Surprises big and small
Friday, 02 Sep 11 Cloudy 37°C / 99°F
The past few days the temperature has dropped from 106-109 degrees to 99-101 giving a little relief. It’s pretty sad when 100 degrees feels like fall.
Last Sunday a small, dark cloud moved over us. I had an idea.
You call yourself a cloud? I bet you are too wimpy to even wet the ground!
Farmer Rick came out of the coop to see what the shouting was about. A few drops fell. I continued.
Yeah, you call that a 20% chance of rain? Twenty percent of what? A thimble?
It began to lightly rain. We looked at each other. Pretty soon we were both hurling insults to the sky and a downpour came. It was brief (as in a 5 minute shower) but fun. The worst drought on record can make you crazy like that.
You might notice the splint on my right arm. Thursday for no apparent reason my elbow developed a golf-ball sized knot. That night I rolled over to discover a strange arm in bed with us, and it was mine! Swollen from shoulder to fingers and numb it looked just like Popeye’s.
Farmer Rick dodged the roadway mugwumps of the night and drove me to the emergency room (1.5 hours away) where they ruled out a blood clot, admitted me to the hospital and called in an orthopedic surgeon.
The elbow is bursitis, but the rest of the swelling remains a mystery. It’s kind of like hitting your funny bone but having the pain and tingling remain. After a week the swelling is down and the splint has come off except while sleeping. The doctor suggested that decades of computer work has done this to me and that I should switch to using my non-dominant hand.
When I got home from a day and a half in the hospital, the Red Bird of Paradise (also known as Pride of Barbados), Caesalpinia pulcherrima, that I had planted a decade ago was blooming for the first time. I think it’s finally getting enough sun with the trees so leafless from the drought.
We are about to enter our 6th month of living without water! A ranching friend has kindly loaned us her old ranch truck and water tank so that we can haul our own water. It takes a pair of pliers and a swift kick to get the door open. We got it right before my arm problem, so I haven’t braved it yet.
Only a small fraction of the plants I started are still alive in the kiddie pools. It’s been survival of the fittest around here!
The three chicks that hatched in the last incubated batch while I was off chasing rain have all turned out to be pullets. The White Crested Black Poland is the only one so far that we’ve gotten out of one of our older hens, since we began breeding late in our chicken keeping.
She looks just like a mini-me of Ruzina, her mother, only she is quite vociferous unlike either of her parents. Her father is Chester. I’m still contemplating names for her and all of this season’s arrivals.
1. Red Bird of Paradise in bloom
2. Brief rain
3. Borrowed truck and water tank
4. Me with the talkative baby WCB Poland
5. Here she is next to her mother Ruzina
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