Just Phyllisophy (150x67)By Phyllis Galowitz

Early June has been surprisingly cold. I usually plant my garden around the 7th of the month and it was a perfect day this year, as I remember, but that night the temperature dropped to almost freezing. I turned the heat back on in the house but the newly planted vegetables and flowers shivered all night! The soil was probably warmer than the air, so hopefully they survived. The lilacs suffered from the strange changes in temperature and hardly had any flowers. Those that did open looked faded and sparse. The forsythia gave up on flowering and all of its energy went into leaf-making. What a disappointment! I look forward all year to this season when the flowering trees and bushes show off. It will probably be a shorter than usual growing season and tomatoes and peppers won’t stand a chance of ripening before the August cold nights are here.

Yesterday, driving into town, I saw a black squirrel. I’ve never seen one before and looking in my Audubon “Field Guide to Mammals,” I could not find one like it. (I just looked at Wikipedia, and it tells me that the black squirrel occurs as a melanistic subgroup of the eastern gray squirrel.)

Today, driving to Kingston, where the temperature is always a little higher (they’re probably in zone 5) trees and flowers were blooming everywhere. The mountaintop trees were in full leaf and I felt enveloped in their beauty. I love listening to the radio which gets better reception in the car than in my house, but as I approach Shandaken I lose WIOX and have to switch to WAMC, usually in the middle of an interview that I was really enjoying, or just as Madame Butterfly was singing the most beautiful aria, or the violinist was playing his solo from Mozart’s Concerto! I should play CDs but I prefer listening to the radio, where I hear a variety of news, talk and music.

Coming back home, as I get to Big Indian, the mountains rise up, the temperature drops, but I feel, again, their splendor surrounding me like a big hug and I know I’m almost home!~