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A Zebra of Green

December 30, 2015
BY CHUCK CLEGG - Columnist , Wetzel Chronicle

We are in the time between Christmas and New Year's. A time, when the glow of outside Christmas lights have grown dark with the passing of the holiday. The sounds of Christmas Carols on the car radio wishing us, Joy to the World has been forgotten for another year. And the silent night is the missing Salvation Army bell ringer outside the local stores. It is a quiet time, perhaps giving us time to prepare for the New Year that arrives tomorrow night at the stroke of midnight on the town clock.

It is late December and the weather outside should be cold and snowy. Last week's Christmas trees that glittered with light and tinsel should be laying along the curb covered with snow. Fortunately for us, we are receiving one last gift from El Nino, unseasonably warm weather. I saw on TV news reports of cherry blossoms blooming in Washington DC. I am enjoying the weather, because I know with the striking of the New Year's clock, cold weather could be waiting to descend on the valley.

With the warn temperatures, we tend to forget spring is still three months away. Even with the distant arrival of spring we find in our mail boxes seed catalogs reminding us it is time to order 2016 flowers and vegetables. If you ordered one pack of seeds this season, next year you will be overrun with catalogs filled with pictures of flowers and vegetables.

Not long ago, seed companies waited until after the arrival of the New Year before beginning to entice you to buy their products. Catalogs would arrive at the same time as weight lose companies were trying to sell you the latest exercise equipment to help you with your New Year's resolution.

Advertisers have it down to a fine art form to inundate our senses with advertisement. Thank goodness the seed catalog people don't advertise on TV or I would ignore them much like I do the weight loss commercials.

The seed catalogs now days come from a variety of companies that market everything from greenhouses to trees. The most popular that I receive are, Burpees, Gurney's, Vermont Bean Seed Company, and Totally Tomatoes just to name a few. Thank goodness Mary sorts out the old ones from last year and throws them away as she stacks this years for me to review on cold winter nights. To be honest I don't buy a whole lot from them, but I enjoy looking at the many different varieties of flowers and vegetables pictured on the pages. Every tomato and pumpkin is the prefect color and size. Flowers burst with brilliant shades of red and yellows in perfectly kept garden pictures. I have to wonder where this prefect garden is. I sometimes wonder if the flowers and vegetables have been Photoshoped into the picture. I can never see the slightest blemish on any of the perfect vegetables. I should send them a picture of my garden. Maybe they would realize what a garden looks like when time is spent keeping out weeds, deer and hordes of yellow bean beetles. It may not look as good as theirs, but it does supply our table with fresh vegetables throughout the summer season. Maybe my garden is like me, not pretty, but functional.

My favorite catalogs are the ones that specialize in specific vegetables. Tomatoes are a favorite of mine and I enjoy receiving a catalog that sells only tomatoes seeds. I sometimes wonder how they can find so many different varieties. I think the secret is, they photograph the same plant from a different angle in different light and then call it by a different name. Who's ever going to know the difference?

My favorite tomato is of a unique variety. It turns a bright green with pale yellow stripes when ripened by the summer sun, it is called a Green Zebra. I don't know how someone came up with that name. I'm guessing it happened when the song Purple Haze was playing on an eight track player. Me personally, I have never seen a real Green Zebra. But, maybe, just maybe it is a story told by Dr. Seuss. There is a Green Zebra in My Garden. "One day when the sky was neither blue nor bright, I saw something in my garden that gave me a fright. A zebra it was, but neither was it black nor white, nor white nor black. You see it was a color, my goodness, my goodness, a zebra of green and it was staring at me. How odd was this creature I thought to myself. And then I notice the stripes, why they were greengreen in spite of its self. Again I thought to myself, if it were a frog it could sing in a tree, but this was no frog, it was a zebra of green and it was staring back at me."

Enjoy the last few hours of 2015 as the year fades into history. Welcome the New Year with a read of a good seed catalog by a warm crackling fireplace. And remember tomorrow night if you look outside and see a Green Zebra, it is time to call for a designated driver. Happy New Year from Mary and I as we look toward 2016 Through the Lens.

 
 
 

 

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