In back of the house, the potted lilies are just coming into bloom. I planted them last autumn and after all those months of care, I'm not ready to give up on them. Last weekend, Bruce and I strung the tubing for a mister system from the trees and now the lilies are wafted by cool droplets during the heat of the day. They still look a bit fried, but they're hanging in there. The Tupelo trees that hold the tubing also glitter with the mist and are thrilled to
be a part of this miniature rain forest.
Water is such a problem here -- or, should I say, lack of water. Even after a winter of heavy rains, the well recharges slowly and when I run the hose in the garden I always carefully keep my eye on the water level in the tank. When the level dips too low, I have to turn everything off and wait until the tank fills again. This makes outside watering a very time-consuming process. I'll leave the hose running gently on a tree or shrub and come back in the house for twenty minutes or so. Then I'll go back out, check the level of the tank, and if the level's high enough, move the hose to the next plant, go back inside and do something for the next twenty minutes. If the tank was getting low, I'll have to turn off the hose and wait for awhile before running it again. And that's how I water during a heat wave.
Frogpond is an oasis for wildlife, especially after a winter of substantial rain. Deer regularly come to the pond to wade and drink, and this morning I surprised a large, big-eared jack rabbit down on the banks by the willows. The wild birds shelter beneath the branches of the shrubs I've watered and many spend time under the misters. They also splash and bathe in the livestock water troughs (I float a few sticks in them to give them something to stand on). Toads, frogs, lizards and (alas) even mice and gophers come in close to our home. Haven't seen any snakes yet this summer, but I'm sure they're around too.
This extremely optimistic sunflower is the only one that we have, as none of the ones I planted in the garden came up. It came up on its own on the edge of the gravel drive in front of the horse pen. No doubt it was planted by a bird. When I eventually noticed the tiny plant, I admired its determination and decided to help it along. So it got a ring of rocks, a bit of mulch and the occasional watering. It's now in full flower and every afternoon in this heat I place a garbage can behind it so it's shaded during the hottest part of the day. It's only about two feet tall, but healthy and thriving.
The dogs spend most of the day inside, but the adult cats like to sleep in shade outside. The kittens, of course, have to stay inside, but they insist on sleeping in spots of sun.
|TimTom and Hecuba -- blissfully oblivious to weather|
So that's what it's been like here for the past five days and for the next two. Next week is supposed to be cooler, with temperatures in the mid-nineties. We're looking forward to that.