Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer storms

All summer long the storms that come through from the west simply split over the Litchfield hills and deliver nothing here.  Severe storms to the south, rain and thunder to the north, but nothing but complete sunshine in a little wedge over us.

The map shows today, September 13.  Over three weeks now with no rain.

The state has had rain, but not here.  The reservoirs are not bone dry, there has been rain all around us.  But not a drop over us in north central Conn.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Once Again

Cloudy, cool, 60s.

Once again the rain that was forecast for today went to the south of us and to the north, but broke up over us.  No rain for 21 days, since August 22, except for the hundredths of an inch this past week.

Yesterday was abundantly sunny, just like 9/11 nine years ago.  I watered and watered out on the back hill, but I'm only getting a few inches of soil wet around the smaller trees.  The natural silver maples are completely limp and the ash tree by the road is also flagging.  Leaves on all the young oaks, including the new one I planted at the top of the sandy hill, are brown leaved now.  I could go on, but at this point in the season I'm pretty much giving up.

I changed the batteries and scent lures in 7 of the deer zappers and put them back out in the meadow and in the gardens.  I need more batteries for the remaining zappers and will put those out.

I cut back the amaryllis today and brought them into the garage to go dormant till Thanksgiving.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ellen Sousa

Sunny in the morning, clouded up later, cool, in the 60s.

Yesterday Ellen Sousa came early in the morning to photograph the garden.  She was delightful, and after she spent about half an hour on her own getting shots, we visited over coffee and talked about our gardens.  A very nice visit.  She was very complimentary of my gardens, offered some suggestions about linking them together, and assured me she's going to use at least one photo in her book.

Her website at Turkey Hill Brook Farm

Her blog.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hundredths of Inches

It's a good thing my weather station measures in hundredths of an inch.  Storms rolled through this morning and we got .009 inches.  Nine one hundredths, enough to wet the mulch.

That's all.  It rained only once in all of August.  Now, 8 days into September it rains less than a tenth of an inch.

After the brief storm, it became sunny, windy and warm, in the 80s.

And the worst of it is: the only rain in 17 days, and it occurred exactly when Ellen Sousa was supposed to be here to photograph the garden.  And the storm lasted for exactly the time she would have been here... 7:30 to 8:00 a.m., with only four minutes of rain in that.

She canceled, of course.  She'll be here tomorrow morning.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Earl was a disappointment

Yesterday: Hurricane Earl passed by.  Today: humidity broke, it's very breezy and cool, high 70s and low 80s but very comfortable.

Earl was a bust.  I didn't want any wind, and it was predicted to slide by to our east without any gale force winds over us.  But I expected rain.... we need it so badly.  Believe it or not, it rained in Hartford, and it rained east of the river, but we got nothing.  Nada, zip, not a drop!  The edge of the circular storm was literally less than 10 miles from us.

We had not even a breath of air, no breeze, no sprinkles.

Today it's clear and sunny and I watered everything I could get on the back hill, and in the yard.  Last rain was an inch and a half 13 days ago, on August 22.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Hot, in the mid 90s, very humid, sticky and icky.  Hurricane Earl is coming up the coast, the first hurricane to hit New England since Bob in 1991 (the year we left for the ranch just ahead of Bradley airport closing).

Earl will miss us, but head right over Boston and the Cape.  We should get rain from the edge as it goes by us tomorrow afternoon and evening.  Badly needed rain!

Everything is again so parched and stressed.  The climbing hydrangea is a real mess.

In other news, Ellen Sousa from Turkey Hill Brook Farm e-mailed me that she would like to photograph my yard for a book she is writing on creating wildlife habitats in the suburbs.  She loved my photos from Wordless Weds. last week on Evening Shadows, Morning Mists, and left very nice comments.  I am pretty flattered!  She is coming next week, in the early morning.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Two Weeks Left

Hot again, for the last several days.  In the 90s, intense sun, too humid to do anything.  We need water again, especially in the heat.  Last rain was the inch and a half we got over a week ago.

Officially we have two weeks left of this season.  It's September 1, and on the 15th we leave for Europe for two weeks, back on October 1.  Where did it go?  Much of it just disappeared into the oppressive heat which came so early in April and never let me really enjoy being outside.  And the total lack of rain made every day a worry about how things were surviving.  Nothing ever really looked great except for a few instances once in a while.

Here's my list of what needs to be done before we leave.  Two weeks to get it done.
  • get the plastic mesh deer protectors on all the back hill trees.  Put one on the new black gum in front as well
  • put little cones of mesh protectors around the Arbor Day saplings and transplanted sassafras on the berm
  • fix the east side faucet
  • spray rabbit repellent just before we go