Katydid Season and the Downtown Farmer’s Market

We’ve had a bit of a break from all the rain this week, with some mostly clear days to enjoy. While I’ve heard a lot of grousing about the rain, I’m still enjoying it hugely. We’ve had some beautiful thunder storms, and the afternoon temperatures have been unseasonably temperate, although it is also unusually humid. About a week ago, someone told me that they had measured 48 inches of rain so far this summer, which is very believable. Our yearly average is something like 60 inches of rain, so there seems little doubt that we’ll exceed that this year.

The katydids have started to sing at our place. I began hearing one or two sound off occasionally several weeks ago, but in the past few days they have begun singing in earnest. As you may know, only the males sing, in an attempt to attract a mate. Katydids are considered by biologists to be something of an anomaly, as they are one of a very small number of species in which the female clearly engages in the riskier behavior in search of a mate. (They expose themselves to predation when they leave their hiding place to fly to their intended mate.) The explanation is thought to be that when they mate, the female receives a very nutritionally valuable meal from the male, a kind of a high protein substance that is included with the seed. Whether all that’s true or not, I love to lay in the hammock and listen to them sing. What are they singing? “Come to my tree! It’s the best!”

Tomorrow is the Escape to Blue Ridge Tri the Mountains Sprint Triathlon. It begins with a swim at the marina. The biking segment starts with a ride across the dam and ends again at the marina. The run is from the marina to the gazebo in the downtown park, I imagine along the old highway. The tents are already set up in the park, so everything looks ready.

I understand that the downtown farmer’s market has been allowed to continue across from the courthouse on Saturday mornings for the remainder of the summer. As you may have heard, the city council attempted to force them to move to the old state farmer’s market near the drive in theater. This met with considerable resistance, and it should have, as that is an out of the way location that most of our visitors would never find. Apparently, all the considerable uproar was caused simply by the fact that the city had spent a lot of money renovating that facility and wanted to justify the investment by forcing someone to use it.

In Blue Ridge restaurant news: The Grocery, the sandwich shop operated by the Harvest restaurant people, is now open in the old tobacco store next to Harvest. The restaurant space above the olive oil company has a “for rent” sign on it, so I take it that the rumor that Tim Richter, the owner of the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, is opening a steak house there isn’t true. And I see that there is a sign advertising a taqueria (or taco bar) at Cucina Rustica. The Dunkin Donuts is not yet open next to the Marathon station at the intersection of 60 & 515. The best news might be that Greg Staffins has been making his excellent barbecue most weekends for the Waffle King near the Food Lion. You may have eaten his cue at the Trout Unlimited tent in the past. It’s the real thing, smoked in a barrel smoker over a wood fire.

In real estate news, property on the lake has been smoking hot, no doubt due to the fact that with the dam repairs complete, we finally have a lake full of water. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it higher. If you are wondering where to swim, try the beach at Morganton Point. The parking fee is $5 per car or $30 per year.

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