Monday, October 3, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again ...

An ex-Aster made it through the summer & is celebrating fall!
Summer's hellatious temperatures and fiendish humidity levels have finally given way to the kind of weather that makes living in south central Texas not merely bearable but a real pleasure.  Even the normally cranky HG has mellowed and has yet to remind me that we're liable to go back into the 90s at least once more before fall weather settles in for a stay on our corner of Katy.  She's so blissed out by the need for a light jacket in the early morning, when we sit in the garden for our first jolt of java, that she scares me a little.  She gets over it, though.
The white cardinal vine is not very mannerly but because it's host to hummingbirds and pollinators, I'm allowing it free run of the back fence.
While the temperatures have moderated, the drought is still a real and present danger.  While strong thunderstorms rolled through the greater Houston area Thursday evening, and Katy was drenched,  the rain apparently did little more than refresh foliage.  Over an inch of rain fell in the course of several hours, but only the mulch was moist in my gardens: the soil below remained dry.    Even more depressing was hearing predictions from a state climatologist that this drought could last until 2020.  To think of the devastation this year being repeated for another nine summers is heartbreaking. Even one more summer like that of 2011 could mean a vastly different landscape for much of Texas, and especially for Houston.  Houston has always been a city of trees: according to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, 660 million trees grace the eight-county area of and surrounding greater Houston. An estimate in that article puts losses at 10 percent. 66 million trees gone ... mind-boggling.

The Texas Olive (Cordia boissieri) is just starting to bloom.  Why haven't I grown you before?
Well, shoot, I didn't start this post with the intention to spread a message of gloom and doom - that's the HG's domain.  You'd think she'd clouted me in the head and taken over this post, much as certain garden fairies in Indiana are wont to do!  I wanted to celebrate the change in the weather, not continue my lamentations about how much awful I've had to suffer through.  I do occasionally feel the need to justify all the whinging I've inflicted upon my readers about the weather. More than that, though, I want those of y'all outside of Texas to understand the larger reality behind my  own petty complaints.  I also write to remind myself how fortunate I am that my own gardens continue to bring beauty and inspiration to me and to others. 
Amen and Damn Skippy!

9 comments:

mimi said...

Love reading your comments and seeing your special gifts unroll. Don't stop.
I'm happy for you. do you think we could make one of those pipeline things and send some water to Texas from soggy VT?

Patsy Bell Hobson said...

I love your asters. what did I miss? ex-aster?
Is this a dis? (dis aster, get it?)

HolleyGarden said...

I, too, am excited about the cooler weather here in Texas, and the return of the asters. If this drought continues through the winter and next summer, I fear we will have no more trees left. It has already changed our landscape. I wonder how much longer the trees can hold out. I was trying to plant a new tree yesterday, and realized that even though I've been watering, below 1", it was bone dry. Very sad.

StoBlogger said...

Thankfully, I lost only a couple of plants this year to the Summer From Hades, which I certainly hope doesn't continue for even one more season. Our local meteorologist in Dallas said it was the hottest summer on record to date.

Rose said...

Whine away all you want, Cindy! You have every right after the summer you've been through. I'm glad, though, that fall is bringing you much pleasanter weather. Pretty soon all of us up north will be whining about the cold and wishing we could have the pretty bloomers you have in Texas.

By the way, I just noticed while looking at our team roster during an Illini football game last week, that one of the players is from Katy, Texas. I got excited, thinking I know someone from Katy! He's only a freshman but already getting some press--Katy is going to be a household name for Illini fans:)

Commonweeder said...

What beautiful autumn flowers. I don't understand the 'ex-aster' business either. I'm going to have to do some research. We just got our first good frost here this am, but it didn't touch everything.

Pam/Digging said...

I bet we've lost more than 10 percent of our trees here in Austin because of the drought. It looks very brown and bare for this time of year. But yes, enough of the gloom and doom. Like you, I'm enjoying the cooler weather, grateful for the relenting Death Star.

Gail said...

I am glad cooler weather has made being outside enjoyable again. That's a lot of dying trees~I am hoping the predictions are wrong. xogail

LindaCTG said...

Your garden is looking mighty fine!! I love that Cordia. I keep looking for the right spot for it. I'll find one yet!