Oh, the hail....I'd been feeling just a little guilty, reading recent posts by other northern gardeners who have battled cool, wet growing conditions this summer. Meanwhile, my northern wisconsin location has enjoyed an amazing growing summer, with warm temps and a nice soaking rain every few days. I mean my gardens have been nothing short of spectactular. Until yesterday. In a very small isolated area confined to a few of my country neighbors and I, a nasty hail storm almost completely wiped me out in 10 minutes of quarter sized hail and high swirling winds. Others lost some big oak trees and corn, and I saw some minor structural damage. My gardens look like Edward Scissorhands came to visit. My vegetables are shredded and pounded into the soil. The squash are now naked vines clinging to their trellises. Most of the green tomatoes are off the vines. The apples are either on the ground or pummeled into bruised little green balls still on the trees. And my beautiful flowers are shredded and ruined. I am stunned by the destruction. Gardening is about the journey, and this is just one of those unfortunate events completely out of my control. Before I rip things out I will let them have a week to recover and see what survives. I had to smile when I looked at my naked morning glory vines tonight, and noticed three sweet little blossoms ready to open tomorrow morning.