Hot Texas Summer Sun

Rocks glowing beneath
fire-breathing dragon hot
Texas summer sun.

The temperature for this area is predicted to reach 105 degrees (Fahrenheit) today, and I can already hear the hot sun hissing on the horizon. Luckily, last winter, we had Emilio Ramirez landscape our backyard with rocks and some different types of yuccas, agave,  and cactus (among other things). Rocks don’t wilt, and desert plants are able to tolerate  intense heat much better than grass. We also had Emilio install a 38 head drip system so we can give everything a cool drink when needed.  However, even with the drip system, I still need to use the hose every so oftenbecause trees and bushes require more water than agaves and yuccas. I often walk around my yard and stick my finger (or a screwdriver) into the ground to test the soil moisture, so I will know if I need to water again.  It might be a little bit easier to maintain than grass, but Xeriscape does not mean no maintenance!  


Of course, when we switched from grass to rocks, the ‘creatures’ that wanted to inhabit the backyard changed too. I never saw a scorpion in Virginia, but I have seen a few here.  Last week around midnight, I heard my Siamese cat talking rather loudly. She never talks like that unless she is communicating with ‘something’ of great interest. So I got out of bed, turned on the light, and saw that she was calmly escorting a scorpion across the tile floor. Oh no!  The scorpion was obviously annoyed, as it was waving its tail over its head while it walked beside her. Of course, I have no picture of the scorpion because I was too worried about saving my catso you will just have to believe me.  I did not get a photo of the black tarantula either. The spider was safely outside, but I was so stunned by its size that I didn’t even think of my camera.  Oh well. It seems that the only creature I managed to photograph this summer was a grasshopper at the Government Canyon State Natural Area a few miles away.  It was meditating like a Zen monk in a small sliver of shade, trying to keep a cool head on a hot afternoon. 
There are others who have no choice but to stand in the heat without water or shade.
Wildflowers along the roadside bow their heads and pray for cooling rain.
Not all will survive the fire-breathing dragon hot Texas summer sun!
Praying-for-Rain

 

About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Haiku, Nature, photography, Poetry, Summer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Hot Texas Summer Sun

  1. sarasinart says:

    Your yard is beautiful! Watch out for all those critters.

    • I am trying to be careful but….
      A few days ago, I was standing on the side of my yard with a hose–watering the grass.
      Suddenly the grass starting stinging my feet, so I looked down and saw that my feet were covered with a gazillion little ants–Fire Ants. When I reached down to brush them off of my feet, a lot of them jumped on my hand.
      Long story short, I must be a little bit allergic to their bite/sting–because a while later my hand was so swollen–I could not even bend my fingers. The scorpions and spiders need to come out of the rocks, walk up front into the grass, and start eating ants!

  2. Tarantulas, scorpions and critters, oh my! Lucky, maybe I should install a nursery for them as well. hee hee……. =)

    • The tarantulas and scorpions do eat bugs. Did you hear about the snake that fell out of the tree by the pool yesterday?
      It was trying to steal a baby squirrel out of the nest up there. Long story short…this upset mama squirrel, so she attacked the snake. She won the battle, of course. Never get on the wrong side of a mom.

  3. Love your garden. Over the years people in Australia have been doing the same thing – shifting to gardens of native plants. The perfect English lawn really makes no sense in a hot climate. As for tarantulas and scorpions – we learned about them while living in Mexico, but fortunately never saw any. We did see them in the Amazon. I tried not to think about the holes in the mesh that formed the walls of our room in the lodge there.
    Alison

    • During all of your travels, I imagine you have seen many creatures that I have never even heard of!
      I think it would be kind of hard to sleep if I knew there were holes in the walls (and that’s an understatement).

  4. jmgoyder says:

    Middle of winter here so cockroaches, mice and snakes try to invade the old house I live in. Not particularly poetic – ha!

    • Well…middle of the summer here..and we have only had 2 scorpions and a couple of spiders in this new house.
      No mice, cockroaches, or snakes, so I guess we are doing OK by comparison? Maybe. Maybe not.

  5. Don’t you just love the summer heat?

  6. Lisa Gordon says:

    Your gardens are beautiful, Mary! The heat must be difficult to take though. I hope you get a break soon. Have a wonderful week!

  7. Your garden is gorgeous. The drought is so bad in the Western Cape that I may just have to follow suit soon. That said our temperatures are nothing like yours. Sorry about the uninvited houseguests by the way 🙂

    • I certainly hope that you have had some rain in your area by now.
      We got 1 inch of rain about a week ago, when hurricane ‘Harvey’ passed to the east of San Antonio, Texas.
      Houston Texas (about 3 hours southeast of San Antonio), got 52 inches of rain from that same hurricane. Almost unbelievable. So much rain over a short period of time–caused major flooding there! Not good! People had to be evacuated and some lost everything that they had.

      • Gosh Mary it really is hard to fathom isn’t it, all that excess vs the opposite extreme? We have had a little rain but nowhere near enough and the Cape Town city council have just upped our water restrictions to Level 5 – i.e. a maximum of 20 000 litres of water per month per household for indoor use only. Hefty fines are planned for offenders. I connected two 950 litre rainwater tanks to my gutters to catch rainwater from the roof but once we enter the dry season (i.e. summer), that’s not going to last long. The bit of grass I still have has just started growing again only to die again in a few months. All very depressing 😦

        • It seems that the weather has been feast or famine this summer.
          And now the state of Florida is bracing for a Category 5 hurricane, and the people there are being told to evacuate–as strong winds and major flooding are expected.

  8. Pingback: Hot Texas Summer Sun — Before I Forget – Suman Ds Blog

  9. fantastic pix Mary, to think that one place is brittle dry another place in texas is getting pounded by Harvey!

    • Yes. Houston, Texas (about 3 hours away from here by car) got 52 inches from hurricane Harvey. Way too much rainwater in just a few days. It caused a lot of major damage. We only got 1 inch of rain from the hurricane.

  10. mytiturk says:

    Enjoyed your scary stories and the loose haiku style. Agree there are times for a camera (for me, almost always) and times for one’s undivided attention.

  11. I am a heat wimp! Getting about 75 I get cranky, 105 and I would melt. Not to mention a scorpion in the House wound NOT make me happy. Glad the cat is ok.

    • I am a cold wimp. If it gets below 70, I get cranky. I lived in Hawaii for 11 years and the average temperature was usually somewhere between 82 and 87 degrees. Heaven!
      The scorpion in the house though….that did NOT make me happy either. So we are in complete agreement on that!!

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