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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Scarier than a rattlesnake

Got to CMO early this morning to misty overcast skies. Figured I'd get some work done until the day brightened up. Looking off toward the Chisos, the sky was ominously dark all morning. By mid-afternoon a big wind came and cleared things up somewhat but I was too tired to go to the park, so decided to keep working and go tomorrow. Additionally, I figured it was too late in the day and might rain there anytime. People that have to schedule their trips to the park way in advance don't have a choice, but luckily I do.

My "work" was ridding my hummingbird garden of the mallow that has overtaken it. I also watered trees here and there. Around 4:30 PM I went to move a water hose and encountered a Diamond-backed Rattlesnake. It didn't coil or rattle, just moseyed on its way.

Back to pulling mallow and piling it into the wheelbarrow when suddenly my bronchial tubes closed. I've never had that type of sudden attack before. I kept forcing myself to cough with every little gasp I could muster, all the while hoping I'd make it to my inhaler at the house in time. Coughing helped, but the problem was getting enough air to make it happen. Really scary. By the time I got to the house I was able to breathe slightly better. From now on I'm keeping my inhaler in my pickup. I think I'd have been OK without it, but next time, maybe not. All I can think of is I inhaled some spores from the soil that came off the roots as I tossed them into the wheelbarrow, or a bunch of pollen from the mallow.

No sooner was I over that crisis and back to work, really tired, when the wind intensified and blew in a sudden cold rain storm. In the process, it toppled my one remaining dead cottonwood tree.

After the storm, while checking things, I discovered the ground was finally wet enough with the over half an inch of rain that the mallow would pull out without digging. Saves time and effort, so I forced myself to keep at it even though a light rain kept falling. I was soaking wet when I finally called it quits for the day around 7 PM. Hated to waste the daylight but in the morning I can finish pulling the mallow. Also there's some water in the upper dirt tank that I should pump out tomorrow. I'm still hopeful I can go to the park and look for butterflies in the afternoon, but that's probably unrealistic. There's always Monday after Kelly finishes banding hummers here.

I'm just piling the mallow up in big piles here and there, thinking it might be good for mulch somewhere, sometime, but I don't really like the piles of it laying around.

So, while I'm thrilled to have the rain, it doesn't mean, like, "Oh goody, now I don't have to water so I can go to the park and look for butterflies."

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