Friday, August 13, 2010

Cherry Tomatoes by Anne Higgins and the Perseid Meteor Shower

My little fence garden in June.  My cherry tomatoes were in that bucket on the corner.  The garden is fried now and is only stems and wilted plants.  I planted early and beat the grasshopper plague that hit, thank goodness.  The little bastards ate my Mint and even my Comfrey.  I don't use poison in my yard so I tried my cayenne pepper, Dawn, tobacco mixture and they thought it was seasoning to spice things us.  They even got to my blueberries.  But we got some veggies and berries put up before the heat and plague hit.  I'd never be a good Buddhist because I smushed as many of those grasshoppers as I could.  Tee-Hee.  More came.  I'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere. 

If you're a star person, tonight is the Perseid meteor shower.  For over 2000 years, it's appeared annually around mid-August.  A good thing about August---no a great thing!  We are of the stars.  And of course, after no clouds all summer, it's raining today and was cloudy last night, too.  Maybe it'll clear up and we can see some fireworks in the heavens. 

Happy Friday!

Love & Blessings,


Cherry Tomatoes
by Anne Higgins

Suddenly it is August again, so hot,
breathless heat.
I sit on the ground
in the garden of Carmel,
picking ripe cherry tomatoes
and eating them.
They are so ripe that the skin is split,
so warm and sweet
from the attentions of the sun,
the juice bursts in my mouth,
an ecstatic taste,
and I feel that I am in the mouth of summer,
sloshing in the saliva of August.
Hummingbirds halo me there,
in the great green silence,
and my own bursting heart
splits me with life.

from: "At the Year's Elbow"

More information about the Perseid Meteor Shower from:
The Perseid meteor shower is an annual meteor shower that is extremely regular in its timing and can potentially be visible for weeks in the late summer sky, depending on weather and location.
The Perseid meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus, which is located in roughly the same point of the night sky where the Perseid meteor shower appears to originate from. This is a useful naming convention, but not very accurate!

The source of the Perseid meteor shower is actually debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year, the earth passes through the debris cloud left by the comet when the earth's atmosphere is bombarded by what is popularly known as "falling stars."

When and where to look for Perseids:

Because of the way the earth hits this debris cloud, the Perseid meteor shower is much more visible in the Northern hemisphere.

People in Canada, for instance, can see the meteor shower by mid-July, but generally there isn't much activity at such an early date. Throughout Europe, the US and the rest of North America, meteor shower activity usually peaks sometime around August 12th, when it is not unusual to see at least 60 meteors per hour streaking across the Northeast sky.

The meteors are certainly bright, but they are actually only tiny objects, usually no more than a grain of sand. They travel at speeds of 71 kilometers per second, however, which helps these small particles put on such a brilliant show year after year.


Boonsong said...

This is a fascinating post, as long as you're not a Buddhist that is....
Very enjoyable. Thanks.

All the best, Boonsong

Woman in a Window said...

Marion, I saw this meteor shower a couple years ago in August, I think it was. It was as though I was on a different planet, or in a Tom Robbin's novel. It was surreal all around our house.

I am waiting out the turning of August - holding my breath. August is so the downward slide of summer.

Not as much of a yield here, but we're enjoying what we have, nonetheless. Thanks for sharing your garden and your heart.


quid said...

Gonna look for the meteor shower tonight! Thanks for the tip, Marion. Hope it brings us luck.


Marion said...

Boonsong, thanks for stopping by. Blessings!

Erin! I so, so, so want to see this, too. I never have. I love your description, like in a Tom Robbins' novel. Just perfect! I live in the country (away from city lights) and often lay outside at night in the grass (especially under the full moon) and stargaze. If it clears tonight I'll be out there flat on my back with the bugs and spiders looking up, looking up. xoxo Love & Blessings!

Marion said...

Lynne, I have my fingers crossed that we'll see it. Love & Blessings!!

Pam said...

I forgot about the meteor shower. We didn't get grasshoppers, thank God I've had years when they were scary!

Love the poem as well as cherry tomatoes!

Wine and Words said...

I'll see nuthin....farggin city lights. Oh for a black out. *sigh*

I love power outtages...a force that throws us back to rudimentary ways of doing things. Funny how I wait to be forces...when I know exactly where the fuse box is!

Love that poem. In the mouth of August. So lovely!


Kay said...

darn it! I always forget to look up!

the tomato poem, me loves a lot!

Did you know that my nickname is "Tomato" simply for the love of them?

I mean, name just one dish that they are not perfect with...?

I can't think of a one.

oh, happy August! Summer... almost over... so sad... back to bland tomatoes...sigh


ds said...

It's clear tonight! I'll look for this!! One last gasp of summer; I suspect an early Fall.
So sorry about your garden.
Love the poem.
Thank you.

Terresa said...

Love the Higgins poem. Every August splits me wide open, this one no exception. I can feel the cherry tomatoes in my palm right now...

PS: Love the stars, plan to check them out tonight between the pine trees (we are mountain-side again and enthralled).

Two Tigers said...

Great poem by Higgins! Thanks for sharing this alongside your own wonderful words. Good luck viewing tonight!

Kelly said...

Fortunately no grasshoppers for us. There was one cutworm that did quite a bit of damage...until my husband smushed him! We're covered up with those cherry tomatoes that came up voluntarily in the midst of our yellow tomatoes. I'm ashamed to admit it's been too hot to try and get in there to them to pick.

I have fond memories of a few Perseid Showers in the past, but doubt I make it for this one.