Harvesting potatoes

North Cape May is, according to the USGS, is fill. Just north and west of us are nice, loamy soils. Strawberry festivals, lima bean festivals, even barley festivals (if beer counts)

But fill that’s mostly sand makes for good potato gardens–some compost, some nice seed potatoes from Pinetree, a tiny bit of sulfur, a little bit of hilling, and then a ridiculous amount of fun while on all fours digging up potatoes with your grandbabies.

Yes, it’s early–they haven’t even flowered yet–but the kids are here this week, and we needed blue potatoes for a patriotic potato salad.

Bees and blueberries

A few miles away Kid Rock is waking up, getting ready to defile a beach as only he and his fans can, so we’re staying away from Wildwood this weekend.

Honey bee on a milkweed flower.

But sometimes a backyard is more than enough.

If you have a small patch of land not blanketed in mown grass, herbicides, and pesticides, you have a lot going on right now. Go take a look.

Limulus love

Every year thousands creep their way to the edge of their world and celebrate the long June days as only a critter around for hundreds of millions of years can.

They came before the dinosaurs.

The only other humans on this half-mile patch of beach were a few kids flipping exuberant males back on their many feet, their parents drinking at the local watering hole across the street.

A few moments earlier, only a few of the critters were visible, but cued by voices humans cannot hear, they rose from the waters, seemingly in unison, to creep to the top of the tide line.

An hour later, most will be gone. A few will not return to the water, their gills a treat for the gulls.

In a couple of weeks, the high tide will help release the few of the millions of new critters that survive through June.

Most will fall prey to the ghost crabs, the gulls, the grackles, the killies and kingfish. The Audubon Society folk will praise the eggs as fodder for the red knots, perhaps easier on human eyes but certainly not nearly as interesting as these creatures from the depths of the bay.

Decades ago I stumbled on thousands of horseshoe crab babies, moments before they emerged from their now transparent shells, spinning and spinning as if anticipating their release.

Never saw a red knot do that.

eScape the Cape

Every year around this time of year we have a local triathlon, Escape the Cape. People pay good money to jump off the ferry, push their bodies to exhaustion, and buy a few beers.

I don’t do that, but I do grow garlic. (OK, garlic mostly grows by itself–some of my plants literally grew from cloves too small to bother to peel–I just toss them towards the garden.)

So when we hear the noise from the terminal starting at 5:15 AM on an otherwise lovely early summer Sunday, it reminds me to go cut the scapes.

And in just a few short weeks after the scapes, we’ll get the bulbs.