Monday, August 29, 2016

Rain’s Slow Drips

Weather: Some solid hard rain Saturday.

What’s blooming in the area: Hybrid roses, buddleia, Russian sage, trumpet creeper, silver lace vine, rose of Sharon, bouncing Bess, David and purple garden phlox, sweet peas, datura, Sensation cosmos, zinnia; pyracantha berries bright orange; apples falling.

Beyond the walls and fences: Scarlet bee blossom, white prairie and yellow evening primroses, velvet weed, bindweed, green leaf five eyes, yellow purslane, goat’s heads, alfalfa, Queen Anne’s lace, horseweed, golden hairy asters, goldenrod, native sunflower, áñil del muerto, Tahoka daisies.

In my yard: Caryopteris, garlic chives, hostas, large leafed soapwort, leadplant, larkspur, blue flax, catmints, calamintha, hollyhocks, sidalcea, winecup mallow, pink evening primrose, white spurge, Mönch asters, cutleaf coneflower, Mexican hats, chocolate flowers, coreopsis, blanket flower.

Bedding plants: Wax begonias, snapdragons, sweet alyssum, French marigolds, gazania.

Inside: Zonal geraniums.

Animal sightings: Small birds, geckoes, bumble and small bees, ants, grasshoppers.

Weekly update: Atmospheric moisture has fallen into a self-defeating cycle. Clouds appeared most days around noon, often with great rumbles of thunder. No rain fell, but the clouds kept air temperatures from rising. The lower temperatures subdues conflicts between warm and cold air, which delayed the formation of storms. They’ve been coming, when they’ve come, after dark.

Then, as more disturbances formed off the coast of México this weekend, we got several hard rains.

Wet mornings have perpetuated the cycle of weeds and ants taking advantage of my unwillingness to go out. White sweet clover seedlings are suddenly 2' high, though they aren’t blooming. Goat’s heads appeared every day, and they were blooming.

It’s taken a while for the water and cool temperatures to effect other plants. Perennials like bouncing Bess and sweet peas that had gone dormant in the heat are back in bloom. There are fewer returning roses, probably because they were able to open most of their buds in the long cool spring.

Even with the water, the leaves on catalpa trees continue to fade. If that’s a consequence of the soil drying at the base of their roots where they absorbed dissolved iron, then it means the water hasn’t seeped that far down yet.

It’s taken a while for monsoon flowers to open along the roadsides. Today was the first day I’ve seen áñil del muerto and Tahoka daisies. Native sunflowers are still scarce, but the daturas are finally blooming. Their morning glory cousins are not.

The Russian thistles, ragweeds, and pigweeds are blooming in places, but aren’t yet plentiful. The broom snakeweed has taken advantage of their retarded growth to colonize more parts of my yard that have been resculpted by drought.

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