The weather here has been very dry…at least until the past week or so. We have been having a spring-like amount of rain. After complaining for so long about the lack, it seems almost sacrilegious to say anything about the water we needed so bad.
After months of not having to mow on a weekly basis around here we need to mow now badly. There is a problem though…Mosquitoes. After so many months of little free moisture in the environment, I had forgotten what it was like to live with the little beasts all summer long. The last couple of days every time you walk out the door you will be covered with hundreds of the bloodsucking, itch inducing little devils.
Lest I seem unappreciative, I am extremely happy to suddenly find myself, at the end of August, looking out the window at what at least looks like spring. The grass and trees that were looking brown and bedraggled in June and July suddenly are green and vibrant. As Leon Hale, our local institution, wrote in today’s Houston Chronicle…
Living up here in the woods all summer, as I’ve told you, is an experiment, to see if maybe we’d like to stay permanently. And I have to tell you that it hasn’t been a bushel of fun because the weather’s been so dry and the heat has been withering.
Then last week we started grinning again about being here. We didn’t get all the rain we wanted, but we’re grateful for what we got. It came in a beautiful way, slow and gentle, and the earth soaked up every drop.
Almost overnight the woods and all the growing things have turned green again, instead of looking thirsty and in pain.
After a rain that broke a long dry spell, our Uncle Billy used to sit on a country porch a lot like this one and he’d say if you pay close attention you could hear the ground breathing. Sighing, is what he meant. But he wouldn’t use a girly word like sigh.
I know what he meant. The earth giving up sighs of relief and pleasure, receiving welcome moisture. I’m not sure I can hear it but I can feel it, and so could you if you were here on the front porch.
I also read this morning that now is the time to see hummingbirds if you live around here…
Beginning in late July and going through October, ruby-throated hummingbirds congregate along the Gulf Coast to build up body fat before heading to Latin America. Their numbers peak in September as females and juveniles join the males that arrived first.
“Essentially, all the ruby-throated hummingbirds that breed in the eastern half of the United States and Canada, estimated at a population of 7.3 million individuals, migrate along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico each fall,” says John Arvin, research biologist for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.
So now is the best time to watch for the little beauties, the males with bright red throats, the females with gray throats, and sub-adult males with a hint of red on their gray throats. At our home, we’ve already had three males. Arvin tells us there are probably three or four birds for every one bird we see.
Personally, I have never had a lot of luck around here with feeders for any kind of birds. There is just too much naturally occurring food available for them to entice them to a feeding station…Even in the depth of winter. For years I tried feeding. All it ever accomplished was planting a bunch of bird seed…Which had a bad habit of actually growing. So finally, I just quit trying and began enjoying the birds as they ate what was actually already growing.
On another note…I am still working on my online presence. Consolidating my numerous websites into a easier to manage whole. So if you don’t here from me for days on end…That’s the reason.
My work in progress right now is boyd-family.net, my genealogy and family history site. If you visit =, please forgive the broken links and dust as I figure out another publishing system…