One word sums up conditions here in my spot of Crawford County for May and June so far: wet.
    In May we got 10.2 inches of rain, and so far in June we’ve received another 0.6 inch. That last blast came in 15 minutes the evening of June 2.
    One result of the bountiful and frequent rains is that my poor garden is about nonexistent. Oh, I have a few tomato plants in containers, but nothing in the real garden.
    I replaced the spark plug in my trusty tiller and gassed up the red machine. With a few tugs on the starter rope, it popped to life, even after a fall and winter in the shed.
    But, tilling the garden hasn’t happened. The tiller’s wheels slip because the ground is too damp. I worry about soil compaction and creating a cloddy mess.
    All the rain has blessed me with an abundance of asparagus. I set the first crowns into the ground seven years ago, and now they are really producing. The asparagus makes up a mere two short rows along one hillside, but I’ve been able to pick half a dozen or so green spears every other day.
    My morel hunting did not amount to much this spring. But I did get out for a while with dairyman Alan Flansburgh, who farms near Prairie du Chien. He has lots of good mushroom woods, and he found a good mess up on a south-facing hillside.
    I like morels. But there really isn’t much nutritional value to them. After all, it’s just a mere fungus that sort of looks like a sponge. Maybe that’s why it’s sometimes called a sponge mushroom.
    Anyway, to my mind, asparagus and sweet corn are much better destinations for pats of good, Wisconsin butter. I’ve often thought even cardboard could taste fantastic if it was sautéed in butter.
    A recent drive south into Grant County reminded me how much I enjoy a fine, spring day. At one time, summer was by far my favorite season. That was mainly due to having three glorious months laid out in front of me and no school to keep me indoors.
    Now that kind of vacation is long gone. So, I vote for spring and its abundance of new life and optimism as the best part of the year.
    That foray into Grant County took me across the Wisconsin River at Boscobel (birthplace of the Gideons and their Gideon Bible), and up onto the higher ground at Fennimore and Lancaster.
    Along the way, colorful tulips in front yards greeted me, as did blooming apple trees. Meadowlarks and killdeer sang from the tops of fence posts. White pelicans bobbed in the backwaters of the river.
    On the land, black-baldy beef calves lay in groups or played tag. Farmers busily towed chisel plows and anhydrous ammonia tanks behind their groaning tractors.
    A sign on a fence invited me and other passers-by to make sure to attend the Grant County Fair at Lancaster.
    Passing a gas station, I couldn’t help but notice the price: $2.79 was the lowest. Funny, isn’t it, how gas prices mysteriously rise when people start mowing their lawns, and when holiday driving picks up?
    Of course, fuel prices have risen since then. A few days ago, I saw 87 octane with ethanol advertised for $2.94 a gallon.
    Farther on, a blue tractor towing a red, eight-row corn planter made a colorful combination. An Amish gentleman guided his horse and buggy along the road’s gravel shoulder, the orange, slow-moving vehicle triangle on the back of the buggy looking terribly out of place.
    Since I worry about the Amish as they try to safely navigate the 21st century’s busy roads, I slowed down – something too many of us do not seem to be able to do these days. I also drove as far to the left of the buggy as I deemed safe.
    The black-hatted driver and I exchanged cheery waves. Then he continued on in his world and I continued on in mine.