Nevertheless, I'm plugging away. For the second consecutive year now, a group of 15-20 bird banders will be visiting (Aug. 26), and I have lots I want to get done before then. Luckily, I arranged the seating in the house (for our luncheon) before I got sick.
Now, besides hauling water and trying to water my oasis, I'm ever so slowly trying to clean out my central water feature. I habitually put potted water plants in it, then they escape their pots and take over, leaving no room for water, or for viewing birds at the water. I've removed the water lilies and have to chop out the horsetails in the foreground. I'll leave those in the back part. Grueling work. In a normal year this is all pretty shaded and hidden by vegetation, so the growth in the water is too much.
I'm determined to end up with a better oasis after this drought is over than I had before, though it may take a year or two. Before, during rainy times, it was pretty much a mass of greenery, often snake infested. Now I hope to continue in the direction I originally envisioned, that of a lush green canopy with a sprinkling of understory and wildflowers. I had let native grasses overtake the ground beneath. I hope to prevent that from now on, and use more mulch instead. The most native stuff should survive so there will be more of that in the future.
I plan to prune up this cottonwood, if it survives, making room beneath it for the volunteer mulberry to thrive. That means cutting off the huge lower left limb. The tree looks bad right now and may well succumb to the drought. Currently, that lower left limb is the only one with leaves left on it.
Also going to cut out all the dead willows. And continue creating the hummingbird flower garden I started working on a year or so ago. With a few good rains, it should get lovely. More on that in future posts.
This sprawling huisache tree is going to get severely pruned to make it more upright and allow the small live oak under it to thrive. Many projects like that are in the plans. As I and my trees wait for rain.