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Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

I’ve been having thoughts about water today.

It’s been very hot here in Kanab, Utah for about a month now, up into the mid- and high 90s. However, the humidity is low so it’s almost bearable with enough air conditioning—and cold drinks.

Marcie and Jim never go anywhere without a large supply of bottled water in the back of their car. They pass it out to anyone who needs it or would like it.

Other places, such as parts of Oklahoma, aren’t so lucky. There the heat index, a combination of high temperatures and high humidity, is around 116 degrees today. Some people have air conditioned vehicles, work places, and homes, while many others have to do without.

Ron Robinson in Turley, Oklahoma  writes “…extreme Heat Alert so we have turned A Third Place Community Center into a Cooling Station. Free Water, AC, and all our other services–food pantry, clothing, computers, TV, library, etc. Now off to see about setting up water station at the main bus stops here that have no shelter from elements. If you can drop off ice or water or lemonade, etc. much appreciated.” Ron also pointed out that, as a heart patient, he has a car with A/C, cold juice and water available, A/C at the center and at home, but not all heart patients, especially in that area where life expectancy is significantly reduced, have access to those things.

Crystal Cheryl in Okmulgee, Oklahoma “…took some iced tea out to the city tree trimmers working in this heat — sweet, lots of ice — on a tray with real glasses. They [the workers] were resting in the shade on my back lawn and their faces lit up with big smiles when I came out with the cold drinks. Boy, did that make my day! Living in the blisssssss …. ♥ I think Ron inspired me. And I actually had to wrestle with myself. Had only a little ice made, and only half a pitcher of tea that I had just made — was tempted to keep the tasty treat for myself. Such silly inner struggles with selfishness.”

In the deserts of San Diego County in California, hundreds of people attempt to cross the border from Mexico for various reasons. They find hostility that extends to laws prohibiting others from providing food or water.

In March, before leaving for Utah for seven months, I volunteered for part of a day with Water Station, a group in San Diego County that places and regularly replenishes supplies of water at about 200 spots around the desert and other places people cross during blistering  summer heat. Many of those sites can only be reached by high clearance 4WD vehicles. No matter what your stand about illegal immigrants, they cannot die for lack of water.

Do you know individuals or groups who freely and unselfishly provide water and cold drinks to others with no requirements or fanfare? Please tell about them in the Comments section here.

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Just a few evening observations after a very hot, windy day in Kanab, Utah. I’ve been sitting outside watching the sun set, enjoying a fairly large glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream, savoring the creamy taste. The wind has died down just enough to make it very pleasant to watch the gentle rustling of the cottonwood trees. My Earth Day flag blows sideways in the breeze. The temperature is just about perfect-not too hot, just right. I read a little from a library book, Miriam’s Kitchen, by Elizabeth Ehrlich about her growing understanding about the importance of preserving her Jewish roots. I think about all the shopping bags I’ve finished in the past few weeks, all of them now hanging in the front of my RV, awaiting new owners. I treasure all of the plants now doing well in our impossible garden in the high desert of Utah, composed of red, sandy dirt. Nothing except cactus would grow without copious quantities of purchased garden soil in large, black plastic pots. However, with daily early-morning watering, all the tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, lemon cucumbers, Swiss chard, radishes, Kentucky Wonder beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini are thriving. Petunias of all colors: purple and white striped, white, pink, and purple show off in baskets. Tiny Portulaca flowers spring out from small aluminum and pewter containers. Hummingbirds and orioles drink enough nectar to make daily refilling of their feeders a necessity. Part of a day was spent in Hurricane doing needed shopping with good friends and their dog.

Life is definitely good.

 


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I need to get things ready to sell at the Farmer’s/Craft Market tomorrow morning so for now will just post some pictures I took of our garden this morning. 

This is really an adventure and I think things are growing quite well, considering first the freezing weather, the constant high winds, and now temperatures in the high 90s for over a week.

