Sunday, July 27, 2008

Water garden photos & apocalyptic thunderstorms..whoo hoo!

After gushing about my new lotus, I had to run out and get some photos of it! This is the first flower it threw right after it moved into its new home. I love how it turned out...complete with little dragonfly. *grin* It had a couple more buds that have since come and gone, leaving their really cool seed pods. It seems healthy and happy still which is great and I couldn't be more pleased.

The pond is looking pretty good despite the murky water. I think I'm going to go back to the polyester batting again to remove the sentiment and junk that is suspended in the water. I have enough coverage with the water lettuce, lotus, and waterlilies that I can clear the water a little more. Until this week, it had been really windy and dry for the past several weeks and the regular gardens became drought stressed. But the water garden boosted my gardening ego with the consistent water lilies blooms.

At night, we have one bullfrog who goes nuts at night and sings all night long. I'm usually up late and I hear him chugging away out there. But even when I get up in the middle of the night for a drink or whatever, he's still out there booming his head off. I think I saw my serenader tonight when I took Lars outside. I would like to get some more tadpoles next spring now that I know they do hang out around the following year after they mature.

Like I mentioned earlier, it's been dry, hot and windy which doesn't mix with my sandy soil. So, the soaker hoses I laid all over the gardens have been working overtime. I am so glad I put them out this spring because it has made my life much easier. Our veggie garden hadn't been doing as well as I had thought it should have been....but I had been stingy with the water. When I finally figured out that it wasn't going to rain for a while, I started to water every couple of days and saw a big difference in the plants and the yields. We've been harvesting green squash, tomatoes, and beans. The lettuce, radishes, and peas have already gone by...but I'll be starting another crop for the fall. I miss having lettuce. I did pick up some heat tolerant lettuce a couple of weeks ago and maybe I'll try that this summer. Eric's got peaches and tons of hops coming which he uses in his home brewed beer.
But the news this week was those insane thunderstorms that have been coming through these past several days. They started on Wednesday and we've had rain Thursday and today. Wednesday storms were nothing short of incredible. I was home working and had been watching the Weather Channel in the office for Hurricane Dolly coverage (I'm a TOTAL weather geek.) When the severe thunderstorm warnings started to pop up I had gone upstairs with the boys since I didn't want to have all of my computer stuff on and if we lose power, I can't see to draft. When I came up, the sky was black with eerie green highlights...and that no exaggeration. Right before the storm hit, it got dark, like 8:30 at night dark at 4:30 pm. Then the winds started followed by torrents of rain, thunder and lightening. After that front edge of the storm blew over us and hit the bay...right across the bay from us, a waterspout grew and hit the bay. When it hit the land, it turned into a F1 tornado. That was all over the news down here. But, at that time, Eric was driving home around the path of the tornado! He said that he had never seen wind like that before even in his Coast Guard days...they were about 50 -60 knots and were spinning around 195 as he was driving. Thank god he had his big turf truck which was heavy enough to drive through that. But he got home okay which was the most important thing. Later that night, one of the weather nerds on local TV said that thunderstorm was the biggest cell he had seen in the 21 years forecasting weather here in Southern New England. All righty then!
Thursday, the heavy rains continued in the afternoon with thunder and lightening. By this point, the rain barrel I had emptied the week before was brimming with water. I had walked by a little cooler Eric had left on the deck with the top open and noticed it was almost 3/4 of the way full. I had to check the rain gauge over by the garage. Eric said it was empty before the storms...and Friday morning, it had 5.5 inches of water in it. That was excellent! We needed a good rain like that so badly. It rained heavily again off and on today and I'll check the rain gauge tomorrow morning again to check the amounts. So, we're good for a while for watering and I expect things to explode in the flower gardens and veggie gardens. The weather patterns look like we're supposed to get rain every couple of days for the next week....let's hope that sticks around for a while.

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