Friday, July 13, 2012

Watering On

As the hot weather lingers and our drought continues, I spend oodles of time in the company of hoses.  Hoses, by the way, can be cantankerous.  I swear they have a mind of their own and know just when to kink (usually when I am over 100' away) making me hike all the way back to find out why the water has stopped flowing.   I have to admit, though, I'm always glad it's just a kink and not a dry well causing the problem.

Don't you love it when pulling a hose across the yard you come up just a few inches short of your target?  And then you look back and see you've just bent over or broke off a prized plant when you gave the stubborn hose an impatient yank?

Ok, never mind,  maybe that only happens to me.

I was trying to climb down from the top of the Quarry Hill tonight with the sprinkler in one hand and 50' of hose coiled up in the other.   Stepping from rock to rock trying not to behead lilies, break off the rudbeckias and maim the dwarf conifers along with getting my two flat feet back on the ground in one piece was a tall order, but I made it without falling on my face (or my derriere).
Though they are blooming their little hearts out, the plants aren't thriving.  Water from the well is not the same as rain.

I was watering the River Bed annuals this afternoon and the sun was blazing away drying up the water before it even got down to the root zone.  I finally located a watering wand that doesn't leak AND has a handy shut off valve, which was an amazing feat around here. 
The lilies are planted much deeper, but there isn't much moisture down there, either.

Yesterday we took a little ride in the afternoon.  Joel went kayaking with Allison and a friend after work and we decided to be the second car and follow them up to the river and move Joel's car and trailer down to the bottom get out point.  That way they didn't need two vehicles.  This was my idea; it was just too hot in the afternoon for Carl to stand out by Aaargh and whack rocks around.  We both were glad of the break to sit in an air-conditioned car taking in some scenery.
Yes, Carl's almost always in uniform and he prefers long sleeves to short, no matter how hot the weather.  (No sunburns for him, Smart Man!)

One thing that has been really weird this summer is Mother Nature's dispensation of the rain that has fallen.  Though we have had less than an inch of precipitation since the beginning of June, there are other places nearby who have been inundated.  We only traveled about 50 miles from home yesterday evening and there were people who hadn't mowed their lawns in quite some time because of standing water.  I even saw one lawn mower hopelessly mired in mud.  Wow, how strange, our lawn is a crispy critter and a dozen miles away, they're floating.

And in some cases, wondering what hit them.  I was wondering that myself as I stared at a field that looked trampled and yet not harvested........what in the world happened there and what sort of crop was it?  And then as we traveled further, I saw a corn field hammered down to less than a foot tall and knew the reason..........


Oh, my, the damage was exceptionally bad.  The farmer in me was horrified.  The corn leaves were shredded to tatters and the stalks were all bent and broken.  The corn had been over 5' tall and now it was destroyed.  That's when I realized the field I'd seen earlier was also hail ravaged.  Before the storm, the field had been an emerald green oasis of lush soybeans.  A few minutes with wind-driven hail had turned a bumper crop into a muddy mass of flattened leaves and crushed stems.  A total loss.  

On our little trip we drove past well-watered corn fields in one mile only to go over a hill and see yet another field where the plants were all 'pineappled'........meaning the leaves were curled tightly and sticking straight up, like a pineapple plant, which is what field corn does when it is drought-stressed.  Some of the corn could make a comeback IF it received adequate rainfall very soon, but many fields we saw were already past the stage of no return.  When corn takes on a pale, pineappled, crepe papery look there's not much hope for it, especially if the crop is young.  Once a corn field grows tall enough to shade its own rows the field can withstand a little more drought and heat than when the plants are smaller and the sun beats down on the soil.   A little, but not a lot.

And that's what the forecast is for the weekend.  A little rain, maybe.......but not a lot.  Nothing widespread, if you're in the path of a storm, you might get wet.  If you're not, well, so sad, too bad.    And temps in the 90's again.  Oh, well, like Mark Twain said, "Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it."

I guess we might as well save our breath and stop complaining.  I took some more pictures of the lilies today.  (And Carl took pictures of me taking pictures, the sneaky guy.)

The fragrance is almost overpowering.  (The lilies, that is.  I, on the other hand, do not smell so good after a long day in the hot sun.)

