Summertime and the tomatoes are high.......
I did something I haven't done in over a decade, since I left the ranch in Oregon. I can't ride the bikes most of this year; I'm going bat crazy. To keep myself occupied, I planted a small garden in front of the house. Modest compared to the giant garden on the ranch. Nevertheless, it has been a joy.
In the cool of of the morning last Sunday I weeded, restaked the netting and pruned back the wild rambling melon plant. Under the canopy of leaves next to the melon 'shrub' I found a 6-inch yellow squash and another one on the way. The 4-inch tomato that I had been eagerly watching was nothing but a ragged cap of red. I suppose it was the sacrificial atonement to some wandering rabbit that escaped the claws of my nesting pair of Great Horned owls. Oh well, flowers and buds cover the other two tomato plants.
The beets and cucumbers are loving the heat, the parsley and spearmint have finally taken off with strong green growth. The little lavender, dusty miller and lambs' ears lend a nice soft gray to one corner facing the kitchen window. With the summer furnace blowing big time (daily temps hover around 100 F and southern winds help dry things to a crisp), the soaker hose and timer at the hose bib were a good idea (patting myself on the back). Of course, the nearby grass giggles with the opportunity to steal some moisture from escaping water. Buck the Dog likes it, too.
My buddy, Lacey, is doing well in its second year here. Planted late spring as a 6-foot tree, I wasn't sure if it would survive last summer's heat. It really took off this year; now a strong 12-foot lacebark elm with many new branches. I can kick myself for not planting trees around the house sooner; it will be many years before this one offers relief with shade. But that's okay; we talk to each other now and again and he likes it here.
The summer thus far has been very hot and very humid. Any outdoor activity past 10 am is asking for a baking in the oven: well done. "All the grass is brown, and the skies are blue..." could be a Texas improvisation of the Mamma's and Papa's song. This is not any California dreaming.
I'll find relief in two weeks when I get down to Big Bend.
What? It's a dry heat. ;)