great if they didn't float!  I believe the solution to floating steps is to put bags of sand in the bottom and anchor the steps to a deck with some handy brackets.  Since we didn't have any bags of sand, or a deck, we wrapped a cement block in a chicken feed sack, and placed it on the steps.  It works, sort of, but the steps feel wobbly and the block is in the way.  It's treacherous, and after a few tasty beverages quite challenging! 

The pool water is fantastic though.  Thanks to getting full sun all day, the water is warm enough that it's not painful to get in.  And because it's not close to any tall vegetation, I haven't had to fish out a bunch of leaves and seeds like I had to do with my old pool.  The skimmer and pump with this pool is strong too, so the surface stays mostly bug free.  Even Brandon admits that the pool location we selected is good.  We couldn't admit that when we were laboring to move all that dirt, but now we can. 

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