Home Interesting Facts Passing the halfway point of summer – Mount Airy News

Passing the halfway point of summer – Mount Airy News

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The aftermath of Saint Lammas Day. Saint Lammas Day was celebrated yesterday. There are several interesting facts about his special day. We think the most important event of Saint Lammas Day is that it marks the halfway point of summer and in perfect timing because Dog Days will end in Tuesday, August 11.

Centuries ago in England, Saint Lammas Day marked a harvest celebration of summer’s first fruits. A weather lore a bit connected to Saint Lammas states that “if Saint Lammas be hot and steamy, we can expect winter to be white and creamy!” That thought should cool us off a little bit with Dog Days coming to an end next week. We don’t put much stock in that bit of “Lammas” lore. We still have half of summer, all of autumn, and part of winter to go before even thinking of snow, ice, and freezes, but what a thought during the swan song of Dog Days. Another fact about Saint Lammas is that at this stage of summer, corn ripens continuously during the day as well as during the night.

In the midst of a summer of four o’clocks. My Northampton County grandma’s favorite summer flower was the four o’clock. She had a flower garden in her front yard and it was lined with borders of four o’clocks all summer long. We remember her every summer when we plant packets of four o’clocks. We don’t make a border of them, but we plant them on the edge of the Zinnia bed and at the edge of the garden plot as well as a border on the front porch to attract butterflies and hummingbirds in late evening. Our favorite thing about four o’clocks is their longevity. They put on a colorful show from mid-spring all the way until frost.

Starting seed of broccoli, cabbage, and collards. As we begin the month of August and approach the end of Dog Days, it is time to start the cool weather vegetables of cabbage, broccoli and collards from seed to get them ready to transplant to the garden in September. This is a great week to select your seed from Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or hardware stores. Seed packets cost less than $2 and a packet of each may be all you need. When you start your seed in individual pots, save the packet labels to stick on each pot because these seed all look alike. While you are purchasing seed, go ahead and buy a bag of seed-starting medium. Do not use potting soil because it is clumpy and just does not contain what seeds need for a great start. Buy especially formulated seed starters like Jiffy, Hoffman, or Holly-Tone for best results. To start seed, use a quart or pint pot for each packet of seed. Mix the pot with the medium and add an extra handful to cover the seed. Mix with enough water to moisten the medium. Spread the broccoli seed over the medium and cover with medium and pat down with your hand for contact with the medium. Use a spray bottle (such as Windex comes in), and spray a fine mist over the pot of seed each day. Keep out of heat of direct sunlight (preferably in the carport). Repeat process with cabbage and collard seed. In about 10 or 12 days, they will develop two leaves and be ready to transplant to individual containers of medium. After transplanting to individual containers, continue to spray with water daily. They should be ready to transplant to garden by mid-September or earlier. Continue to water with water want in shower mode daily after transplanting to garden. Side dress with Garden-Tone organic vegetable food every fifteen days. Hill up soil after side dressing with plant food.

Enjoying the Full Sturgeon Moon. Tomorrow evening, the Full Sturgeon Moon of August will rise after sunset in the eastern sky and shine down on a Dog Day late evening. It may be a lazy, hazy night, but a bright moon will shine its way down. Park on a dark Surry County country road and enjoy this bright moon.

Doing the math: August fogs compared to the snow of winter. My grandma in northeastern North Carolina always did the math when it came to comparing the fogs of August mornings with the number and inches of snow the upcoming winter would bring. She was an early riser and always up before the sun rose. Each day in August, she kept a close eye on the foggy mornings of August and whether they were thick or thin, and also the days of the fogs. She wrote down each fog and whether they were light or heavy. At the end of August, she did the math. Heavy fogs were heavy snows and light fogs were light snows. Her predictions were quite accurate for the 1950s. Certainly much more accurate than Saint Lammas and his “white and creamy” prediction mentioned earlier.

Time to go to the hardware and purchase a snow shovel. We are definitely not dreaming of a “White Christmas,” even though it is a cool thought! Now is a great time to purchase a snow shovel if you need one. One thing for sure is that there is no rush for them in the summer. The selection is great and they will not spoil. If you buy one at any season, make sure it is lightweight as well as durable.

Cooling off the birds by refilling bath. The summer sun quickly shines down and heats the water in the birdbaths. Refill the baths twice a day during the heat of August. Fill them in the early afternoon and again about five o’clock in the afternoon. When birds take baths, they splash water, making the remaining water heat up quicker as the afternoon sun bears down. Dump out the hot water before refilling with fresh cool water.

Keeping eyes on hot weather harvest of tomatoes. On hot summer days when we do not get a thunderstorm, keep a close check on ripening tomatoes. On hot days when no rain is in sight, birds in desperation will peck holes in ripe tomatoes to find moisture. To avoid this, harvest the tomatoes and place them on porch or deck in a semi-sunny location.

Making old-fashioned baked potato cakes. These potato cakes make a great meal on a summer night served with southern fried chicken and a plate of freshly sliced tomatoes and maybe some hot chicken gravy poured over these potato cakes. My mother always made potato cakes as a substitute for meat or would make them to serve along side hot dogs steamed with fried onions and homemade cole slaw. This potato cake recipe will make six cakes. In a sauce pan, cut up one large onion and dice into quarter inch cubes and lightly fry in a half stick light margarine until tender and set aside. In a large bowl, lightly beat one egg and add to the onions. Mix two cups of mashed potatoes, half teaspoon salt, half teaspoon pepper, half cup plain flour, one half teaspoon sugar. Mix all ingredients and shape into six patties. Lightly beat another egg and dip patties into beaten egg. Grease a cookie sheet heavily with Crisco Shortening. Bake at 375 degrees for twenty-five minutes, flip over and bake other side for five minutes until lightly brown. Place cakes on a plate lined with paper towels.

A repellent for summer’s pesky ants. When you finish grilling steaks and burgers, allow the charcoal to burn to ashes and let them cool overnight and pour them around the outside of the porch and house to prevent ants from entering the house. If ants get in the kitchen, mix water and vinegar in equal amounts in a small bowl and dip a paper towel in the mixture and wipe on counter tops, tables, and other surface areas. You can also use charcoal dust around roses to repel all kinds of crawling insects.

The Almanac for month of August 2020. The moon will be full on Monday night, Aug. 3 and will be named Full Sturgeon Moon. The moon reached its last quarter on Tuesday, August 11. There will be a new moon on the western horizon on Tuesday, August 18 and will reach its first quarter on Tuesday, August 15.

Hoe-Hoe-Hoedown: New neighbors moved into the neighborhood. A neighbor from down the street visited them. This neighbor is very concerned and told them that their dogs were up all night barking. The new neighbor said, “Don’t worry about them, they sleep all day long!”

“Under the Table” and “Going to the Dogs”: The mother caught little David feeding the pet dog that was under the dining room table at suppertime again. “David,” mother said, “You know very well you are not supposed to feed the dog from our table food.” “Yes ma’am,” David said as he hung his head. David’s mother said, “Don’t you understand why we have this rule at our house?” Little David thought for a moment, “I guess it’s because if the dog does not eat the food, the stuff will end up on the floor and rot later on.”

Don – “I’m starting a new diet the doctor prescribed.” Juan – “What inspired you to try this diet?” Don – “I’m sick and tired of being thick and tired.”

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