Prayers for rain

On a trip to Pennsylvania in late June I bought the finishing touch for our duck pen: a hex sign. It bears an eight-point star and rosette, for fertility, surrounded by raindrops. The fertility wishes, needless to say, are for the ducks. The rain is for all of us, and dear lord do we need it.

Almost as I crossed the state line into North Carolina with my new totem, a light drizzle began to fall. Bythe time I reached home it was raining, the first real rain in more than a month. Rain fell on six of the next seven days.

Coincidence? Well, yes, probably. But I have taken no less delight in trumpeting my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and the value of a few good superstitions.

The hex sign gracing the ducks’ grazing pen.

The ducks grazing on a summer evening. (Click for a larger photo.)

Our Blue Lake green beans and wax beans are healthy after the rain. In past years we have grown purple dragon beans, broad yellow beans with beautiful purple splotches and a sturdy flavor; we’ll have to look harder for the seed next year.

(And they taste good, too.)

A viceroy butterfly caterpillar feeds on our flowering parsley.

The first cayennes…

…and jalepeños, which will make the season’s first batch of Thai curry paste.

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