In this first week of summer, the blue gentians are blooming in what used to be (before the drought) a marshy area at the edge of the woods. These are my favorite, favorite Texas wildflower, sometimes called Texas bluebells. I love the Latin name: Eustoma exaltatum. Exalted, indeed. Unfortunately, we don't see as many of these beauties as we used to, along the roadsides and in pastures near highways. People pick them, so they can't reseed. Such a pity. Please consider, when you stop to pick a wildflower, that you're not only picking the single bloom, you're picking all its children. And while you may pick just one, and the next picker picks just one, pretty soon they will all be gone from that location. That's why I don't pick our wildflowers for table bouquets. I'd rather enjoy its descendents.
Garden notes. But I'm happy to pick the okra! I harvested the first one this morning, along with a nice handful of snap beans (Kentucky Wonder). They'll be on tonight's supper table. On the weekend, I dug the potatoes (Yukon Gold) and garlic (elephant garlic). Neither produced a huge crop this year, but there'll be enough for eating this summer and for replanting in the fall.
Book report. I'll have some happy news about A Wilder Rose sometime in the next couple of weeks, when the deal has been signed. In the meantime, I'm moving ahead on the 2015 Dahlias mystery and looking forward to the September 2014 book, The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush. I have a few galleys of that book. If you'd like one, leave a brief comment (on any subject, but do be nice). At the end of the week, Peggy (my webmistress) will choose a couple of names at random and I'll send you a signed galley. UPDATE. 6.28: Congratulations to Janet Balletto and Gayle Jackson--you've just won a signed galley!
Weather report. We had our first tornado of the season a couple of weeks ago, about 6-7 miles from us. I spent the evening with a book and the cat in Archie Bunker (our name for our storm shelter). Molly had to stay in the closet, since she refuses to join me in the bunker under her own power, and she's too big for me to lift. I tell her, "If you get blown away, MollyPolly my dear, it's your own damn fault." Here's a photo taken that night by the intrepid photographer, Aaron Dooley. Yes: the cloud really was that black.
Reading note: Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan.--Margaret Atwood