Summer is well into full-swing this first week of August. In this part of Illinois, August is usually very hot and miserable. Even so, the first slight signs of Autumn can be detected. The sun is setting earlier and sometimes a cool breeze filters through the window at night. First harvests have been happening in actuality for a while The gardens and fields have been planted, fertilized and in way too many cases fumigated with pesticides to keep out the weeds and pests. Wheat has been harvested for over a month and those fields are currently planted in soybeans to get a second harvest before winter hits. Corn is in full tassel which means that the grain is now being formed. In the gardens, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other summer crops are in full production. Soon, I will be planting a fall garden to get a new supply of greens and other vegetables that prefer the cool nights. Now is the time to go venturing into the uncultivated acres to gather milk thistle seed and goldenrod for the herb cabinet.
This is also the time of year that the weeds in the garden and along the fencerows are coming into full maturity. It becomes obvious that I have not been diligent about keeping the weeds out of the places where I would prefer they do not grow. Well, isn't that the real definition of a weed? A weed is simply a plant growing where you do not want it. I have an overabundance of foxtail grass, lambs quarters and ragweed where the abundance is supposed to be blackberries, tomatoes and melons.