Friday, May 13, 2011

rain and other stories

the cloud that brought the rain

After having storm cloud after storm cloud pass over us for months, we finally got rain yesterday. That may not sound like such a momentous occasion except for the fact that we haven't had any rain since January besides a sprinkle or two that didn't even get the concrete wet. It rained hard for about 45 minutes and then rained gently for hours. All the plants look very happy. Nourished. The birds are chirping loudly and on the ground this morning foraging for the bugs and worms. When I went out after the rain had stopped, I did not see a single puddle anywhere. The desiccated cracked ground soaked it up like a sponge. Instead of the hard dry surface, now the ground gives softly when trod on.

the sunset it left behind

I think I mentioned that one of the small hawks that patrol around here has built a nest in the very top of one of our pecan trees. I can only see it from one spot in the yard. Occasionally I see her sitting on the nest but I don't think she has eggs in it yet as most times I don't see her at all. Perhaps she is still building it. Those branches at the top of the tree are small and flexible and when the storm was blowing in, they were thrashing around like mad. She must have her nest jammed in there pretty good because it doesn't look like she lost a single stick.

My sister's catalpa tree is blooming. She planted this tree herself. This will be the last season she gets to see it though because she is selling her house and she has to be out by the end of June. Now that she is living alone, she doesn't feel comfortable being so far from town. Not to mention that the big house and two acres requires more maintenance than she wants to do by herself. She's got her eye on a place in town but they are still haggling over the price. In the meantime, I go over every evening and help her pack.

The corn in the fields has been green and healthy looking despite the drought. Our garden is doing pretty well too. Tomatoes, bell and banana peppers, zucchini, brussels sprouts (left over from the winter garden when they did not grow even half an inch), cucumbers, okra, pole beans. Still learning about this food gardening. Last year I planted bush beans. This year we planted pole beans because I got tired of having to bend over to pick the beans only, we planted too many beans around our single teepee of poles and our poles are way too tall. Now I'm going to need a ladder to pick the beans.

And finally, we've gotten some work in, two jobs, one on a fast track which, believe me, after months of no work, I don't mind at all. Job 1 is two shower enclosures for a vacation home and job 2 is two 5' x 5' windows and two door lites in a garden room. We'll be spending a lot of time in the city over the next several weeks.


  1. This is the first blog I have read in 48 hours. It's so exciting!


    I love your life, the way you conduct it. I love bird nests of all kinds. I can't believe they don't have opposable thumbs! Reading your post, I was wondering how big a hawk's nest would have to be. Large, I bet.

    I am SO HAPPY it rained. Thank god! I remember the first rains after a drought here a few years ago. I wanted to dance in the streets.

    Beautiful pics. Shabbat Shalom.

  2. I don't mean to laugh, but..uh heehee.

    Now you need a ladder. That is too funny. Sorry about that. :)

    Looks really good tho'.

    And congrats on the jobs! YAY!

  3. Good things come to those who wait. I always thought that was a crappy saying but glad the rain and the jobs came just when they were needed.

  4. Glad for your rain, Ellen. Forecasts say we will now have 5 days of rain - which will only exacerbate the flood conditions here. If it's not one thing, it's the other!

  5. What a beautiful sunset, well captured! Laughed at the thought of you teetering on ladder stretching for the best beans at the top! Third year lucky?!

  6. the ability birds have to construct nests astonishes me - from the very tiniest bits of string and ribbon, to the branches and mud they somehow haul into the trees and tie together - it's an incredible feat. parallels in the way we build our lives abound! steven

  7. Love your sketches for the glass - they'll be fabulous once they're done, I'm sure.

    So glad you got rain. I've been thirsty for weeks just thinking about rainless Texas.

    I think my dad had the same problem with his pole beans (I might even have a picture of him in amongst them - I'll go look), & this year he's planted bush beans. But I think he has them in a raised bed.

  8. congratulations on all fronts: the rain, the flourishing vegetable garden and the work.

  9. So glad that you got some rain! Your garden looks great! Beautiful sketches, too.

  10. That nest certainly look like it was well constructed, Ellen.

    Your weather, however, is very different from our wintry climes. We're two weeks away from the official start of winter and already we've had snow, sleet and hail!

  11. Beautiful photos! It's finally raining here also and it's wonderful! If it wasn't for the dang lightning, I'd be out playing in the rain. lol Congrats on the jobs too, thats awesome. :)

  12. I like the pictures. I always think it amazing how a drop of rain makes things look more lush and green.

  13. Good job on the garden! It must take a lot of work to produce produce. I envy those who have gardens each year--mostly I envy the end product, not the work. My excuse for not gardening any more is that the local deer eat anything I would want to eat. I compensate by going to the local road side stands and farmer's markets. Tomatoes fresh from the vine are hard to beat.

  14. WoooHooo! So happy you got some rain, I remember your last post about dried weeds and cracked soil and this sounds like a blessing.

    Wow, you have a hawk in your yard... that is amazing. Something I won't get to see in NYC, so the picture of the next made me homesick. So many nests on our yard in the Dominican Republic.

    Have fun packing with your sister and I hope you don't get too tired.

    The sketches of the new job look extremely cool. I can't wait to see the results. It is so nice to see how you make art happen.

  15. I'm happy for your rain. We have had it non-stop, however, and it is 45 degrees. I don't remember such erratic spring weather, even in Michigan where it changes a lot.

  16. So glad you finally got some rain! I know that feeling, coming from the dryest state in the country. Our average is only 7.5 inches per year. Your garden looks amazing. The leaves are just now coming out on the trees here. It's been a long winter.

  17. Glad you finally got the natural nourishment you Texas landscape so much needed. I wish I could long for rain, but we've been drenched in it
    ALL spring! I can count the number of sunny days we've had on one hand.
    Looks like you're going to be enjoying some nice salads this summer! :)


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