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Water, water everywhere....


Have seen pictures of the painted desert in Arizona/New Mexico and although it has it’s unique flora and fauna, it is missing the sound of water. The cool breezes of a lakeside…and the sweet refreshment of diving into Lake Muskoka are in my blood, figuratively speaking. Born and raised near water I can’t conceive of living anywhere that is not so blessed.

Someday I hope to experience the desert but not in the middle of summer.
Since water is so important to our gardens in the summer heat it seemed appropriate that I should write a little bit about the streams and lakes, and our little stream in particular.
The little stream that runs down our hill has dried up…the tiny lake that feeds it is very low. (That’s not the amen, folks.)
We’ve had a beastly summer so far…hot, humid and windy, with large storm clouds flying by to points unknown..while we, here, are dry.
But true to the weather maxim most used around here, “if you don’t like the weather…wait five minutes”, the rain came down in the middle of the night and it’s been overcast all morning with gentle showers. This is just what we need…but MoRE. Five days of this would be perfect.
The watertable has dropped..and last time we drove past the lilypond near Vennachar it was noticeably low. Here in the hills there are “pocket” swamps, which hold the water. It’s very rocky and there are hillside springs. It’s hard to see it so dry where water is usually so abundant.

Many plants cannot tolerate being dry and only flourish where water is nearby. Along the stream there are sedges, cattails (bullrushes), Joe Pye Weed, Lythrum, False vervain, pussywillows, wild mint, catnip, Arrowleaf, goldenrod, sorrel, Virgin’s Bower and jewelweed. I have added Blue Flag, three varieties of Ligularia, Spearmint, calla lilies, castor bean, an Eleagnus and a white cedar.

These pics contrast the pond in very early spring, high summer and early winter.

There are song birds aplenty , especially finches and buntings, who dine on the seeds of the few tall thistles that escaped my notice and the tall seed heads of the grasses that would choke the stream Squirrels and chipmunks cache nuts from the walnut and burrow in the stream banks, and moulting bluejays roost and squawk in the high branches of the fir trees above.

Nature is lovely but it can be a distraction. There is the earthwork that needs to be done.
It’s hard work. There are numerous buried rocks to make into retaining walls to terrace the gentle slope of the stream valley to stop the loss of topsoil every spring.
Have told my hub that I need a Kubota …he’s not listening. Even my argument about old age is falling on deaf ears. And to add to my woes the spark plug wire on my lawnmower is toast…and I have to replace the coil and all …no such thing as just putting in the one’s all of a package now. Bah! Humbug. The grass is nearing hip height. X-(
All that I have accomplished so far, was done by spadework and it looks like there will be no change in the foreseeable future. Had better stop grousing and get to work, right? Yeah, I hear you.

Beneath the Joe Pye and grasses little black shadows of minnows..and the ripple of a frog escaping, tell me that they can sense my presence by the vibrations of my footfalls before I’m near enough to see them. They are equipped to survive but the hawk attacks from above, quiet and unseen until it’s too late.

When the snow flies the stream bed is deep enough in spots, and the current strong enough, that it doesnt completely freeze and the gurgle under the ice is only absent during extremely cold periods in the depths of winter.
Everything else sits in suspension…waiting for spring.

More blog posts by lorilyn57

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What a fasinating blog. It seems it's not just the UK which suffers from the strange weather. Your photos are wonderful, very evocative.

5 Aug, 2012


Very interest blog Lori

5 Aug, 2012


Such an interesting blog.

5 Aug, 2012


Thanks for that Lori, very interesting, it all seems a bit bleak out there, but lovely.

5 Aug, 2012


I love to see your space . its amazing Lori. the seasons always amaze me..i love the ''if you dont like the weather saying i will be using that very soon. i always say our weather is whats a kubota? ok i just googled it....I WANT ONE TOOO...that would be heaven gardening with ne of those...

6 Aug, 2012


I love the names of the wild plants you mention Lori. Sorry to hear your weather is still not wet enough to keep your little stream running well. I always think of Canada as lots of water. Lakes and busy streams and rivers. Marvellous scenery and wilderness. I seem to remember somewhere in North America a few years ago a man driving along a backwoods road thought he saw the forest moving alongside him. It was sliding along on water over clay. Somehow he survived and even got pictures of it moving pretty fast......veeeery scary.

6 Aug, 2012


your in a heatwave and we are having none stop rain through summer and storms, apparently its summer this comming weekend for us and will probably be over the top heat, never a happy medium is it Lori :o))

6 Aug, 2012


Wonderful blog Lori thanks so much for sharing it is so nice to see how it is in other countries (What is a Kubota?? must go google it ) stunning pics love the contrasts of the seasons :o)))

7 Aug, 2012


Just googled Kubota I'm not surprised that you would like one lol ...might make a nice stocking filler ????......just a thought you could leave a few brochures lying around for OH to read while he has a coffee.......... you never know what might happen once the seed is planted !!!!!!!!!! lol

7 Aug, 2012


Thanks for all the comments, fellow GoYers!
Sandra: I love the "hormonal weather"...I might use that too! so it's a fair exchange. Niverdeen had some helpful hints on It is a good idea, Niverdeen, but I'm afraid hub and I are old retired folks...If I need heavy work done I shall have to hire someone. A Kubota is such a nice dream though...but it shall remain a dream as the model I would most like is a SVL725 which will lift 10K..and costs a shade under
Just imagine how fast you could move compost with that! and turn the piles too!
Dorjac: I seem to remember some very strange earth movements in the prov. of Quebec some time ago..but just can't be sure that's what you're referring sounds something like the flooding we had a while back. still looking.
Hope you have lots of sun and heat this month, San, so you can have some quality time sitting outdoors enjoying the pond, etc. I know all the UK gardeners have been waiting and hoping.

7 Aug, 2012


Sorry Lori, I had missed this one, caught up now though, as you probably already know we never did get a summer, an odd day, here and there, autumn has been lovely as regards the colours though so not all bad, we can`t beat ole mother nature.
Lovely blog Lori...

12 Nov, 2012


Aww...thanks Lincslass...there's always hope for next spring and summer. We had a lovely autumn too..and near the end of it we have made up for the lack of rain this summer. Yesterday and today have been balmy warm..tomorrow, they tell us, will not be like today! Minus 7 as the high. brrrr.... novembbbbrrrrrr....

12 Nov, 2012

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