The Shawnee News-Star Weekender August 31st 2019 Becky Emerson Carlberg Happy International Bacon Day.† This tradition has been observed the Saturday before Labor Day since 2005, thanks to three grad students at the University of Colorado at Boulder!† Bacon waffles with a side of bacon for breakfast, BLTs with a side of bacon for lunch, […]

The Shawnee News-Star Weekender August 31st 2019

Toasting the Distant Glacier

Becky Emerson Carlberg

Happy International Bacon Day.† This tradition has been observed the Saturdaybefore Labor Day since 2005, thanks to three grad students at the University ofColorado at Boulder!† Bacon waffles witha side of bacon for breakfast, BLTs with a side of bacon for lunch, watch KevinBacon movies.

What a way to start the day.†The modern meteorological autumn begins tomorrow, September first, basedon the Gregorian calendar used by most of the world. It helps weatherscientists compare seasonal weather patterns.†Our traditional astronomical date starts September 21st, the autumnequinox.† The tilt of the North Poletoward the sun (summertime in the Northern Hemisphere) straightens to anequidistant position where the sun's rays directly hit the equator. To extendautumn a few weeks longer, I plan to observe both dates.† Today I can legitimately begin eating candycorn and autumn mix.†

I enjoyed Bill Hagen's 'Nice in Iceland.' †It made the waning days of summer feel cooler. My son and girlfriend traveled around Iceland last August in a rented Land Rover Defender that slept two with kitchen, electric cooler and heating system. † It was some trip for the geologist rock hound and volcanologist Puffin lover. † They lived out of the Rover and often veered off the Ring Road to plow down primitive B roads in wind, rain and cold temps. Perfect Puffin country. † Even the Puffins leave in August and head out to open sea to live for the next 8 months. † Most pictures were of rock formations, breath-taking views and water"frozen, falling, steamy or salty. † I think I would rather explore Iceland the way Bill and his son did.

Juicy Messina Peaches

Peaches are still here in the flesh.† Last week, the Wind Drift Nursery in Harrah washarvesting yellow fleshed Messina peaches.†The tree is quite robust, a vigorous early bloomer but produces peachesthat mature late.† It has lowsusceptibility to bacterial leaf spot, can get by with minimal spraying, or noneat all.† The tree is self-pollinating,but the crop is increased if another early bloomer is around to help!†

The patented Messina (US PP#18,091), introduced in 2012, is considereda large freestone peach with 85% scarlet color over yellow.† Peaches ripen mid to the end of August (4weeks after Redhavens).†† The firm,freezable peach has less fuzz for those of you who are put off by really hairypeaches, but is juicy, tartly sweet and flavorful.†††

This week Encore peaches came on the market. Ripening 7weeks after Redhavens, the late August early September peach heralds the end ofthis year's peach crop.† This peach, alsowith resistance to bacterial leaf spot, is similar to the Messina peach insize, flavor, and texture.† Hurry if youwant a fresh local peach.

After the nasty storm winds last Monday night detached alarge cottonwood branch and sent it thudding down the roof to the ground,pruning the hollies and persimmon along the way, it appears some of my plants weredecapitated.† The sunflowers toppled, flowerssnapped, but the tomato plants held firm in their cages. †The apricot tree still had some fruit onlybecause the main bearing limb is a foot off the ground and dodged thegales.† Land hurricane is how themeteorologists put it as two strong storms merged over the OKC area.† Ninety plus mile per hour winds roared overthe zoo.† When the edge of that supersystem zoomed past our house, the ferocious winds sounded odd.† Luckily, we never lost power.

The Pottawatomie County Free Fair is coming September 4th-7th 2019. † The complete 2019 Fairbook is online just for you. † Plant Science is where you go to check requirements and categories for your agronomy samples, fruits, veggies, flowers, honey, scarecrows and decorated melons. † This year, why not enter your best potted plant, cut flowers, veggies or fruits? † You can paint a melon or make a scarecrow! † The theme: American Flair at the Pottawatomie County Fair. †

Henryetta is almost ready for the Pott County Free Fair

Scarecrow it is.† Forthe fair, two of us Master Gardeners are building Henryetta from scratch. She beganlife looking a bit emaciated.† Her firmarms, soft round head, insulation padding held together with duct tape and shoestrings, and chicken wire legs were strategically arranged along a metal lamppole that screws into a round metal base.†She will be able to stand when her base is put on a short table. Theblue dress, cover shirt with embroidered cows, and red, white and blue pinwheels(American flair) simply enhance her beauty.†No hair yet, but after she gets a face, also missing, and hair, a fewflowers in a pot and some shoes, she'll be ready for anything.

Last year Henry was our project.† He was ringmaster of the veggies andfruits.† The year before was Bob the BBQexpert.† Our first scarecrow was Myrtlewith the theme: country pride, county wide. Words can't describe Myrtle's paperm√Ęchť head with paper curls covered in a bonnet. It was a tasty exhibit.† The goats munched on the scarecrows set upnext to their pens.† The next year thescarecrow exhibit was moved.

While retrieving the lamp stand on the porch, I noticed the orb weaver. † Charlotte had spun her web, with thick zig-zag stitching in the center, on the support trellis by the rose bush. Friday it poured three inches. † The spider and web were gone until Monday morning. † She was back with a new web spanning the width of the porch from the brick wall to the porch column. † No one could walk down the porch. † I toyed with the idea of detaching her gossamer guide lines, but decided to wait for a passing wren or another storm, which promptly arrived Monday night. † Her web was once again destroyed. † Tuesday morning, she was in the process of renovation when I gently detached the main silks from the wall and moved them to the asparagus fern. † She got the message.

Charlotte the Orb Weaver

The new intricate circular web was parallel to the wall,supported by the fern, red sage and one Spirea bush.† We can go up and down the porch withoutdisturbing Charlotte's work.† Wednesdaymorning her web was reduced to 3 strands and a reinforced center.† By lunch she had woven yet another complicatedweb in the same place.

My orb weaver is the Argiope aurantia, otherwise known asthe black and yellow garden spider, writing spider, corn spider, or zipperspider. They are not aggressive.† Thezig-zag pattern reflects UV light which attracts insects to the web.† The male is smaller with less coolmarkings.† He will spin a web alongsidehers.† After they mate, the female placesher egg sack in the web to overwinter.†The spiderlings emerge in the spring.

This week's Aldi flyer had 'bring home the bacon' with advertisementsfor Maple Brown sugar or Cherrywood smoked bacon, bacon potato chips, baconpretzels, bacon guacamole, maple bacon coffee, and bacon pizzas.†

Remember, you are just like bacon. † You make everything great!