Sunday, August 24, 2014

For Every Thing, There is a Season…

....and a time for every purpose under Heaven:...
Hardy Hibiscus blooming

Fitting for a Sunday blog, these inspirational words are found both in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (King James version) and in the Byrds pop song “Turn!Turn!Turn, which made it to #1 on the Hot 100 chart on December 4, 1965. 

We all know either the song or the Bible verses, or maybe even both.  I’m sure the words have played over in our heads during different moments in our lives with the hope that we’d take to heart some valuable lesson.  Some may interpret it, “hang on, this too shall pass”, or “tomorrow is another day”, or “every dog has its day” or “everything has its place” or “this storm shall pass”.  We can also use it to reflect on problems with our job, conflict with a friend, growing pains with our family. But, I also feel it is to let us know that our “moments of glory” or time at “the top” has a limited ‘season’, too.  We could even analyze the difference between “Everything” (one word) or “Every Thing” (two words).Whatever your interpretation, I feel we are supposed to realize that there is a time for every thing, and just like the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper, we had better prepare when we can, for the times and circumstances will change.  
Example- “Make hay while the sun shines” kind of mentality.

(Rose of Sharon)

Summers in Kentucky are dependable on some levels. Usually the days are warm, even to the point of hot at times; however, the nights are usually cool. This gives the grass its dewy appearance early in the mornings.  It’s what makes our fields so lush.  We also have ample rain most years which gives the crops a fantastic growing season.

I said USUALLY.  During our time spent in Kentucky, we have seen some sort of variance from the norm every year to some extent; however, it usually balances back out before the season has completed itself.  For example, simply put- if we have a drought for a month or so, we usually get an ample amount of rainfall in another month or so (thankfully!).

This year has been totally quirky. We had late spring snow storms. We had a late freeze that actually killed the peach crop in my little orchard (and at the surrounding areas’ real orchards). Then we have had cooler than normal temperatures, which have made drying hay difficult. And to top it all off, we’ve had mega doses of rainfall the last few weeks.
(as large as hats!)

I’m not complaining.  Earlier this summer our fields were prematurely burned out. Some parts of the county had received minute amounts of precipitation, but others hadn’t received any.  It was taking its toll on the nutrients available in the grasses. At one point I was beginning to contemplate feeding hay. But, the rains began. And it has rained and rained, while at the same time the temperatures have stayed fairly cooler than usual.

Quickly the fields began to recover to the point that I am now mowing again with the fervor that I usually use in late May to early June.  The blossoms on everything look stunning.  Hydrangea, Althea, Crape Myrtle, Cannas, and Dahlias are all looking as if I tended to them all day long. The thing that I’ve noticed the most is how abundant the “bird berries” are in all the native trees and shrubs. Each year I usually get a nice supply that feeds the birds during the winter (they also eat from all my feeders).  Lately, while taking my evening strolls around the farm, the abundant crop has caused me to stop and wonder if there is another reason other than just from the ample rain.

Smaller apple crop this year
because of the late freeze. 

Last year was a prolific year for fruit from all the pear, apple, and peach trees.  I had NEVER seen so much fruit come off my trees.  Everyone else was also saying the same thing.  We canned so much apple and pear sauces. We preserved and also froze sliced peaches. We made so much jam, too.  We even had so much extra fruit that I actually had enough to give away! On the flip side to all that happiness was that last year was one of our harshest cold weather temperatures in history (I know it was for a large portion of our country, too). But, all winter long while we were enduring the ‘polar vortex’, we were also enjoying the summer fruits that we had canned.   I remember wondering at the time if our prolific fruiting season was nature’s way of preparing us for an exceedingly harsh winter.
So, this year, although I’m please to see everything so lush and green again, all the berries in the shrubs are making me a bit nervous of what’s in store for us. 
Weigela continuing to grow and bloom!!

Recently, I overheard several farmers talking, while in line at one of our farm supply stores, that according to this year’s Farmer’s Almanac we were in for a worse winter as far as the ‘polar vortex’ is concerned. Whether or not this is true, I don’t know; time will tell. But, I do know that there must be ways for us to know, signs for us to see, if we would only slow down and look for them.

In the meantime, rest assured that “For every thing, there is a Season”.

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