Friday, July 08, 2005

Evening Watering

Everything in the gardens looks wilted--the comfrey in the front gardens was nothing but a heap of dark brown leaves with great wilted stalks that used to support clusters and falls of the lightest pink belled flowers. I'm very happy though that the st john's wort has decided that the alkaline soil here isn't truly all that bad and green leaves are beginning to develop to replace the chlorotic yellow ones from early spring.
I noticed everything looked weakened and scanned the gardens--the butterfly weed were both (yellow and orange) wilted; the mexican firebush were both wilted and the crepe myrtle, trying to bloom lavendar, decided that flowering without enough water was a waste of energy and therefore pulled back on the blooming.
I scanned the rosemary that never seems bothered by anything--cold or heat, and my eyes settled on the olive tree. My mother's day gift from 4? 5? years ago, it is now a hearty 7' tall and full of grey oval leaves. Loads of branches arching downward. Drought tolerant. The dogs have dug a depression on the east side of the trunk and try as I might by raking the dislodged dirt back into the indention and watering it in, they always seem to be able to dig it out again before I can re-rake.
Just then, a pair of bewick's wrens land on the chain link fence giving me time to see in the western setting sun, spider webs that inhabited the diamonds of the chain link. As they called to me I recognized the voice of a youngster and an adult--mother and daughter? They both descended to the dirt and proceeded to take dirt baths, sweeping the sand up and over their back with their wings. They continued their conversation even as I strained to watch through the ornamental grass between us. They would find tiny depressions--a dog's footprint in the sand--their little bellies fitting just right inside. They made tiny dust devils that dissapated almost instantly.
Forrest dragged one of the wading pools to the far side of the fence and I filled it partially for the critters to drink from. I know it will be several days before the deer and others feel safe enough to drink from it but know in the end it will be a special place to watch early in the mornings to see who visits.

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