August went out with a bright yellow swoop. Considered perennial pests to pretty much everyone else, so far I've managed - despite the sneezes - to romanticize the sunflowers that line the road to my home in late summer. Such a cheerful color, so bountifully blossoming, with their faces always to the sun.
August was a month of extreme weather - dramatic thunderstorms, crazy winds, a smattering of hail, glorious amounts of rain. There were tornadoes in the neighborhood, but none touched down in my life. The lightning was another matter, however. During several of the stormy afternoons and evenings, the lightning struck close enough for us to experience the boom and flash simultaneously. It blew out our satellite internet once, and our phone line during a more recent storm. When it strikes so close, the phenomenal discharge of energy is visceral. You can feel it in your chest and it's hard not be stunned for a few moments.
Through the crazy weather, my gardens faired amazingly well. The only casualty was my watermelons, which was a major disappointment - partly because I adore watermelons and partly for more sentimental reasons. One of my most vivid early childhood memories is of my grandfather taking me down to his watermelon patch (planted pretty much right where mine were this year) to thump the melons and pick a ripe one. I was looking forward to connecting that memory to my life here now, but unfortunately they succumbed to the hail - it severed a majority of the leaves from the vines and left the few surviving melons covered in pock marks. The beans and cucumbers also sustained some damage, but have recovered for the most part. As well, my tomatoes were blown over in the 50+ mph winds, but I managed to prop them back up after some vigorious (and belated) pruning and they are producing quite well. I am rather proud of my tomatoes:
Though the storms did cause a little damage here and there, they produced a tremendous amount of rain as well. I think we had nearly 10 inches over the course of the month. That is a LOT of rain for us, and the countryside is greening-up and grateful.