Thursday, August 6, 2009
Dog Days of Summer
Here in the Carolinas we are fully into the " dog days of summer". Around here that means the heat index is in the triple digits, even if the thermometer is not. When I come down the back drive at the conclusion of my business day I am no longer greeted by the cheerful waves of the plants and flowers in the courtyard garden.
First there is no wind to create the "waving" and, all the plants are drooped from heat exhaustion. Before I even walk inside to change clothes I am in full rescue mode trying to give water to the most perished of the collection. Today the dogwoods were looking a good bit like weeping willows. Dogwoods don't usually have that prostrate growth form so this was definitely a distress signal. I like to water deeply less often, I don't find using a sprinkler terribly effective. My method is to put the hose on a medium trickle and let all the water seep slowly into the ground, say at the base of a droopy Dogwood then run out later and move the hose to the next location.
So this evening when I came inside, Blowfish said,
"I hear that noise like water is running somewhere"
"I'm watering the Dogwoods"
" Why don't I hear the sprinkler going"?
" Because you use the sprinkler, I use other methods"
" The sprinkler works better"
" I know you believe that so this morning I used the sprinkler to honor your preferences,
tonight I am using the hose."
" Want me to go out and switch to the sprinkler while you change?"
"No thank you".
We have had this identical conversation for every doggy summer we have been here. I have provided him with all sorts of data on the importance of watering deeply .... which leads to roots growing deeper. If you water on the surface lightly, then roots spread out running just beneath the surface of the ground, thus once surface water is evaporated those roots are parched.
Not true of the deeper roots but obviously the logic of this is not accepted by Blowfish.
When I came back downstairs Blowfish was on his way inside and said with a sweet smile,
" I started the sprinkler for you"
He even looked proud of himself. You know, the way a person looks when they think they have accomplished something good?
There was even a bit of anticipation for the praise he was sure would be coming his way.
Really there is nothing that would have made that man happier than if I had said,
" Wow Blowfish you are the best Pond mate ever. How clever of you to show me I do not know what I am talking about. I get by in this world despite my incredible stupidity because I have you to look after me. I am just so blessed to have you in my life. Will you let me cook your favorite meal to thank you? Of course that meal takes five hours to prepare to perfection so in the mean time let us not allow those hours to slip away, lets go indulge all your best fantasies."
In reality, I went back outside to undo the sprinkler and return to my deep soaking technique .
While I was busy at this task, I was remembering the heat crazed summer depicted in the oh so evil movie Body Heat. I was also thinking about the behaviors of a Preying Mantis toward it's mate.
I think tonight's menu might be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Later, I probably won't be dreaming about Blowfish's favorite fantasies. I will be dreaming about having the money for a well and a deep irrigation system.