We are eating cantaloupe everyday right now – not a bad deal!! I feel like I should plant them staggered next year, because they are really coming all at once now. I picked 11 just today! We’ve already done 22 pints of salsa, and I plan to do another batch tomorrow morning along with another batch of salsa verde. I’ll post my recipes after I work out some kinks tomorrow. I also canned 25 pints of just tomatoes to cook with. We still haven’t even started canning/freezing corn.

But what you really need to know is that we have a “presence” in the garden. Creepy, YES! Check this guy/gal out!

Are you as freaked out as I am right now, because I’m CERTAIN that thing was born to KILL! It has occupied a spot very advantageous to its health and ever-increasing girth, right in the middle of the tomatoes. Every time we walk by, we scare up a bunch of grasshoppers and one will reliably get caught in its web. He runs down, wraps up the unlucky prey, and starts sucking its carcass dry. There is a pile of grasshopper carcasses below his web — eeeeek!!!! You can be sure that every tomato in this spider’s immediate vicinity will fall to the ground and rot before I consider reaching for it. While picking the tomatoes, I never let this guy out of my line of sight. I’m just certain that the moment I turn my back, he will rush me!!!!!

Jordan thinks it must be a pregnant female spider because it has gotten so bulbous, but I’m not sure spider reproduction works that way….

Anyway, I’m fond of it, kind of like I’m fond of Breaking Bad — I like it, but I’m also pretty uncomfortable around it.

Speaking of bulbous, check out these butternut squash:

Just for comparison, I could easily hollow this out and wear it as a shoe. That would be a truly great pic. Soon they will get that lovely orange hue and be ready for eating.

During my online absence, we had Windfest here in Kulm. Here’s our really exciting float!!!:

We’ll work on making it even MORE exciting next year, but, as you can see, that probably won’t be possible. This picture really captures the excitement of the float by snapping the candy in mid-air! SO EXCITING! Did I say that yet??

PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!!!

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