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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Watering and thinking

I watered again today. Not many birds to watch like I usually do while watering so I was thinking about how the oasis hasn't progressed since 2010, before the big freeze and big drought. My goal is to have a canopy of shade over about 90% of the oasis, except for over the tanks, flower garden, and cholla patch. Currently, I'm at about half that goal. So when the weather is really hot, the place isn't self-cooling enough.

The last couple of days have been cooler, but I don't expect growth until we get the summer monsoon rains. I barely squeaked by in 2012 and it's been less than 13 months since I got the rain that enabled me to stop buying and hauling water. Since then, it's been either too hot to grow, too cold to grow, or rationing water. Only after the last rain a couple of weeks ago did I finally dare to quit rationing water. And even that would be a disaster if summer rains don't come. I'm optimistic that we'll have a good rainy season this year.

Sleepy Orange butterfly

Besides the trees that died, many others are much regressed since 2010. That includes the huisache, soapberries, and mulberries. Speaking of mulberries, a small one that came up under the dead cottonwood is fruiting for the second time this year. It's a volunteer, so not sure what kind it is, but don't think it's the native Mountain Mulberry (morus microphylla), as the leaves seem too big. Anyway, I have two of the native ones and they're not fruiting again.

Some things are doing really good, like the apricot and peach trees made huge crops. And the oak trees are loaded with tiny acorns. It'll be so fun to see what birds come and enjoy them. I had scrub-jays last year even though there were very few acorns. I guess there were more here than there were other places though.

Chinkapin Oak
Live Oak

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