Posted in Change, Climate Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Other than human, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Summer, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Woods


A few clouds at sunrise.

Mahmoud Darwish says:

As you prepare your breakfast — think of others
(don’t forget to feed the pigeons).
As you conduct your wars — think of others
(don’t forget those who want peace).
As you pay your water bill — think of others
(think of those who have only the clouds to drink from).
As you go home, your own home — think of others
(don’t forget those who live in tents).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(there are people who have no place to sleep).
As you liberate yourself with metaphors think of others
(those who have lost their right to speak).
And as you think of distant others — think of yourself
(and say, I wish I were a candle in the darkness).

A tiny crescent moon in a big sky.

I hadn’t meant to take a little break.  I was trying to get back on a somewhat regular writing and blogging schedule.  Instead, I’ve been busy this week witnessing.  We are officially in a drought.  The weather people say it is mild at this point.  The eastern side of the Eastern Shore, the part near the beaches, is in a moderate drought.  There are five levels of drought.  Mild and moderate are the least of the five.  There is, maybe, some consolation in that.

What drought is beginning to look like.

When I sit here and type I can see the large hydrangea outside of the office window.  The morning sunlight plays through it, back-lighting flowers and leaves and branches.  Over the past few weeks it has been wilting.  It is slowly, slowly shriveling in on itself, leaves that have fully drooped turning brown, dropping off.  The flowers, which normally go from white to pink in the fall (I can’t remember what variety of hydrangea this is), are also beginning to turn brown from the wide bottom to the top of their cone-shape.  None of the flower clusters have gone all brown yet.  Some are nearing it, with just an inch or so of white flowers at the top.

Loblolly, turning brown.

The loblolly pines, already stressed from saltwater inundation and pine bark beetles, are turning brown and dropping their needles.  Hardwood trees — oaks, maples, cherries, even the sweetgums — are droopy.  There are stages the trees go through during a drought.  Temporary wilting of the leaves.  Permanent wilting.  Yellowing leaves.  Leaf scorch.  Defoliating.  The bark cracks.  A lot of the trees are mostly green, in the temporary to permanent wilting stages.  Some are turning brown and losing their leaves.  Younger trees appear to be having more trouble than the older, more established, trees.  The exception would be the older trees that were already stressed in some way (lightning strikes, for instance).

A young loblolly giving up, at least for now.

I walked out to the scrounger’s garden (flower garden) yesterday to see what is happening out there.  The redbud, which grew bigger than any redbud I’ve seen before, is doing surprisingly well.  The young dogwoods look stressed and wilted.  The zinnias, normally a riot of color by this time of year, are sparse.  One flower here and there, leaves brown and drooping.  The cosmos have all died.  Even the weeds aren’t doing well with the exception of the centipede grass (that appears to thrive no matter what).

Redbud leaf in the morning light.

I think our last rainfall was last week (I’d have to check the date on the little video I made).  It poured hard for about two minutes.  It wasn’t measurable rain in terms of our rain gauge.  I suppose it was just enough to keep life hanging on.  The mornings have been dewy.  I suppose that might be helping, too.  It hasn’t done much to help the lawn.  The grass has turned brown in most spots.

Oak leaves browning.

I wonder how the deer are doing.  M and I have talked about putting out a trough for them to drink from, but we don’t own a trough and we’re not sure if it would be helpful at this stage or not.  They can drink from the creek and the pond, although the water is brackish.  I read somewhere that our water is becoming saltier.  If that’s the case, it could become a problem for the deer.

Finished for the season.

We’re not really talking about Covid anymore (because we are so over it, I’m told), but our health department still publishes the numbers once a week.  Our current positivity rate is around 18%.  Given that a lot of people are doing at-home testing (or not testing at all but calling it a cold or a bad allergy season), it makes me wonder about the true positivity rate.  M and I are still masking, avoiding crowds, etc.  We still don’t eat inside at restaurants.  We weren’t big on eating out anyhow so this has been no big loss except that it means having to explain to people that we’re still taking precautions when a lot are not.  I’m not judging.  I understand the need to get on with what is important to you in life.  It’s just that what is important to me is different and doesn’t include eating in restaurants or going to bars.

We might eat out sometime this coming week.  There’s a lovely restaurant up in Salisbury where we like to go for our anniversary (that happens to be today — we are celebrating our 46th) and they do have outdoor seating where the tables are not crowded together.  If not this week, sometime when the weather is decent.  There is no rain in the forecast for at least the next ten days but it will be hot.  Better to go when it cools off.

