2015 has been a very dry year around my parts. We had almost no snow during the winter, and it isn’t just a problem for skiers. Washington State depends on our snow pack for summer water. For the first time ever, we’re facing a drought. Likewise, we’ve had weather in the ’90s already. Used to be, we only got near 100 in August. We’ve been there by Fourth of July the last two years.
It bugs me that we can see changes all around us, yet there are those who still deny the planet is warming. Or they admit it’s warming, but deny human activity is behind it. People! For real? Why do you even think it matters whether this change is natural or caused by industrialization? The change is happening. We have to live with it.
Can we, please, stop quibbling about whys and wherefores, and start working toward solutions?
The Friends of Manito Park plant sale was fabulous, as always. I managed to sneak over there and still get back in time for my eye appointment. But, alas, I wasn’t able to get the milkweed plant I was longing for. Apparently a lot of people have the same ideas as I do, to plant milkweed and support monarch butterflies. There was nary a milkweed to be found.
Instead, I got a large penstemon called Dark Tower, which has bronze foliage and pale pink flowers. It should pop nicely among my red and yellow blanket flowers. I also added a red beardtongue, which is a penstemon cousin that grows low to the ground.
Once the hot weather smooths out, I plan to transplant my new friends into Bed 6, near my front door. I already did put out my Golden Bantam corn, just before the hot spell. Mulching with lawn clippings seems to have helped them get through.
In Bed 2, I removed a number of Triple Crown blackberries that had spread a little too far. Those went to my brother and sister-in-law’s new house.
My second planting of Pencil Pod Black Wax beans are coming up nicely. I have blossoms on the first wave. Still only one tomato, though. The daytime heat has just been too much for fruit to set.
Lettuce and snap peas are in their prime, although the snap peas got sunburned. The growing tips on my second planting are all dark and crispy!
I expect to be harvesting cherries within the week. Not to rag on climate change, but I usually have cherries at the Fourth of July. June 14 is going to be a really early harvest. I’ve invited my neighbors to bring their boys over and pick a few. You can’t start too early teaching kids where good food comes from.
The epiphyllum my Mom gave me several years ago is outside for the summer. It would be great to get a bloom off of it. Meantime, the six cuttings are now in a new pot.
This week brought me a couple of cool wildlife encounters. My husband spotted a gray squirrel at our bird feeder on Monday. We’ve never seen one before, although they live in a nearby park that has oak trees. I think with the hot weather it was foraging for new food sources. Unfortunately for the squirrel, we’ve let our feeder go empty for the summer. However, there is always water in the bird bath, so I hope we’ll see it again.
Second, as I watered my lawn, a crow came down to splash in the runoff. That was a fun side to a bird that many of us think are sinister pests.
But best of all was when I was watering Bed 6 and a wasp came down to my hand. It rested there and sipped from water drops on my hand. Sure, I was a tiny bit nervous. I held still until it took off again.
Until next week, keep digging in the dirt!