One thing about traveling long distances to officiate/umpire sports, you cannot count on the weather to cooperate. For the second night in a row I had contracted to umpire the ACME Sectional/District for Putnam and Paulding Counties at Leipsic, Ohio. On Wednesday, after the game was complete, I headed to Deshler to down a few cold ones with and stay at my old buddy Tom's place...last night with rain in the forecast, I took Patricia's van(with the window's rolled out of the Jeep Wrangler, and Sam having my Intrepid in Columbus, I was short of options). Driving through rain in the Spencerville and Delphos areas, I arrived at the ball diamond in Leipsic a full 50 minutes before the game, with the skies threatening, and the sound of thunder in the air. I knew this was going to be "iffy" getting this game in, the Radar had shown me as much before I left Celina on the 65 mile trip.
Don, my umpire partner, and I got the teams around and started early, the home squad Leipsic were the visitors on the scoreboard(due to the drawing procedures) and had put up a 3 spot in the first when the first bold of lightning brightened the gloaming around the field. We took the mandatory 1/2 hour off. The skies were still dark when we resumed...but teams hit the ball, neither fielded very well, and the score stood at 8-4 in favor of the Vikings over Ottawa-Glandorf after the 2nd inning...another bold of lightning, some moderate rain, and a few minutes later, we "killed" the contest, and it was pushed back until tonight at 6 o'clock.
I had fulfilled my contract and could have walked away, with paycheck in hand, and would have been within my rights....instead I volunteered my services to return tonight, and not ask for another payday...they will however give me gas money, and have to pay a new partner(Don is scheduled to work Softball in Ottawa and cannot make it). Since I had this night off...I will return to Leipsic for the 3rd night in a row....no complaints from this umpire. Tomorrow the South Regional of the Jr ACME State Tourney begins in Celina, and Garry and I have a double header beginning at 2:30. The humidity will be down, and the rains gone by game time.
A Record Sunflower?___at least for me
Last year I planted and raised about 30 Mammoth Sunflowers, and used them as Squirrel and bird feed throughout the Winter...this year I planted another 2 dozen big ones, along with a number of "different" sizes and varieties of other Sunflowers.
After the Mammoth flower plants began to spring up, I noticed a plant close to the kennel fence had sprouted a bit earlier...it looked the same, and I figured it was a stray that I had dropped. However as I watched the plants growing, this one had slightly different leaves, and when the blooms begin, unlike the Mammoth Sunflowers, this plant was popping buds at a rate that I have never seen for any Sunflower plant. This morning the first flower had bloomed, and I begin count...23 buds so far, and more on the way it appears...although these flowers are not as large, they are big enough. I am wondering how many this plant can hold before it falls to the ground? I'm thinking that I may have to tie it up to the kennel fence to keep it upright, but for now, I'm wondering just how many flowers this plant will have attached before it all ends?
Stay tuned....But I'm guessing it will be somewhat short of the record 834 heads found on a plant in Michigan a few years back. It appears from a little research @
The National Sunflower Association says my rouge plant is a wild variety and they often have 20 or more heads...although, not a record, mine is going to have many more than that.....domesticated Sunflowers only have one bloom...just another "you learn something new everyday moment".
Photos-The Wild Sunflower plant towers above the rest of the Mammoth Varieties, by at least a foot, and by 2 dozen or more flower buds....the rest of the back yard flowers are going strong, but still competing with the weeds brought on by the heavy Spring rains, and hot sun of the past 2 weeks.