Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday, June 8 - Beef, Wine and Cicadas.

Yesterday we went up to Harrodsburg (the oldest city in Kentucky, 1774) for the Fort Harrod Beef Festival. This is the start of our summer event spree. It will continue tomorrow with a stern-wheeler ride on the Kentucky River, and will include at least 5 plays at Pioneer Playhouse and the West T Hill Theatre in Danville, the Great American Brass Band Festival along with the GABBF Hot Air Balloon Races, and will conclude with three productions in Bardstown at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, namely "Stephen Foster - The Musical," "Annie," and "The Civil War." That's just what we have scheduled as of now! Add to that a trip to Paducah for the 4th of July, a trip to Maine sometime later this summer, and a trip to Knoxville, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and we won't have much free time left!

The Beef Festival had about 30 booths which competed with each other cooking beef brisket, hamburgers and steak. We could go from booth to booth sampling, and voting on our favorites. Needless to say, we didn't need dinner when we got home. We think the two best were Camo Cooking, and the booth with the yellow t-shirts (didn't get their name).

We also tried a Kentucky wine, "Vidal Blanc Kentucky Blue, 2006" by the largest winery in the Commonwealth, Elk Creek Vineyards. It tastes like a slightly sweet bubbly champagne -- was it GOOD!

We found out that before prohibition, Kentucky was the third largest wine producing state in the US, and I have to admit, there are wineries all over the place, including Old Crow (or, "Le Chateau du Vieux Corbeau" in French) winery and bed and breakfast, right here in Danville. With its tobacco, wine and whiskey, and horse racing, former Senator and US Vice President, Alben Barkley of Kentucky once said about tax revenues in the state, "If Kentucky ever gets an attack of morals, the state will go broke."

Friday night, I snapped this shot of one of our "sky-blue-pink" sunsets. The photo was taken at 9:26 p.m., and is actually darker than it really was out. We could still have read the newspaper easily at that time of night, and we still have another 2 weeks to go before the longest day of the year. That's what comes from living in the extreme western part of the Eastern Time Zone. One county west of here, this picture would have been taken at 8:26 p.m.

It's been in the 90s for three days now, and we've been using the A/C due to both the heat and the humidity. It's warmer than normal, and I expect that within a week or so, temps will normalize in the low to mid 80s. We're feeling the need for rain. The Salt River is so small now one can walk over it, and we need to get a bird bath to help out our feathered friends.

The cicadas are out everywhere. Their noise (which we tried to capture on video with only limited success) is deafening as the temperature gets up over 80. What a life. They're born, they burrow into the ground and stay there for 17 years, they crawl out when the ground temperature gets to 64 degrees, they break out of their shell, they fly around and "chirp", they mate, and they die. By the thousands they die. All over the porch, the driveway, the roof, the carport. While they're flying they're only thinking about sex, so they bump into things like houses, cars, telephone poles, and most annoyingly, people. The gal who was selling the wine at Harrodsburg was extolling the virtue of Kentucky wine in her glass and when she looked down into it, there was a cicada in her glass!

Time to post this, so I can get on to other, non-taxing efforts this hot, humid summer day.

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