One of the wonderful things about gardening in Colorado is the ever present threat of hail. Not just itty-bitty pea sized hail, or, itty-bitty hail sized peas, my favorite vegetable, but hail the size of regulation baseballs. Hail that takes out roofs and cars and recently planted, expensive seedlings that have been nutured better than the children ever were since February.
Now, this is not to make fun of hail. Hail is a dangerous, and potentially deadly, weather phenomenon. It can mess up a home, a head or a garden very quickly.
"Motherscratcher! And I just got the little bastard paid off!"
Read stories of Colorado back in the day and you'll find tales of horses trying to outrun hailstorms, trains stopped by piles of hail, homes, lives and livelihoods destroyed by the aerial ice cubes.
Naturally, the weather folks in the region have been threatening severe weather and heavy hail all day long -- first, because alerting people is a public service, and part of their jobs as meteorologists, but also because, talking about hail and lightning and four feet of snow tends to scare people into watching longer for the next little tidbit of information. (One guy here in Denver is a master of the "I'll have more in my NEXT segment ..." pitch, thus getting people to stick around LONG past their bedtime, which for me has come within hailing distance of my late afternoon nap and is reaching epic proportions.)
With all that in mind, as well as my paranoiac personal personality, I will be standing outside all day, sheet plastic in hand, ready to cover anything and everything as quickly as possible in the hopes of saving one of my easily $40 tomatoes. Yes, I know that they are informing me and playing me at the same time -- I've been in the TV news business, watching and listening to them, up close, for 43 years -- but I still buy into it each and every time, just cuz a few of them I trust ... with my gardens, my family and, occasionally, my life.
As for the boys, they both wanted hats to fend off possible hail attacks this afternoon. Mr. Bitterman chose the hat on the left, as it would take some serious hail damage before anything reached his noggin, while Furious George insisted on the hat on the right, as it was "stylin.'" He refused the fur stole as he already has his own.