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Summer 2016


By Lori


From start to almost finish,this summer has fostered resignation. It started out cold and moist, then turned abruptly into a searing drought. Late June and early July saw day after day of sun and wind and heat in the high twenties…sometimes low thirties. Huge cumulus clouds sailed by us…taking all the moisture from our forest and lakes…elsewhere.

We started austerity measures in the last weeks of July… No water goes down the drain! I saved kitchen water and liquids in a pail by the sink, and every evening the plants in the door-yard got their ration. We watched the level of the stream diminish and kept an eye on our well also. We started having shallow baths instead of showers and (the worst part), we flushed the toilet only when absolutely necessary.

The situation was quickly becoming critical. Shrubs that I’d planted in full/part sun started to wilt and dry, the minnows in the stream were caught in puddles, the crispy field was alive with grasshoppers and the pond had become a muddy mess and the County Fire Service declared a complete ban on campfires and fireworks!

On some of the high ridges, bare of soil, the mighty oaks became stressed to the point of premature leaf fall. As a result we came to know another repercussion of lack of rain… tree failure!

Standing on my backdoor deck, I heard a crack and a crash near the forest edge, and looked up to see the top of a 50 ft. maple hanging broken but still suspended among the branches of other trees…

within the week, in the same area, an ash spontaneously fell.
In late July we had one short period of moisture less than 2mm. which promptly evapourated.. but finally…in Mid-August received some rain… not enough to replenish but enough to save some crops (and gardens). ( 30 mms.) During the past week the same pattern of heat and wind has returned and things are beginning to dry out again.
I’ve spent days and days, with my trusty chainsaw in hand, cutting up the trees.

The power company cut some trees on our property this summer also: ergo..lots of work. It’s been like a sauna most days so work had to be done in the early hours or after sunset. Since it pays to be alert and refreshed when working in the bush…that meant that late day work was spent doing other tasks.
As I may have mentioned before; I’m no spring chicken. I count all progress, no matter how little, to the good and some days I couldn’t do much… but part of the work that I planned for the stream area, pond and garden has begun.

More blog posts by Lori

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What a challenging and frustrating summer Lori. Its blowing again here too. I fear strong winds might become the norm here. You are wise to keep the chainsaw work in your energised times of the day. I can never do much in the afternoons. Morning is my energetic time. I can manage to cut the grass after lunch, but I dont do any planting or lifting etc. Today was too windy for working, so I sat in the Garden Pod and did Crochet work. :) the dogs will play quite happily if I am outside...they are just like two toddlers needing attention all the time!

26 Aug, 2016


All sounds very soul destroying on your land besides the general discomfort of struggling with hygiene.

26 Aug, 2016


Drought is such a challeng for you.
It makes me realise how lucky we are , on the whole, here.

26 Aug, 2016


Thanks for reading, everyone!... I went back to my spring blogs for a look-see and I found that it was dry even back in May! As I get older I find that it's easy to lose facts...only to find them again when checking for something else! Will have to do a follow-up to the "Lost is found" blog... because other plants have returned too.. (e.g.: Hibiscus), the grapes are fruiting, the delphiniums are re-blooming and the tiny corms of the acidanthera that I saved and planted in another bed are coming up...tiny little things. It's amazing what a set back like dryness can do to a border.

27 Aug, 2016


Lori it must be horrible to see this happening, but nature can throw some peculiar weather from time to time. I hope it all recovers soon for you.

17 Sep, 2016


Lori, you are so right about memory. Looking back at the blogs on my old karensusan63 account, I re-discovered that in 2012 we had the most awful summer...not drought of course, the opposite. It seems that year it rained from May to September. I had forgotten!

17 Sep, 2016


My Aunt Dot, (farmer's wife) kept a journal from year to year of everything on the farm... the hay yield, time and number of cuttings, helpers and hands, calvings, castrations, heifers, bulls, milk yield by cow, etc, etc..but the most important notation was the weather! I remember marvelling at her jotting records in a note book...and checking back a year or two to see if she could count it progress...or not! GoY is a kind of journal for I gave up on the notebooks once the computer came along!

18 Sep, 2016


Me too Lori!

18 Sep, 2016


I take my hat off to you Lori, I've really enjoyed reading your blogs over the years and cannot even contemplate living and coping with your life, it sounds very hard at times but obviously you like a challenge, to me it looks a dream place to be but thats so different than actually living the dream....

25 Sep, 2016


you do understand my situation, Lincslass! In times past I've questioned my sanity for taking this on; at other times it's like my dreams have come true! We came home from the city today to find a deer standing in the dry streambed. I think they're as perplexed as I am. This year has been one for the books! ;-)

25 Sep, 2016

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