Friday, June 27, 2008

Another 98 Degree Day

I feel bad for all those suffering from the devastation of floods in the Midwest. I wish we could have several inches of their rain, but instead we seem to be suffering from the opposite problem--drought and extreme heat.  Since mid-May we have had no measurable rain and average highs in the upper 90's. 
That whole word, "Average" befuddles me.  I know what the definition of average is, but it makes no sense when it comes to weather.  Who decided what the average is?  Last summer we had below 'average' temps and above 'average' rainfall.  It seems to me, that if the temperatures and rainfall levels fluctuate so widely every year, that the average would change too.  No matter really.  I think it just gives the weather folks something to do.  How much fun can it be to, day after day, report "Highs in the upper 90's, Lows in the upper 70's.  Not a drop of rain in sight."

Our local wildlife is suffering from the lack of water; doing things they wouldn't normally do.   Below are two creatures that do not live in water, but hang out in wet places.  We found both in our swimming pool and were able to save them before they succumbed to chlorine poisoning or just plain drowning.  Neither one would be able to get out without our assistance.  Our "cement pond" doesn't have a gentle slope to climb out on.
Common Tree frog.  He's a new one.  I've never seen one before.  
Our ginormous friend, Mr. Toad.  That is my hand that you see him in (just for size comparison).  He is one of the reasons I don't put down bug killer in my beds.  Such a handsome man needs something to eat!  He had been trying to get out of the pool for some time, his poor little front toes looked awful. :(
A tiny shot of a very large flower bed that is going to be dug up today.  The bed is actually an annual flower bed, but I never have to replant it because it reseeds itself.  This year the lack of rain has caused it to do very poorly.  My adding water to it only seems to help the weeds and gives only temporary relief to the flowers.  

This is a shot of a very strange flower.  Last year a couple of my Zinnas came up and never put on petals---just the center part you see here in pink and yellow.  I was so intrigued by them that I gathered seeds to see if they'd reproduce in a similar manner this year---they did.  Can anyone tell me if there's such a thing as a Zinna with no petals? It doesn't seem to mind the lack of rain like its sisters that have petals.


  1. Maybe you can put something that floats thats low so your little friends can climb aboard and wait for rescue.
    I have never seen a petal-less zinnas before. Pretty cool.

  2. So, does the lack of rain freak you out? Does it feel to you like it's getting drier every year? Is your area on "water restrictions" or can you water freely? We've had a pretty wet (and cold) winter and spring so far, but our temps are supposed to climb into the 90's for the next few days. Very sudden, too, so it'll be hard on my animals...

  3. Nice critter shots. :)

    Can't say that I've ever seen zinnas without petals. Definitely unique! And rather interesting.

    We have drought problems too. Got some rain in the spring and now it's dry again and the pond is going right back down.

  4. Sugar, We often find critters on the things the kids leave in the pool. I think the frog/toad instinct (I'm guessing) is just to find and edge and try to get out.

    Danni, yes the lack of rain is freaky. It gets to a point where you think it might never rain again. When it does, you feel like playing in it. As far as your animals--just provide lots of fresh water and fans if you have them. Maybe consider leaving the donks out for the night. They'll stay close to the barn, but still get any breeze that might blow through.

    RW, thanks for the kudos on the pics. The zinna thing has me headed over to Google to see if there is such a thing. Maybe I just got a couple stray seeds from another batch at the place where they put seeds in packets.