In a nutshell, we’ve transplanted several cacti found in the hills: some grew, some didn’t. We bought plants and good organic planting soil to make up for the rocky, hard, poor soil here and so far it’s working well, either alone of mixed with the red sandy soil here. 

Everything else we’ve bought for next to nothing at garage sales and thrift stores as well as found free. The birdbath bowl cost $1.00, and we found the stand in a pile of junque at the side of the road. Jim built the structure in front of the twig fence to hid the hose.

This is definitely a labor of love as well as a work in progress.


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I was going to write Phase 3 of our garden saga. However, after spending the morning sewing in the clubhouse, making items for the Farmer’s Market/Craft Market, I felt the need to mellow out a little. It’s been a busy few days and was time to take a little time out. After some delicious French toast for brunch with Marcie and Jim, using the very fresh eggs from Koni’s chickens, I braved the ever-constant (or so it seems lately) strong wind and headed to my rig to read and listen to music before work in the barn tonight.

Right now I’ve got some George Winston piano music playing in the background while reading People with Dirty Hands: The Passion for Gardening, a book Marcie picked up at one of the yard sales last weekend. From the frontpiece: “Why do some people have their hands in dirt? What caused someone to become obsessed with the process of growing something, whether it is a tangle of flowers, chiles hot enough to make your eyes water, or a rambling rose plucked from a tumble-down house? Author Robin Chotzinoff took a road trip (several, actually) across America to find the answers.”

It’s the perfect book for a windy, mellow day, especially since I can look out over our own burgeoning garden plot while reading and listening. I can watch the cottonwood trees sway and bend in the wind, the hummingbirds and orioles argue for space at the feeders, and the flowers and herbs grow inch by inch as the ground gets warmer. And I can view all the tomato, cucumber, and pepper plants we’ve stuck into good soil in pots and hope they’ll produce some delicious feasts. I can watch the tiny radish seedlings emerge between the chard plants, three weeks later than they should have emerged. However, the weather has just been too cold.

Yes, it’s a beautiful, mellow day, one to take advantage of before hosting the movie, “Cattle Drive” in the barn tonight. Last night everyone applauded at the end of “Fort Dobbs.” That’s always a good sign they enjoyed themselves and the movie.

 

 

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Marcie commented in my earlier blog, Garden Magic In Kanab, Utah – Phase 2  that I hadn’t mentioned the frustrations we’ve had with the weather lately. Here it is the end of May and we still need to watch the weather forecasts closely in order to keep plants alive.  Just last night we were supposed to get rain and snow showers. People who live here year-round have all said the same thing: this is definitely not a normal spring. One woman told me tonight that the temperature is usually in the 80s by now. I’ve bought plants several times and tried to keep them alive. Alas,  no luck. They seem to commit suicide regularly without fail.

I’ve been spoiled by spending many, many years gardening in Oregon. There, all I had to do was stick something in the ground–plant, seed, stick–and it would grow, lushly and lustily. It didn’t matter what it was – raspberry canes, snap peas, broccoli, tomatoes, fruit trees, tomatillos – everything grew. But here, in the high desert, it’s a whole other story. Very frustrating.

But, rather than mope around about the weather and gardening mishaps, I googled to see what others have written about the relation between plants, people,  and weather conditions. Hope you enjoy these.  At least they’ve gotten my mind off dead plants for a while.
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My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.  ~H. Fred Dale

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.  ~Mirabel Osler

In gardens, beauty is a by-product.  The main business is sex and death.  ~Sam Llewelyn

Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.  ~Marcelene Cox

Plant carrots in January and you’ll never have to eat carrots.  ~Author Unknown

Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden…. It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

Despite the gardener’s best intentions, Nature will improvise.  ~Michael P. Garafalo, gardendigest.com

There is no gardening without humility.  Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.  ~Alfred Aust
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In the meantime, we have high hopes for these latest plantings of tomatoes, peppers, lavender, and cucumbers. Fingers, toes, and eyes are all crossed in hopes that these plants will survive to adulthood.










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