We just have to appreciate what is blooming right now and hope for the best. 

We may be between a rock and a hard place, but that's gardening, isn't it?  We have to adapt.  They're just flowers, not crops.

My heart goes out to the farmers whose livelihoods depend on their harvest. 

"Consider the lilies of the field; they neither toil nor spin."

All we can do is hope and pray for the best.

Time for a rest, I have a doctor's appointment coming up tomorrow.  Oh, goody.......... wish me luck!


Nadezda said...

Karen, I'm Nadezda. I love your post, all photos are so wonderful! I'm glad I find your blog.

Andrea said...

Hi Karen, i always come here if i want some fun. You always write the littlest of things as if it matters most, and you can make lovely paragraphs out of that. You are just like thinking aloud, but it is really fun. I am so amused with the write-up about the hose, and my laughter is heard at the other side of the office. Of course, my office is just a little cubicle, some people are at the other side with their own cubicles.

But your flowers don't look like they are deprived! Rain there is like here too, sometimes we left our office raining and it hasn't been 30min yet and the road is very dry not even a drizzle. Maybe that is the trend in the world today, raining at random per kilometers!

Sue said...

It's so hard to watch things suffer from lack of rain. We have the same thing going on here. I look at the corn fields around us and feel so bad for those farmers. Seed is terribly expensive now and watching it go to waste---so hard to see.

On another note-I spent BIG BUCKS to buy a "kink-free" hose because I get SO ticked off at that, and well---you guessed it---kinked first time out. I dragged that sucker back to the store and practically threw it at them. Such junk nowadays. I used to have hoses that didn't do that, but its all JUNK now. Sigh.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I am so thankful for the lilies this year. They really can take the heat, will be putting in some more for next year. I don't know how you keep up with your large property with the watering.


El Gaucho said...

Ah, the kinks in hoses, a true bane of many a gardeners existence. I agree that those hoses may have a mind of their own and that their focus is never on good, but always on mischief.

I hope you get some rain this weekend.

Rosemary said...

Yes I too am experiencing hose kinkitis..... I have tried rain dancing but to no avail...... you are right watering keeps things alive but nothing like a natural rain....... still your river bed looks fantastic......

Junebug said...

I fight the continual battle with kinks in my hose. I even bought a new one that says kink free. I guess they don't know me!

Ay ee ay ay he-de wa-de, yes, I'm doing the rain dance for you. It really is a good thing you can't see me through this blog. So here's hopping for a shower or two!

It's off to work this morning but I was out doing the garden hose and watering dance since we've been having sun. Yeah!!

Take care!!

Anonymous said...

Those hose pipes are real darn sneaky critters you got to watch um or they get ya every time if not a kink it’s a leak, or just trip you up when your looking the other way.
Hay girl you looking trim! Managed to twang myself this morning with my rubber band while walking with Leslie. OUCH!

FlowerLady said...

Dear Karen ~ dragging hoses around is a real pain. I too, have broken plants in the process, or knocked stuff over.

Your lilies are wonderful. I do hope you get some much needed rain soon. My heart goes out to the farmers.

Hope your Dr's appt goes smoothly.

Love that picture of you that Carl took. You look great!


Lona said...

All that watering. Your river bed looks beautiful Karen.I just love all your lilies. That is such a good picture of you taking the pictures of the lilies. Your looking good lady! Have a nice Garden Walk.

Larry said...

Hi Karen... what can I say... we are all in the same boat here in central Wisconsin... strange phrase to use this year I'd say as the boat is sitting high and dry for the most part. Larry

Alison said...

I second what Flower Lady said, even in jeans and a tank top, you look good, Girl! Bummer that so much corn is doing so badly there. I have quite a few different hoses, none of them are really kink-free, although I think they all said they were. But one in particular is like wrestling a python. With no rain, be careful of your well water, it could run dry.

As usual, great pictures!

Karen said...

Hello and Welcome, Nadezda! So glad to meet you!

Andrea, I'm glad you enjoy my 'thinking out loud'. I do tend to ramble on about silly stuff, don't I? Hoses are really naughty, though. I firmly believe they resent being dragged around and take advantage of every opportunity to cause trouble.

