Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our Dry Summer

The heat came on this morning.

It was in the mid 40s when I got up and with yesterday's gray cool weather, the house had retained no warmth.

Yesterday a rain front moved through western and northern New England but delivered no rain to us. It sprinkled and wet the furniture, but did not dampen the soil.

This keeps happening. Albany NY and western Massachusetts have gotten soaking rain after rain storm this summer, but all season the edge always skirts us, sliding by just tantalizing miles to our west or north.

This is the weather service's chart of the last 30 days of precipitation -- the slope is the accumulated normal rainfall for 30 days, and the brown area below is how much below normal we are. The little green bars show tenths of an inch of rain -- the only noticeable amount was a quarter inch on the 31st of August and then just under a quarter inch on September 1, but it came down so hard and so briefly in short bursts that it mostly ran off the hard dry baked soil.

The earlier part of the summer looked just like this chart except for one storm in mid August that gave us two inches of rain. Those two inches were pretty much it for the entire season, and it all fell at once.

Some plants in the garden look okay with all the supplemental watering I've done. The clethra doesn't, though. It has crispy, curled leaves and I simply can't keep it hydrated enough. Hydrangeas are not at all happy. Not at all. The redtwig dogwoods by the creek bed have curled their leaves and turned silvery.

In the meadow I have watered the newest little saplings, but all the big maples and oaks and gums are looking limp. The persimmon, with its big glossy leaves, is really droopy.

All of the tall weeds in the meadow -- the fleabane and oxeye daisies and the pink smartweed which usually forms big upright arching stands, are really limp and bedraggled. Except the goldenrod. That seems indestructible.

2014 has been a rainy, wet summer for areas just to our north. Not here, though.

But . . .  it's not California! I can't even imagine.

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