On Monday we left the farmhouse with seedlings of radish, arugula, kale and mustard all having emerged with their primary leaves. We returned to find them black from the frost.
|Arugula seedlings - the blackened ones frost-bitten|
|Formerly datura a sweet potato vines|
|Pot marigold looking hardy and healthy despite the extreme weather conditions|
|Wild grape with frost-killed black leaves but with new green growth|
|The ostrich ferns after a killing frost|
But in addition to the hard frost there has been a drought - no rain in weeks.The rhubarb, which is very cold hardy, had wilted as one would expect it to by the end of June when it was nearing the end of its season. And Railway Creek is as low as it ever gets at the end of a dry summer.
Today I have been dragging hoses around from vegetable bed to bed to water. But the problem with drought is that when you need to water plants and top up the pool, the creek is low and probably the water table too. We have never had our well go dry - yet. But many people have and it is not a situation you want to have to deal with.
|Railway Creek, reduced to a trickle, the water so low its banks are exposed|
My rational reaction is to think it is yet one more indication of climate change with its
accompanying erratic and unpredictable weather patterns. I have found the whole scenario to be scary and apocalyptic-feeling. I know on Victoria Days in the past, weather has been everything from snow to an occasion to cool off by swimming. But previously, whatever the conditions were, they were expected because of the preceding days' weather. It is the conjunction of frost and drought that feels so unpredictable and impossible to deal with.
Monday morning I woe to grey skies and a slow steady drizzle - the perfect kind of rain to gradually be absorbed into the parched earth. I just hope it lasts long enough to quench the thirst of the plants, the soil and replenish the creek and water table.