The last time I posted to this blog, the subject was, “Who Stole the Time?” I can tell you, someone did. Since that time, my lovely wife has spent a week in Kentucky with her mother, I have began a remodel of a bathroom, the heat has gone up threefold, eighteen straight days of over 100º, who knows for how long, and the air conditioner went out right in the middle of the bath remodel. Fortunately, it was only a faulty thermostat, easily replaceable, of course for a charge.
The downside is that the electricity usage is increasing at an enormous rate. I may have been better off not having the air conditioner repaired. Certainly, financially better off. I read where the energy companies are urging consumers to cut back. I did not listen. I repaired the A/C. There was some good news during this time. During her absence my wife left a generous supply of pie to help me “cool off”. That certainly takes the edge off of the heat.
Our small pond in the back of the house has gone completely dry. Weeds are growing in the bottom. Isn’t it curious how weeds can survive with no visible means of moisture? About the only thing around our home to mow is the bottom of the pond. As the pond began drying up, I erected a barrier fence around it to keep the dogs out of what was left of muddy water. This apparently trapped a rather large turtle inside and I helped him escape. The last time I saw him, he was making his way toward the neighbor’s pond. In this weather, he won’t stay long there either. I can visualize him making his way from pond to pond, as each one dries up. I’m afraid he won’t find much moisture unless he heads for Seattle.
The frogs long ago departed for greener pastures, well, some departed for the dog’s water bowls. I retrieved one from a water dish only this morning. He couldn’t hop out and the dog wouldn’t eat him. Now they seem to have actually departed to that great fishpond in the sky.
In reference to the dogs, I probably should explain, we have a kennel where we raise standard poodles, currently, ten dogs. Each has their own 5 x 15 foot kennel enclosure on a concrete slab with a covering over the top for shade. Each pen has its own misting system and sleeping quarters inside a small building. Each building has a fan for cooling. One could say they lead a dog’s life. Because we have the back acre totally fenced, we allow the dogs a time of exercise outside the pens twice daily. Several dogs enjoyed jumping in the water when we had water. This is why I erected the barrier fence around the pond for they also enjoyed the mud.
There are benefits to a drought, be they few. First, I do not have to mow nearly as often. In fact, there are areas where there is nothing to mow except, of course, the bottom of the pond. I saw on the television, news of a huge dust storm in Arizona. I could duplicate that if I mowed any other part of the back area. There is that area around the aerobic system that stays green. I t looks rather odd, a small circle of green in the vastly desert-looking back yard. Gives new meaning to “crop circles.”
The influx of grasshoppers helps keep what little grass we have down to a nub. I have noticed they also like to get in the water dishes. However, the dogs refuse to help them out and you can guess what happens next. One can treat the areas for the little creatures, but they are like roaches in an apartment building. They just move.
I also notice, the gophers and moles seem to have migrated to other parts of the country. Since our land is mostly sand, when the ground has moisture, they have many opportunities to tunnel and build their little mounds. When it is dry, as it is now, they cannot tunnel successfully. Their tunnels cave in. Thus, they move on to another location. That’s all well and good. The gopher baits I used to decrease their population seemed to increase them anyway.
When the spring began, there seemed to be an abundance of snakes. Basically, three types of snakes enjoy our home place. The dreaded water moccasin, the copperhead and the king snake. The first two are poisonous and the king snake is a beneficial animal. However, around here we subscribe to the theory that the only good snake is a dead snake. The drought has succeeded in relocating all three varieties.
There may be a few other benefits to a drought, just I cannot think of any additional thoughts. However, I can, think of a number of things I can do before it eventually rains again. When I lived in west Texas, we had a saying, “Neighbor up, dig another hole.” This simply means that in the flash prone areas of West Texas, be prepared for when water does come. Get together and dig another pond for it will help out during the next drought. So, I leave you with this poem: titled, naturally, Neighbor Up, Dig Another Hole. One could also call it “Complaining”
Neighbor Up, Dig Another Hole
I mused just the other day
about too much rain.
This coming from someone
who week before last
about the lack of rain.
I mused then that
Grasses wouldn’t grow,
Humidity was low
Skin was dry and
About the lack of rain.
And then it rained!
I mused then about
The satellite dish going
on and off with too much rain.
And it drowns the grasses and
About too much rain.
I mused that too much rain
Mold, And again,
About too much rain.
And then it ceased to rain!
Musing still, about the rain,
My Dearest Friend remarked,
“Neighbor up, dig another hole“
Was there ever a time when you
About the right amount of rain?
And then it began to rain. Again!
© May 2007