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  • Last night's storm put an end to the heat of July and brought us into August at last. Thankfully, there was no hail to rip the leaves and batter the young fruit of the winter squash.

    There was wind from all directions and rain battering every window. The tomato cages are twisted and most had fallen. Despite the seeming fragility of tomatoes and the way we coddle them, an August storm doesn't seem to bother them much. You just stand them back up and reset the stakes in the cages and they go on.

    The prairie, though, has become autumnal overnight.

    Yesterday it was looking parched and droopy. Bees and butterflies moved lazily through the bright patches of coneflowers.

    But last night's wind and rain ripped the petals off, leaving the brown heads still bobbing on long stems.

    Now we wait for the final wave of flowers-- asters and goldenrod-- before the barren beauty of late fall and winter.
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