Sweating, for the most part.
And staring at the radar on the NOAA website, trying to will rain showers to head in our direction. We haven't had much luck in that department. Holy Moly, it's dry here. My late father always said, "The creeks have to run in June, or we're in for a dry summer."
The creeks didn't run in June, there weren't even any puddles. Oh, dear.
Like so many other parts of the country, we've been suffering through an extreme heat wave for the last week. For some reason, it seems a whole lot longer than that, though. The weather people assure us that by Saturday we should be back to normal, in the low 80's. If this indeed happens, it will be such a relief. I think the highest temperature we actually achieved was 98 degrees on Thursday with a 'feels like' reading of 105 or something. I can attest to the fact that it felt awful.
|River Bed and the luckiest part of the lawn that gets watered.|
We have had less than an inch of rain since the end of May. Our lawn was getting crunchy underfoot even before the June 7 garden walk. Now, after a week of 90+ temps it's just barely hanging on. I'm not worried about my weed/lawn though. The beauty of having a lawn comprised of mostly weeds is that no matter what, it will survive. I wish the same could be said of the crops in the farm fields. High temperatures and no rain spell disaster for yields. As all gardeners know, it's not a good idea to stress a plant at any time as it will affect the plant's future performance. And when you're a farmer, you're talking about a few million plants.
I took a walk last night past the acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa planted here on our farm and marveled that so far, the crops are hanging in there pretty well. We've had a few teeny-tiny rain showers this past week of 1/8" of an inch up to a whopping 1/4" that have managed to keep the crops alive and I'm thankful for that, but wow, we need more. The hayfield would bounce right back from the second crop cutting if it would rain.
I've been watering every day with a hose, but well water is no substitute for rain. And I don't want to run the well dry, either. Having a new well drilled is very expensive and I'd like to avoid it if I could.
There's a chance of rain in the forecast for tonight. As I write this post, I keep jumping back to the live radar online and monitoring the rain. It's not looking good for us unless something pops up closer to home. This summer, watching the radar has been so disheartening. A storm will be headed right for us with great rain potential and suddenly veer off in another direction or, for the most part this year, inexplicably dissipate just before it reaches us. Sometimes it seems there must be a Naughty Giant wielding an immense hair dryer blowing the clouds dry before they get here. I wish the Giant would move on.
However, in other parts of the state, storms have formed and almost stalled, dumping up to 7" of rain causing flash floods and other madness and mayhem. I guess like Carl says, 'It's just not our turn this summer.'
|Hoses, hoses everywhere. (And little dogs.)|
On Tuesday night I thought we were going to get lucky. I was out watering the potted plants and thunder started rolling in the distance. Rain wasn't even forecast for us, just hot and more hot. I went out to the front lawn to take a look at the sky and was amazed and a little intimidated by the size of the storm approaching. I could smell the rain in the air, it was so close. Eventually, it started to rain a little and grabbing a lawn chair, I ensconced myself on the gazebo and sat back to enjoy the show. Carl came out and joined me and we both waited for the heavier rain which would surely bless us with its presence.
It was so close.
And yet, so far.
After approaching at a rapid rate of speed from the west, the storm suddenly went south, just missing us. The light precipitation we had been getting stopped entirely. Just like that. I went galloping into the house to check the radar and sat there, stunned. Really? Not again! But that's the way it goes. It just ain't our turn. Carl is stoic and accepts things like this with ease. I'm an impatient brat. Grabbing my car keys, I announced to him that if the rain wouldn't come to me, I was going to go to it. We drove to where the rain had just fallen and the roads were steaming from the change in temperature. Even though we didn't get any of the rain, it was nice to see the cornfields soaking up the moisture. I drove a few more miles and was able to get a clean windshield from the last lingering drips before it was time to turn around and go back home. Our driveway was a little damp, but under the willow tree it was still as dry as a bone. I went out on our lane and scraped my foot. Less than an 1/8 of an inch down, the dust puffed up to meet my shoe. Just enough to settle the dust, indeed.
We've had so many of these storms approach this year, and no, we don't need the hail or high winds some of them have produced, but the waiting is torture. For some inexplicable reason, I planted twenty-five pots of annuals and have them strewn all over the gardens. I can be sound asleep with my Darth Vader Sleep Apnea Mask strapped tight to my face and still hear a peal of thunder or see a flash of lightning ten miles away. And then I immediately think of my potted plants. Oh, my, I don't want to see them destroyed. So off comes the mask, on goes the shoes and out I go to gather up my pretties using the distant lightning as a flashlight and the thunder as a warning growl to move a little faster. The problem is, my garage is not big enough to hold all of them. So I have to find alternate places for shelter such as the dome, gazebo and front porch.
|I've left this urn of 'Bubblegum' petunias in the shade all week. They seem to be thankful for the break from the heat.|
From talking to other gardening friends, I know I'm not the only nut out there in potentially dangerous conditions toting plants to safety. I talked to my friend Brenda who owns a greenhouse a month ago and our conversation turned to storms. She told me she does the same thing with literally dozens and DOZENS of potted plants whenever a rough storm comes up. One night a few years ago, a close thunderclap startled her and she slipped on her way into the garage with a planter, falling and tearing her rotator cuff. The things we do for our flowers. (Oh, she's recovered now, but still brings her flowers in.) If you saw her arrangements, you'd know why, they are spectacular.
|West side of driveway|
|The urns up against the white siding take a beating from the reflected heat.|
Look at Friday morning:
Maybe this weekend we'll get some rain? Ooops, I guess not.....I just looked at the radar again. All the rain is going north. It's just not our time.
But wait a minute...now the forecast has been raised from a 40% chance to a 60% chance for our area before 4AM. Hmmmmmmm..........
Should I haul all the potted plants in before I go to bed? Let's see, it's already 2:40AM. And sadly, I've hauled them all in five times in the last month and nary a drip of rain fell when they were sheltered.
Maybe I'll just leave them out for bait.