September 15, 2011

Rain Delay

In New Mexico, we have five seasons. Winter, spring, fire, monsoon, and autumn. I live in the mountains at 7300ft altitute, so we actually get a reasonable amount of snow during the winter. In spring, we get very little precipitation for months. Everything dries out. This is fire season, when wildfires are common. This past year, we got so little snow things dried out even more and earlier than usual. There were no fewer than eight wildfires state-wide at one time being tracked by the media, and who knows how many smaller ones.

And then, sometime in July, the skies open up. We get rain nearly every afternoon. Sometimes for only a few minutes, sometimes for half a day. During August, the forecast is 85 degrees with a 30-40% chance of rain. Every day. You can imagine the moisture roller coaster plants around here put up with. This is why it is very important to me to plant only native plants if at all possible. They can already deal with it.

This is where we are now. While the thunderstorms are more common in the afternoon, it does occasionally rain in the morning or during the night. Last week was a great week for working outside. It is starting to get cooler, 60s and 70s. With two small kids, I can only do yardwork while the older is in preschool and the younger is napping, which limits me to an hour and a half three times a week. (Yes, I tried letting my preschooler "help," but with the stone wall I'm working on it is way too risky for broken ankles. She does like to help in the vegetable garden, though.) Nevertheless, I managed to finish that first wall in a week. I really, really wanted to have the second one done this week, but it has been raining the last three mornings in a row. This is great for the plants and all, but not so much for digging in the dirt and lugging rocks around. However, it will be good to see if the first wall will hold up to the water, especially where I back-filled it.

My plan is to get these last two walls in place before winter sets in, or it gets too cold to work outside.

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