Hedging The Doppler

August 31, 2010

It’s supposed to rain tonight – or very early tomorrow morning – and continue all day Wednesday. But it might not.

I just can’t take that chance.

Tony and I looked at the Doppler, looked at the hour-by-hour and the chance percentages. He looked at me and said, “Water.” I agreed. Sometimes, it is better to be safe than sorry.

The impatiens were dragging, the hydrangea wilting, the butterfly bush shriveling and the veggies parched.

Someone is digging holes in the mulch path, right under the bricks, and then digging another hole on the other side. Is this that mouse, thinking this is his opportunity for multiple condos on the same property? I kicked the mulch back in and the dirt back in. Fat lot of good that will do me, I’m sure, as he has nothing but time and I can’t watch for squatters around the clock.

The hibiscus is starting to put out clean, fresh buds. Maybe all this watering of the hydrangea nearby has cured it of its own ills. Lesson learned for certain – pamper the hibiscus regularly.

It is truly becoming the dying season. The hostas turn brown, wilt and fade. The gaillardia is no longer partying, bright and perky. She looks like a fall bouquet, her yellow heads turning to brown and leaves withering, reminding me of Thanksgiving centerpieces. The fall clematis has started to bloom, two starry blossoms on the backyard arbor. Soon, it will be covered in white; sweet-smelling and heavy in the air. That’s a bright spot in an otherwise browning season.

I turned on the soaker hose in the veggie garden and saw the grass clippings move. A spider or water drops? The peppers have just exploded and continue to bloom and grow. I should have enough to make summer salad with the roma tomatoes this weekend. I hope the peppers make enough of this hurrah before we get a frost.

The sun was gone completely by the time I turned on the house hose in the back, just the faintest mist of light helping me along. I watered the hydrangeas, the impatiens and that one pathetic astilbe. I’m not sure if it’s dead or just withered from autumn approaching. I’ve been soaking it every day and it doesn’t seem to improve, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s just the fall die back. But the other one still looks good.

That hose then got turned off and rolled up and the veggie garden soaker hose was turned off too. (I’m getting better at remembering.) A cat startled me in the Neither Here Nor There bed and then loped off into the front yard. I headed to the front and clapped and shouted “scat!”. It tore around the corner.

I’m not an outdoor cat fan. They are naturally predators, which is good for the Damn Rabbit population, but they also take out a great deal of beneficial songbirds and other wildlife. I also have a lot of concern for the cat itself. At night, coyotes still roam this suburbia. Tony and I have been woken in the wee hours, hearing the howling as they celebrate kills. Besides coyotes, there are raccoons and possums and just plain diseases that could hurt these cats. Keep them in the house, I believe. I also didn’t like cat poop in my kids’ sandbox.

Now it was fully dark. I roused white butterflies who fluttered out of corners in confusion, away from the sprinkles. As I watered the iris, splayed and drying all over the front bed, I saw bits of green and yellow light. Lightning bugs, making their home in the stems and stalks, flashing their alarms as I hit them with showers of water. I was being happily snacked upon by mosquitos, so my thoughts ran toward, “get your lazy butts out of there and eat some skeeters!”

Kind of like throwing cold water on Dominic to get him out of bed. Just had to do that once. He didn’t think I’d really do it. Now he knows I certainly will.

So I’ve watered. Watered most thoroughly this evening. I wasn’t sure that it would rain, so I took the safe way for my garden.

Now it will rain for sure.

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