Friday, September 16, 2011

Hope in the Midst of Drought

This brave purple wild flower lifted my spirits this morning!
Texas is suffering from the worst drought in many years--maybe the worst one ever.  All summer long we had only two rain showers, and those were all too brief.  The countryside is dry and brown, and of course everyone has heard of the horrendous wildfires that have ravaged our state.  For two months or more, we had temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees.  Farmers and ranchers are suffering, with failed crops and cattle that have had to be sold because of the lack of grass and other feed.

The last few days the temperatures have been more moderate and bearable.  This morning, for the first time all summer, I walked in our neighborhood.  It was in the high 70s and there was a pleasant breeze.
I was amazed to see signs of hope in my walk.  Wildflowers and green weeds poking up bravely amidst all the dead, dry, and brown wild grasses.

We have battled to keep our landscaping alive all summer.  Thankfully, Lake Waco supplies our water, and so we've not had stringent water rationing--unlike nearby communities, where everyone's grass and gardens are dead.  Our water company has encouraged judicious watering, urging us to water only early or late, before the broiling sun is high and water evaporates almost as soon as it leaves the sprinklers!

But thanks to our diligence, our yard is looking better and the flowers I planted early in the summer--before I knew it would be the Summer from Hell--have chiefly survived.  This morning, after my walk, I spent over an hour "dead heading" various plants, pulling up others, and generally cleaning up the patio. Here are some pictures of some hardy survivors of the drought:

The zinnias keep on producing, but I pulled up the marigolds that were looking
as if spider mites had gotten to them.

This tree or shrub--I think it might either be an Althea or a Rose of Sharon--
blooms periodically, and now is one of its blooming times.

After looking bad all summer, after its early spring blooming,
these "Knock Out" Roses are blooming again.

One plant we had all over our former home, but in pots, is this one whose name I have forgotten.  I thrives on
the heat normally, but most of this summer the flowers have gone dormant.  With the temperatures
somewhat moderating now, it has decided to bloom!

Crape Myrtles are ubiquitous in Texas, and most summers, all over town, they are a welcome
bright show of color.  I was concerned about the health of these earlier, but now they, too,
 have decided it is okay to bloom!

On our front porch, which gets the Western sun,
I planted two pots of zinnias.  They are on their last legs but still blooming!
In the background you can see the Coopers' house and its
lovely Crape Myrtles.