Outside of heat and humidity, the most obvious sign of summer here in our neck of the woods is chigger bites. We get them from our ankles to our armpits. Just go outside to do some weeding in the garden, or fishing at the pond and you’re likely to come back with incredibly itchy red bumps. We’ve been doing some Internet investigation and have found that chiggers aren’t bugs or ordinary insects. They are related to spiders, scorpions, and ticks. They’re less than 1/150th of an inch in diameter. You can hardly see them unless you have really good eyesight. When we moved up here, we were told that these critters burrowed under your skin and made a home there. According to our research, chiggers attach to your skin with their mouths. Then they inject their saliva into your skin basically turning your skin into a nutritious drink. There’s a small consolation in knowing that once you scratch a chigger bite, it tends to dislodge the chigger and the chigger dies! That doesn’t do much for the itching.
Another sign of summer is our talking about our gardens. The last few years, the Idlets’ garden has been a weed bed with the occasional spear of asparagus to be nibbled upon. The Grimwoods have raised lush patches of delicious veggies. This year, the tables are turned. The Idlets have a garden that has already produced excellent lettuce, broccoli, collard greens, sweet peas and asparagus. It’s about to produce a bunch of cucumbers, corn, tomatoes and potatoes. The Grimwoods got a rock. They are managing to pull out a few measly onions, potatoes and cherry tomatoes. Nature has augmented their cultivated garden with a bumper crop of wild Chanterelle mushrooms!
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our friend, Kathy O’Connell, on the 20th anniversary of her radio show, Kid’s Corner on WXPN in Philadelphia. Kid’s Corner is one of the finest shows on the air and we wish her continued success for years to come. Way to go Kathy!
And speaking of long-standing Philadelphia institutions, this August we’ll be returning to the Philadelphia Folk Festival for the first time in 11 years. We last appeared there on Ezra’s birthday in 1997. This year will mark the 47th edition of the festival. That’s 15 years longer than we’ve known each other.
In July and August, we will be visiting the studios of Sirius and XM satellite radio, to promote our upcoming CD, Big Round World. The CD is scheduled to be released in early September and we are busy learning how to play the songs. It’s one thing to write a song and an entirely different thing to play it live and onstage. We’d love for you to come out and let us test-drive our new songs for you. We promise to keep playing your favorites, too.
Keith and Ezra