Mountain

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weather in the forecast was enough to make the decision. Apparently several years ago the fireworks were cancelled because of rain and the fireworks vendor invoked a clause in their contract for an $1800 take down and reset up charge. Ouch! That’s a lot of cash that didn’t even get launched into the beautiful night for a spectacular display.

We came back exactly two days later at exactly the same time and enjoyed the 18 ½ minute show. Thank you to Wright Township and all of the other generous contributors for keeping an enjoyable community tradition.

Year of the Snake

“There are a lot of snakes out this year,” a friend mentioned to me several weeks ago. She had seen more than one in her yard. I have been spending more time on yard work this year than in many moons and I told her I hadn’t seen a one. Well that was weeks ago and I saw one on Saturday and another on Sunday. We occasionally get them in our basement, or next to an outside wall inside the house. I am always alarmed when the wild things get inside. And that includes bats, chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, frogs, birds and the usual mice. Charlie is good at taking care of the intruders. A couple of weeks ago he went to heat a cup of water in our kitchen microwave only to find a long tailed visitor residing on top of it. The tail of the snake was dangling across the front of the microwave. According to the report my husband gave me, the 2-foot long garter snake coiled to the back wall of the recessed opening housing the microwave. He took the oven out and gently removed the snake and let it go in the yard. “They eat things we don’t want,” he laughingly told me. ‘It is gets back in I will kill it the next time.” You never know how they get in.

I saw my first snake this year slithering through some weeds next to my vegetable garden. I am in there all the time weeding, mulching and watching my crops. Sunday I pulled slowly out of my driveway admiring the raking project I have been working on for a few weeks and I saw a much larger black garter snake along the macadam berm that had been installed to direct rainwater down the street and away from my neighbor’s yard. We could be having “the year of the snake”. When I see one I am usually moving so they are just getting out of my way.

Garter snakes are carnivorous. They will not be lunching on my garden crop. They eat slugs, earthworms, leeches, lizards, amphibians, ants, crickets, frog eggs, toads, and rodents. I know there are insects that like to eat holes in the leaves of some of my plants. If the snakes eat those, they are welcome. It’s all part of the balance of nature. Just not inside the house.

So far so good with this year’s garden. The tomatoes are hearty, blooming and setting fruit. We have picked several peppers. The lettuce is fresh and crisp on our dinner table. The beans are blooming and the broccoli is heading up. The squash is behind the others. Some plants are big and others slow to grow. The humid hot weekend offered some excellent conditions for promoting growth.