Every year I plant a garden up at the barn and every year I'm surprised when things actually grow. This is, after all, the same soil that May RIndge turned into tile, the same clay from which you can roll a coil and build a pot that holds water. Marking rows and planting seeds, tiny bits of dried plant matter which vanish among the lumpy clumps, seems absurd.
This year's garden is a little odd. Corn, all planted from the same seeds on the same day, ranges from ankle- to waist-high. Why? The artichokes are enormous while the peppers are petite. Tomatoes, as ever, are thriving.
Here's the first of the sunflowers to open, a pale and icy yellow, as though born of this summer's stubborn fog. Below that is the first of the pumpkins. If all goes well, it'll appear at the Thanksgiving table in the form of a warm and fragrant pie.