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June 2004 Archives

June 2, 2004

The Storms of Summer

Already it's quiet and sunny outside with spots of blue sky bursting through the gray clouds. Just minutes ago though, it was all dark gray and booming, with thunder clouds streaked by brilliant lightning, and waterfall rain. The storm crept up on me, as I focused on my computer screen, until finally the noise broke through my concentration. Watching out the back porch door, I thought of other epic storms in California and especially Nantucket, where the wind once blew so hard the rain came right in through the siding of the summer house. Then I noticed again the growing stains on several of our ceilings and I resolved once more to call the roofing guys.

June 3, 2004

An Urban Fish Story

Fishermen (why no fisherwomen?) have been lining the Charlestown Bridge, morning and night, for the past few weeks. To me, the idea of catching anything there seemed more fantasy than reality, so one morning I stopped by to see for myself. According to a guy from Woburn, who's been coming there to fish forever, it's great right now for catching stripers because the herring are running. Used to be, they'd even catch blues off the bridge but no more. Apparently the blues' preferred bait is now all stopped farther out in the harbor, not a bad thing actually, because it makes the Freedom Trail walk across the bridge much safer for curious tourists. The folks below might have risked a finger poking at the catch lying there, had it been a blue rather than a striper.

Huh? What's this?Who knew you could catch stripers here

June 8, 2004

Face of an Iris

Masked irisOn Nantucket all the iris are out now in their purple glory, and I was admiring this one for the beauty of its veins. Not until we printed the photo did I notice the incredible 'face', with dark eyes peering out through a purple mask.

June 11, 2004

Perfect Day in Paradise

neon and reflected Mt. Tam Today this describes our Boston weather (fingers crossed, it's supposed to last through the weekend), but that's what we always used to say about California days. So the bright blue sky and just right temperature got me thinking about our recent LA/SF trip and that I never posted any pictures. Though most things looked pretty much the same, there was a new neon sign in the window of the Silver Peso. You can tell it's downtown Larkspur by the reflection of Mt. Tam caught in the glass.

June 14, 2004

The Charlestown Bunker Hill Day Parade

young lady totally absorbed in playing her flute It's a Trenton Street tradition to watch the Sunday parade, first from the bottom of Trenton along Bunker Hill Street, and then when the marchers wind around, from the top of Trenton along Bartlett Street. What that means is the first time you can scout out what the good pictures are going to be, and the second time around you can be ready to take them. Even then, you have to be quick to catch a passing band before they inexorably march by, plus you have to have some luck to avoid shooting those trainers or managers or whatever those people are called who watch to see that everyone is in a straight line and on the same left foot. Anyhow it's great practice and great fun and more people should come and visit Charlestown for the parade.

June 17, 2004

Nantucket Pride

We knew the team had a good pitcher when we drove by the outfield, watched the windup and delivery, and were moved to comment "Wow, that guy can really throw!" It was only when we got to our seats in the bleachers that we discovered the team in red was actually the Nantucket team, and it was our nephew, Evan, pitching. Family is one thing, but here he is being named Boy Athlete of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club.

June 21, 2004

Strawberry Fields Forever

here's where I started

Strawberries have been growing up in Orange for as long as I've been around, and were probably growing there for thirty years before I arrived. That would make almost 90 years of fresh strawberries every June, and plenty of strawberry jam to last the rest of the year.

berry close up

When I was little, my Grandpa used to pay me 25 cents a day to keep the birds off the berries. I'd sit up under the maple tree holding onto the end of a long string attached to another string running between posts stuck down the middle of the strawberry beds. Strung in between the posts were aluminum pie plates, meant to reflect the sun light and scare off the birds, when jiggled from my cool, shady spot under the maple tree. I don't know about how scared the birds were but it was a great money maker for me. Sometimes when the birds were sufficiently scared or, more likely, had eaten their fill, Grandma prepared the strawberries and cream, and I got to help Grandpa set up the old ice cream maker, packing rock salt all around to keep it cool. Then everyone would take turns hand cranking until the ice cream was finally hardened. I've never had strawberry ice cream since, to compare with the delicate, fresh flavor of Grandpa Pete's.

the end result (don't believe the box)

All these memories were running through my head last week when I drove up to Orange to pick berries while my parents were in Washington. I missed the old wooden berry baskets that had been replaced by pale green cardboard ones, but as I started to load them up, everything else was the same. Picking along, enduring the heat and bugs, I felt completely joined to past generations. It was like they were all there with me, Grandpa just down below on the jalopy and Grandma on her way out to check that I didn't eat more berries than I picked. I remembered how thoroughly you had to explore under the leaves to find the best berries and agonized over whether to pick the ones that weren't completely red or risk the birds getting them before the next picking. Some I left, to be sure the next picker would find at least a few perfectly red and deliciously ripe berries to savor, not just for the reward of good eating but for making use of the land and confirming a long line of Yankee self-sufficiency. And I was proud, for the first time, to put my name in the 'strawberry log', with the entry July 16, 7-1/2 quarts.

About June 2004

This page contains all entries posted to hey jud in June 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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