Here in the midst of the heat and humidity of July, the pale purple cone flowers have just finished blooming. The heat is oppressive during the daytime, but it’s a relief when the sun sets. At dusk the lightning bugs appear like magic, flickering like star dust above the grasses of the landscape. It’s a magical time on the prairie here at Willis Dream Farm. The land is alive with action and the air is filled with a symphony of insects.
Stories of Great-grandma Carlson’s prize winning gladiolas are often remembered. From what I’ve been told, she grew the most beautiful gladiolas and gave bouquets to friends, neighbors and even the church. Great-grandpa Willis was famed for his tallest sunflower – over 12 feet tall and photographed in the Ames newspaper.
A new trend is bringing back some fun old traditions. One of the highlights from growing up on the farm was visiting town on Saturdays with the family and watching a free movie in the park while fighting off the mosquitos. Today, my hometown holds special gatherings Thursdays on Main Street where everyone is invited to join in the summer celebration. They feature an open market, live entertainment including local folks showing off their talents, then finish with a free movie in the park.
It’s a time of abundance with fruits from the garden. New potatoes, green beans, lettuce, peppers and cabbage are at their peak of ripeness. Every year at this time I reflect on the winter months ahead and preserve as much of the summer goodness as I can. Here’s to you and yours! Enjoy the hot and steamy summer months!