Friday, September 14, 2012

Transistion Time

Fresh Lime with Cilantro Salsa from the garden

September is one of those transition months here in Minnesota as the weather can be 92 degrees one day and 52 the next.  It's been extremely dry around home after what proved to be a very wet start of the summer.  The warmer than normal spring forced nature to show herself about 3 weeks early before a normal frost killed most of my apples.  The ongoing dry weather has now put stress on our trees, which are simply turning brown and falling off.  What apples that did develop are to my surprise 3 weeks early and most of the meager crop of McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and Haralson's has simply rotted away.  I think all that's left is a few Honeygolds, an apple that is normally harvested in the middle of October.  September is also the month when the Kramer Open is held.  Normally I would participate with my good friend Tom Emmons in a race to see who's the best sporting clays shot.  One year I had him beat by 1 bird going into the last 6 targets of a 100 round event.  Nailing the first 4 the pressure got to me and I missed the last 2.  Tom hit the first 4, then #5 to tie and #6 to beat me by one bird.  He accused me of letting him win, I never let on if I did or did not.  It kept his perfect record of shooting better than me in this event, something that I look back on as I something I really miss, that rivalry with Tom.  Of course I really miss him as well.  Sunday was a day for catching up in the garden.  This year has given me a bumper crop of Amish Paste Tomatoes, a variety I decided to try instead of Roma's.  With the tomatoes ripening like crazy I decided to can some salsa using the bounty of the garden.   So far I have put up 24 pints of some pretty good stuff.  One never knows when the first frost will happen so its a scramble to get everything done.  My brother Steve was telling me about the virtues of Brandywine Tomatoes.  Being not much of a raw tomato eater I have to admit that these are pretty good.  They are an heirloom type, have a pinkish hue to them and are very meaty.  They will definitely be in the garden next year. 

Granite Street Curbs

This week found me in Cleveland Ohio for an exciting meeting with my fellow associates from The Transformer Association.  It is a very interesting city with a redeveloped downtown area and a number of great restaurants and bars to relax after a hard day of meetings.  Cities like Cleveland really have an a unique story behind them.  Located on the south shores of Lake Erie, it became a major location for the steel industry which feed our Nation's industrial grow, especially through World War 2.  At the time our iron ore came from Upper Michigan and Minnesota and with rich coal deposits in the Appalachians, it was a perfect place to make steel.  Along with Gary Indiana, Pittsburgh and Bethlehem Pennsylvania, the evidence of the old steel industry is everywhere from the rusted out stacks of the old factories to the soot blackened  blocks of which the old buildings still bear.  It is situated on the Cuyahoga River, once famous for starting on fire in the 1960's.  In many of the downtown areas one will find that the street curbs are actually made of granite, pieced together in slabs up to 10 feet long.  They are everywhere and lord knows how old they are.  I suppose the granite lasts a lot longer than concrete and the availability is much greater than the rest of the country.  One interesting conversation was about the fishing in Lake Erie.  The zebra mussels have really cleared up the water which has obsoleted the famous Erie Dearie, a weighted spinner lure made for fishing with nightcrawlers directly under the boat.  The water is so clear that even in 30 foot depths, the walleyes simply scatter.  Perch fishing remains popular as they are always present under the boat.

With colder weather on the way I will probably keep putting up my tomatoes.  With a little luck I will get to Mille Lacs for one last pre-fishing trip before my brother, his son, and their work associates come up next Friday for a weekend of lead lining.

No comments: