May 13, 2021

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During the decades I grew cranberries, “watching frost” was both hard and wonderful. While it might be 50F on top of the grassy dikes, it could be 32F a few feet lower where the vines grow. Sprinkler systems spray water to keep the buds from freezing. Worrying was the hard part-a breakdown in the middle of the night meant we could lose the whole crop if it was something we couldn't quickly fix, so we drove around all night checking sprinkler heads making sure they were turning, fixing leaks, making sure all the pipe stayed connected and the engines that powered the irrigation system were running smoothly. Wonderful was the beauty, which often far outweighed the worrying- being so small under a huge sky filled with a million stars, northern lights often pulsing overhead, ghost-like fog swirling out of the ditches and then the comforting warmth of the early morning sun which meant you made it safely through another night.