Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday was nasty hot...

...and I was too because I could not talk myself out of driving to Kansas.

The creek was kind of low (it's been low for weeks, despite that predicted Missouri River flood for the past month or so). I made Bo take a swim in the water because it was already nearing 100 degrees.

This waterhole was a little deeper than usual because I've never seen Bo that submerged before.

Bo kept walking in circles in the deep water, with his mouth open...

...and I kept laughing because it was such an economic way of cooling off...interior and exterior at the same time. I don't think Bo appreciated the laughter but it was pretty darn cute.

Above this little waterhole is a small waterfall of sorts. It's just a couple feet up but enough to make the minnows nervous about going over the edge. I watched a little bullfrog cool off and get some sun at the same time.

Usually these guys make a MEEP! and dive into the water before I can see them but like I said, it was another hot day and he had found the perfect spot to spend some time and he was not going to give it up.

In the area above him, just behind "the waterfall," there was just an inch or two of water and swimming in it was a large collection of minnows. They would catch sight of me and try to hide under any rock edge but the baby crayfish, who called those areas "home," would come out from under their rocks and sweep the minnows away from their "front porches." This bullfrog tadpole stayed put despite all the confusion around him about who could go where.

I felt bad about those minnows because eventually they'll have to figure out a way to navigate that waterfall to get to deeper water...or wait for it to rain again which won't happen for a while. They'll figure out something though because I'm sure this kind of thing happens all the time.

Last Wednesday there was a big and wonderful thunderstorm which must have been dramatic when the water rushed through the creek because some 15 foot tree limbs I had cut and left by the water's edge (because they were too heavy to haul at the time), had been carried down the creek flattening everything in the way.

I had planted some pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) a couple weeks before knowing that it is a plant that loves ponds and pond edges but not rapidly moving water (which happens after a big rain). Sure enough, it was completely flattened and stubbornly horizontal. I'm not sure if the entire plant, roots and all, got pushed over or if it's something that will correct itself in the next few weeks...I'm just going to let it sit there for a while and maybe move it to a more stable area this fall. It's just that a big mass of pickerel weed would look so pretty in that spot (!!!!!). I thought the blue flag iris would be pretty in that area too but there was so much stream debris over them...well, maybe next year they'll be pretty. I research, I preplan, and for whatever reason, decide to go forward with something I know will not work. I guess I like to gamble with gardening's unpredictability and you know how that goes, results are surprisingly......predictable.

Here's the pickerel weed in happier times (uh, just last week)...

Further up the creek I had planted some water arrow (Sagittaria latifolia) and it seemed to have been better protected since it had that large rock to shield it from the rapidly moving water.

There also seems to be a lot of sediment from that last deluge. I know the creek is low but I don't remember seeing sandbars before...

The theme of the day seemed to be water. The reason I had traveled out in this horrible heat was so that I could water the plants I put in the week before.

Sometimes I get so amused with myself because of what I set out to do and what I end up doing instead. I have been studying up on native plants for this area and my goal is to plant primarily Kansas and Missouri native plants. And what is the first group of plants I put in? Daylilies. They were too good a deal to pass up. Daylilies originate from eastern Asia (!!!!) and the ones I purchased are a cultivar named "Kokomo Sunset." The foliage is short, which I like, and supposedly they're a rebloomer. Another plant I put in was a hosta...another plant originating from Asia (!!!!)...but hostas are so darn pretty (!!!!!!!!!). I did put in two natives though. A white echinacea ("White Swan") and some white liatris, both cultivars (not the original species). And with all of this, everything was planted in a grid. When I was done getting everything in, I just had to laugh over the evenly spaced mix of plants that were half non-native and the other half a cultivated variety. How did that happen?

Well, I suppose it's because I know you can set out with a focused intention but life is all about compromise and things are going to predictably change along the way. I'm gardening with dogs now. If you space plants 24 inches apart, 24 inch wide dogs can do some scratching and not do much damage to the plants around them.

And the daylilies? They keep going even when dogs use them frequently as mattresses.

I just hope these plants don't figure out that I also planted them in an area that is shady when everything there (except for the hosta) needs full sun.



Pix at Under the Oaks said...

The creek looks wonderful! Is that Aussie? I love the bed with the hostas and all pretty with mulch. It looks like you are already living there. I can feel your happiness in these pictures at being there on that Land in Kansas and sharing the day with the pups! You are a brave woman. I watered quickly yesterday and came back into the a/c. If this heat doesn't break soon I am going to cry. I feel like we have had no time outside Under the Oaks since winter. I want this nasty weather system that has been hanging around MissouREE since last summer to go away and a new fresh air one to move in dang it! Rant over. I enjoyed this post Maria.

Maria said...

Pix. I just love it out there. LOVE it. Even if it's 102 degrees out there, that doesn't stop me, it just slows me down.

Thanks for taking the day to read that post. Once I started I just kept going and going and going. It's so long, when I reread it, I kind of nod off before I get to the end. Had to get it out though. I took the day off from work yesterday and didn't go anywhere (surprisingly) and just sat at the computer and wrote and drank coffee. It was the best.

Maria said...

Of course that's Aussie. :-) I think she's just a bit damp from being in the creek. And she was very, very hot because of the 100 plus degrees it was out there...even in the shade. That's probably why she doesn't look like herself. That heat. You should have seen ME! Good thing dogs don't care or remember that kind of thing. :-p