road work season

They have started resurfacing my road.

That's a good thing. It hasn't been resurfaced since some time before we moved in. Two years ago they chip-sealed the road from the Shining Creek trailhead to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but the rest of the road is getting worn. I noticed last week that they had resurfaced Lake Logan road, which goes up the West Fork of the Pigeon River on the west side of Cold Mountain.

Today there is a guy with a "STOP" sign standing in the road in front of my yard, controlling the traffic (such as it is). Rocko is protecting me, keeping his ears open since there is often a line of cars stopped out in the road.

It's odd knowing that people actually have a chance to look closely at my house and property. Normally they would be passing at 35 to 45 miles per hour and you really can't get a good look at my yard when you fly by. Not that there's anything to be ashamed of out there; I have tomatoes growing in buckets out by the road with graphite arrow shafts for trellises, but that's just being creative with what you have on hand.

Two minutes later it was just
a delicious memory.
Speaking of tomatoes, I harvested my first tomato since at least 1996 yesterday. I took a picture of it and scarfed it down, warm from the sun. They are, I suppose, what would be called a "grape tomato", small but larger and more oblong than a cherry tomato.

Last year I tried to grow tomatoes in the ground, but it was a cold and rainy year. Not only that, but there aren't any nice sunny places where I can plant things, and I hadn't paid attention (when buying seeds) to the length of the period between transplanting and harvesting. Turns out they were fairly long-season tomatoes and thus failed to produce anything before our first frost.

So, this year I went with short-season seeds and containers instead of planting in the ground; flowerpots and eventually old buckets that had sprung leaks. I even got a bucket from work; it got a crack in the bottom and couldn't hold water anymore, so the boss let me have it. Eventually I did buy a large plastic pot for my marigolds, which I keep close to the peppers and tomatoes, but only because I couldn't find something large enough around the house.

Some folks might think it looks kinda funky, or even junky, to have mismatched old buckets for your garden pots, but I think they look just fine. I even found a couple of arrows down in the gully - shot down there by the former neighbors, and missing one flight each - brought them up, cut off the remaining flights, and stuck them in the dirt to provide a little support for the tomatoes.

Corrosion-free graphite shafts, yes sir, that's a mighty fine trellis you've got there, boy. Woof!

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