A little more than a year ago (August 18, 2017) I began this chronicle type of blogging to keep track of the purpose, processes, and progress towards changing our property from a manipulated and manicured piece of land back to its more natural state. If you have kept up with my entries, you will recall that Regina and I have decided to slowly allow our little piece of the Earth to become what it wants to be.
The progress has been slow, and I realize my entries may have been even slower, but now I would like to catch up a bit, and share some of the changes that have happened, as well as some of the failures.
As you might imagine, Mother Nature, and especially the rain she provides, has a profound influence on the amount of progress. Since my last post at the end of March, we have had some rainy times and some dry times. In April and May, which should be some of our best rain months, we had only two and three quarter inches of rain total. June, by itself, gave us more than the two previous months combined, with three and a half inches.
Then came July. Boy, did we suffer during July. It was seasonably hot, with temperatures hovering around 100 for a lot of the month, and only three eighths of an inch of rain, and that was a generous reading of the rain gauge. Sometimes you want to see more rain in the gauge, so you just fudge a little.
August, so far, has been a pleasant surprise. During one eight day period around the middle of the month, we actually had seven and one half inches of rain. I know, that is hard to believe, but it was a very welcome relief, and the plants showed their appreciation as well.
I do think that our lack of rain during April and May hampered the growth of the wild flowers we tried to seed. There were also a couple of windy days before the rain when a lot of the seed was probably blown away. We need to plan this better next Spring.
The plot in front of our house has done very well. Of course, that area is watered. As you can see in the photo, the Sun Flowers have grown tremendously tall and dense. Somewhere in there are the two Plum Trees that we planted. I am afraid the Sun Flowers have stunted their growth a little, but they do look healthy. That area also had a lot of wild flowers, which have already been through their cycle of blooming. The Peach trees did themselves proud again this year. I think we need to be a little more aggressive in our bud-thinning on the those trees next year.
Our experimental pasture has really become quite a field of natural beauty, and the trees we planted out there seem very healthy and happy. Even the Northwest pasture has grown a lot, since we have not had any animals grazing it this Summer. We continue to water the new trees in the experimental pasture on a regular basis.
Since we have stopped the weed eating around the ponds, the dragonfly population has grown exponentially. This morning, Regina went out to get some photos, and I went along to get some shots of her doing her thing. They are really fun to watch.
Incidentally, we have applied for certification from Texan by Nature, a conservation organization dedicated to developing projects just like ours. This is an organization which is endorsed by Laura Bush. I will let you know soon about our progress with this certification.
Meanwhile, just remember, none of us is responsible for fixing the entire environmental situation, all we can do is take care of the little bit we own, and encourage others to do the same.