Drooping but still pretty.

That’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this hot and dry Saturday.  I won’t be able to meet you out at the Point for sunset but if you want to go, it’s scheduled for 7:42 PM.  M and I are thinking of going to the National Folk Festival.  It’s outdoors and easy enough to avoid crowds and wear a mask if needed.  It depends on how hot it is this evening.

Thank you for stopping by.  Be safe, be well, and just Be.

Clouds, no rain.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  2,081)  M, always and forever, and our 46 years together.  2,082)  Live music and the National Folk Festival.  Even if we don’t attend, we can listen via a local NPR station.  2,083)  Morning dew.  2,084)  The people at our local health department.  They work hard to keep us safe and informed.  2,085)  A slight chance of rain today.  It’s better than no chance of rain.  Do a little rain dance or say a little rain prayer for us, please.

Lots of interesting clouds.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

13 thoughts on “Drought

  1. So much of the world is suffering from drought. So far we’re okay here. But it’s been a very hot summer and the weeds were taking over our garden area. Finally, today is in the 70s, so I was able to get out and cut most of them down. In the process I found 3 pumpkins on the plant that appeared from nowhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Volunteer pumpkins! How wonderful, Carol. We have some kind of volunteer squash/melon/cucumber growing near the flower garden. It’s only just set some fruit on it so I still don’t know what it is. I might never know. It’s late in the season and it might not grow.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Drought and changes in the weather all over the world are concerning. They are a call to all of us to pay attention and take action when we can.
    I really liked your list – A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy. What a great way to refocus on appreciation of what we have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy 46th! Enjoy your festival, too. I’m with you on masking, it isn’t a hardship and I’d prefer to be safe than sorry. It isn’t ‘just a cold,’ it’s the flu that can have long-term effects that I’d just as soon not test. Hope you get some rain soon. We got 3/4″ yesterday and though it isn’t what we need, I’ll take whatever falls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 We finally got lucky with the rain and it looks like we have had enough for now. It tends to be dry here this time of year, anyhow, and we usually have tropical systems that bring in rain. It’s been a strange hurricane season, but we’re just a little past peak season.


  4. We were in a drought here, but it rained all day Thursday, at least up north where I am. However…..I know they’ve had much more rain up here than we’ve had at home and I think during all my rainy driving Thursday they said down there it was hot and dry. So odds are we’re still in drought there. I’m going home tomorrow so I guess I’ll be finding out. I hope you enjoyed the festival!


  5. Happy anniversary to you both! How wonderful. It is awful to see the effects of drought. We have been luckier here up in the Montreal area with regular rainfall so all is still green and vibrant. We don’t have quite the same heat as you, either (other than the heatwaves that happen 2-3 times per summer).
    Hope you do get to go out for your anniversary!


  6. Happy Anniversary, Robin! I can truly empathize with your wilted plant-life. Our poor Redbud’s leaves turned brown and shriveled weeks ago; my Zinnia and Brown-Eyed Susans are drooping something terrible; and the Japanese Beetles did a number on my roses and Weeping Cherry. Watering doesn’t seem to help much — perhaps city water isn’t as healing as rainwater? And I’ve even noticed some of the trees starting to turn colors, making me wonder if Fall will be saved or just too early this year. We need to get a handle on this before it’s too late!


  7. It has been relatively dry here too – but having lived here for 30 years I have seen the wet to normal to dry cycles a number of times. Sadly, our media only talks about what is happening now and it is always catastrophic! They don’t look at the historical perspective and they don’t clarify the levels of uncertainty of IPCC projections.
    Good on you for understanding your Covid ‘limits’ and good on everyone else who is willing to let everyone choose how they wish to live with Covid.


  8. Love the redbud leaf in the morning light. It’s so interesting seeing the effects of this drought in your area, Robin. So far our trees are staying green so they must be getting water from deeper down. But the farmer’s crops and the lawns are all dried up and brown. We’re in the same place as you with our covid precautions. All our company (so far just family) gets tested, too, before coming in the house. Our positivity rate is hovering around 11%.


  9. Droughts scare me in a visceral way. I’m sorry things are like they are where you live. People seem to be saying that Covid is over, YET each week someone I know personally comes down with it. I know people who live responsible lives, so it’s not like they’re flirting with it. This pandemic isn’t done with us yet.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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