Sue, a kid at a big box store sold us a 'kink-free' hose a few weeks ago. So far, it's been living up to the title, but I am going to wait until the end of the season before I fully endorse it. It's ghastly neon yellow and really rubbery. I forget the name of it, but wonder if it's the same brand you bought? And despite a 60% chance of rain, nothing so far and radar looks dismal.

Eileen, I'm thinking lilies are the wave of my garden's future. I'm not keeping up with the watering, just running around playing ER nurse to anything on it's last legs. Oh, for some rain!

El Gaucho, the rain seems to be elusive one more time, but we're still hoping.

Thank you, Rosemary! The rain was very, very near to us, but overnight fizzled out and drifted away. Heartbreaking! I'm going to need to start a rain dance here, too.

Junebug, I giggled thinking of you dancing for rain. Keep on dancing, kind lady, because we so desperately need moisture. I think my weather is broken.

SueB, please send your spare rain this way! The hoses are getting tired of working so hard. And those rubber band/stretchie things can be downright dangerous if they slip out of your hand. I know this from experience!

Rainey, thank you. I have a long way to go yet to be at a healthy weight. The doctor's appointment was rather uneventful which is a good thing. Now just have to wait for results of the tests. And figure out a way to talk my way around statins again.

Lona, you're so kind! And hoses, ack, they drive me up the wall. The garden walks are going to be warm ones, up into the 90's again. Sheesh.

Larry, I know, what can we do? It's frustrating though.

Alison, yes, the well could go dry and that is not a pleasant thought. Thank you for your compliment; the doctor's appt was ok, but here we go with the statin dilemma again....I'll write you soon.

shannon i olson said...

everything looks wonderful, I too am dragging hoses, hoses that kink, get caught...grrr We could sure use some rain here, grass is brown and I am struggling to keep things looking good. I have even seen a few things dying early and some yellow tree leaves, YIKES

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Your gardens are beautiful even with the drought! I have also spent a lot of time watering but I am sure it does not compare to the time you need to spend with hoses.
Thanks so much for your visit and knid comments about my Craft Room!


Zoey said...

I can't imagine watering all of that. Your rudebeckia look so nice. Is it pretty early for them to be blooming?

Karen said...

Hi Shannon, yes, we have leaves falling off trees, too. Scary dry!

Debbie, the hoses are definitely getting old to deal with. I just love your decorating!

Hi Zoey, the black-eyed susans that are blooming right now are rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'. My rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' are starting to bloom too, which is very early. Weird season, isn't it?

El Gaucho said...

It's Wednesday evening and as I check the weather (we could really use the rain here in Eastern North Dakota) I see a thick band of showers and thundershowers across most of Wisconsin. I hope much (but not too much) of that rain reaches you!!

Donna said...

I hope your appointment went well. I just got back from a nice holiday and like your place, the grass was crispy. Flowers were mostly fine though, even though no rain. Your garden looks wonderful and I bet you have been working hard to keep it moist. Your lily patch is beautiful and so is that photo you took of one of the flowers.

Karen said...

Hi John, I know what you mean about the radar, it looked very promising, but alas, split up before it got this far. We did receive 2" of rain last night, though. We could really use more, but I can't be greedy, right? Drat.

Hi Donna, welcome back! I hope you had a good vacation. We did get some rain last night which was such a blessing. I hope you get some precipitation soon, too.

Peonies & Magnolias said...

So glad you have gotten a little rain. After temps in the 100s we finally got rain and 80s last week and it was much needed. Love all your pics, everything looks great as always. Have a great weekend.


Nadezda said...

I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award,
Congratulation! See my post said...

Karen - I'm glad you guys got out and had a break from your BEAUTIFUL gardening!!!! I'm sure seeing the hail damaged crops was disheartening.

That picture of you taking a picture sure is cute! It's a good shot. Sometimes, the best shots of us are when we least expect it, at least that's how it works with me.

As for the garden hose, yes, I'm a "tugger" as well and have knocked over a few things, damaged a few plants and felt the frustration that a kinked hose can bring. One day, there will probably be an actually GOOD invention to replace today's water hoses.

Happy gardening. As always, thanks for sharing your beautiful space! You have me SOLD on the boulders and flowers being the best contrast for gardening. I love you gardens!