Melons in the mailbox

It’s been MelonMania at this house. Courtesy of the South Austin Farmers’ Market, there’s been an abundance of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons, joined this season by the fabulous ambrosia melon.

In our household, one of us cannot endure the aroma of cantaloupe melons, and they are musky, as the muskmelon name formerly more commonly used implies. For that reason, until the cantaloupe has been cut up and either eaten on the spot or sealed in air-tight storage containers, it must stay outside the house. Not in the car, because that gets stinky. The one time that they were left on the porch, something consumed them, something in the raccoon, ‘possum, or fox line. So, they’re just the right size to fit in the large rural mailbox just outside the front door, which acts as a safe to keep them from the critters. But, they must be removed and either eaten or cut up before the letter carrier brings the mail. We’ve never yet forgotten.

Before watermelon season comes to Austin, we’re always out looking for trucks up from the Valley selling melons by the side of the road. Now, they’ve been available for weeks and it’s hard to remember just how much longing there is for them before the season begins. I think that it’s Austin’s own Ave Bonar who took the beautiful photograph of such a truck (I know that hers is the wonderful image of the Uphill Guy and the supermarket carts). Back in the days of Austin’s AquaFest, both McDade and Luling used to send their elaborate festival floats to the land parade each year. Luling’s Watermelon Thump queen and her court were always dressed in homemade gowns of watermelon hues.

Wilhite Seed Company in Poolville annually features a watermelon photograph on its catalogue cover, usually of a child (or children) and some melon. We’ve been putting all our non-consumed melon seeds out in the yard, and they’ve all been germinating, so we have some highly ornamental plants after all these downpours.

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