Monday, July 4, 2011

Crunchy Grass

It's the fourth of July but it sure doesn't look like it outside. It looks like late August. The grass is brittle and dry and crunches under foot. The grasshoppers have chewed the leaves off of much of the garden as well as the surrounding weeds. The cicadas are singing at nine in the morning and in the evenings, their noise is deafening . The only green spots in the yard is where hose ends meet, the little area where I dump the dogs wading water every couple of days and around the pool where I didn't quite tighten a pump top properly. That's it. The rest is just plain crunchy. And brown.

Looking like August

And it's dusty. I vacuumed much of yesterday. At 9:00 pm when I was cooking supper I still had to grab a dustpan and sweep the grit up from under my feet.

The weatherman hasn't promised us any relief. One website's headline is "Crazy Hot in Texas". They got that right. Many Texas cities have broken daily high records, not just once but several times. The USDA has finally declared Texas a disaster area allowing for many farmers who've experienced wildfires and drought devastation to seek some much needed aid. And June 2011 will go down as the third (or fourth depending on whose stats you look at) hottest June in history, with the two prior years following right on their heels. That means three of the hottest Junes in Texas history have occurred in the last three years. And I thought I was just becoming intolerant! Highs were 90 plus every day of June with four of them over 100. This weeks forecast is over 100 until Friday when we'll be treated to a cold front...a high of 97!

Happily our little homestead isn't suffering nearly as much as others. We did loose a chicken the other day and I imagine the heat played a large part in her demise. She was fine one day and then was looking poor on Saturday morning, just making tiny "uck uck" sounds instead of full throttle clucks. Saturday evening, she was gone. The sheep are going to have to start eating hay, and I'm sure the horses that are in the pasture that usually carries them almost right through the summer will soon be on hay too.

And of course the garden isn't doing so well. The grasshoppers have pretty much devoured the vegetable garden (even the egyptian onion tops have been mowed down to the soil). The flowering plants that have been so valiantly growing despite the heat are beginning to droop.

Obedient Plants wilted at 8:00 am

There is a bright spot within the garden. For several years I've been trying to get a plant called "Poliomintha Longiflora" or "Mexican Oregano". I was successful this year and planted one in May. It has rewarded me with blooms since planting. It is literally covered and has been since I planted it. A plant well worth planting! I hope to take cuttings off of this beauty just in case it meets some untimely demise.

A close up of the poliomintha longiflora flowers

Pardon me for not deadheading first, here's the whole plant!

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