Folsom and I had to suspend our morning walks for a couple of weeks during the most intense part of our move. Finally, everything is set up--just a few boxes left to unpack, framed pieces to hang. So this week, we started again working on trimming a few pounds off Folsom, and keeping me fit while my belly continues to grow.
The first day we set out in the afternoon--big mistake. About one mile in, Folsom starting cutting his eyes at me as if to say, "are you sure this is a good idea?" He was panting heavily. We turned around and headed home, stopping for a few moments to swim in the creek. He loved it: the cool current whooshed past him. I held tightly onto the leash but found myself looking around at the plants. Despite years of foot ruts (carved by humans, pets and wildife), native vegetation is beginning to return to restore the creek bank. Ironweed, Prairie Verbena, Indian Blanket and multiple species of grasses have been allowed to propagate. I was amazed to find vast swaths of Coralberry and evolving thickets of Eve's Necklace volunteering themselves in mostly sedimentary limestone mixed with a little blackland soil. Spring '08 will be magical along that creek. Mother Nature has finally been allowed to garden as she wishes.
Yesterday we took advantage of the relatively cooler morning temps. Fortunately, we completed our full 3-miler. I was delighted. We saw some nightshade plants and evening primroses. Folsom thinks all plants are for HIM to enjoy, in whatever manner he pleases. He tends to show his displeasure with annual bedding plants, like petunia, pansy and begonia -- I'll leave it up to your imagination how expresses himself.
This morning we left a little later in the morning. What a difference 30 minutes can make! It was H.O.T., but we survived the trek. I learned something new: the best music for this occasion is disco. Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" helped me pick up the pace as we rounded the last bend. Singing along to "Dancing Queen" took my mind off all the dripping sweat. And who knew Donna Summer could belt out "Hot Stuff" at the exact tempo at which I walk? I turned up the music and sang along. Folsom paid no attention to my off-key wailing. Construction workers along our route looked around for a sick cat--what else could make that horrific noise???
I didn't care, I needed to get through this walk and out of the heat ASAP. I glanced around for plants I hadn't seen previously. Nothing new, only 6-foot sunflowers trying to bend forward and away from the sun. Blistering heat -- strange, isn't it? I know, that's normal for this time of year. In a normal year, that is. Temps have been cooler and rainfall is much greater than normal; spring has persisted well into July. And suddenly, SUMMER. Protect yourselves by staying indoors as much as possible between 10am and 4pm. Stay hydrated and in shady areas.
Don't forget about your plants. Use fine-shredded hardwood mulch around the base of each plant (about 2-4 inches), and then deep-root water. This type of mulch will retain enough moisture to give your plants a drink, and will decompose readily to continue feeding the soil. Now *that's* organic!