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This time of year belongs to the Squashes, they are the kings of the ground, swelling and ripening daily.   P1040855

The High Bank veg garden has become a bit of a treasure hunt as squashes grow hidden from the human eye under their heavy leaves.  Every day we discover new ones, sometimes varieties that hadn’t as yet produced any fruit.

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They are not all supposed to hide away until autumn, the Patty Pan Squash is a summer squash to be picked and enjoyed at its time of fruiting.

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This sneaky blighter managed to outgrow itself, only discovered (and picked) today in the undergrowth, five times its destined size.

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Seamus Heaney, a great soul, left our realm today, so I will finish with one of his poems as a dedication.  It seems an appropriate subject considering I am sat writing a blog with espresso in hand, instead of digging…

Digging
BY SEAMUS HEANEY
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

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Sky blue, a luxurious August ends as it ran.  Temp 21c.

Time for G&T

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