Tuesday, August 09, 2011


We're trying to keep everything alive, but it's tough with just two watering days a week. Neighbors complain that low water pressure keeps them from running two sprinklers at once. We do run two twirlers during some of the permitted hours if we happen to wake up, but they both twirl very slowly. I suspect that a reason for the low pressure is all those who have irrigation systems and run them every night under cover of darkness and sometimes every day on "secret soak" setting. The aura of chlorine is ever in the air. We sometimes see two goldfinches at once, here for the wild sunflower seeds; we go for years without seeing one in the pleasure grounds. The Turk's caps, Bright Light cosmos, and pride of Barbados flowers attract many hummingbirds, which sometimes go into aerial combat in territorial disputes. We thought we saw one ruby-throated hummingbird, but otherwise they're all black-chinned hummingbirds. White-winged doves prospect on the ground every day and seem to be consuming the fennel seeds that drop into the street. Lantana flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and to honeybees, and the seeds provide some food for cardinals and mockingbirds. We know that the bluejays accounted for at least some of the figs, now all gone, but they were attractive to seed-eaters and to fruit-eaters of all kinds, winged and quadruped. A very large raccoon tried to open a screen door one night, and I've seen opossums, armadillos, and one gray fox, which actually barked. All creatures range far afield in search of sustenance. We keep at least three shallow containers of water and one deeper one filled at all times, so that the creatures may drink and bathe. Live oaks are dropping all their embryonic acorns, but pecans seem to be forming nuts, although smallish ones. There will be at least some loquat fruits. Yesterday, we found a clematis flower. That's a first for this time of year. We don't succeed in enjoying any tomatoes or peppers for ourselves; they go overnight. Very occasionally, we see a giant swallowtail butterfly; every day, now, there are one or two gulf fritillary butterflies. We find a very few anoles, tree lizards, and toads. This morning's big surprise was the sight of two sprouts of oxblood lilies. This is a sign that summer will end, sometime.


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