Saturday, August 04, 2007
The Desert of Maryland
It's not a fit day out for man nor beast so the beasts and I are hanging around in the air-conditioned house today. Hazy, hot and humid - the three words that best describe Maryland in the summer - weather has been entrenched here for a few days and shows no sign of leaving in the near future. Add dry to that description and you've got a more accurate picture. But dry doesn't really do it justice. Crispy, burnt, crunchy, those words describe our lawn. It's not grass anymore, it's straw. We are in a drought here in western Maryland, a pretty severe drought.
There's a mountain in the background but you can't see it because of the haze. Three years ago our landscaper planted sunset maples along our driveway, ten on each side. We've been in a drought ever since. Rainfall totals have been far below normal each year so we have been force to water the maples during the summer both to protect our investment and to keep the poor things alive. We've only lost one thanks to Doug's dedication and determination. But it's a lot of work to water them as they should be watered and two of them are showing signs of stress. Leaves are falling here at Idle Hour Farm and it's not fall yet. It makes us both very sad. The haze, the white sky seems so oppressive to me. Don't even like to look out the window and I hate to take photos in this white, sickening glare.
This is a tree in distress. It hurts me to look at it but I drive past it each time I leave and return to the house. Doug keeps pouring the water on them but the sun bakes it out of the ground before it can benefit the thirsty roots. Even watering at night doesn't seem to help.
We've begun to refer to this area as the Desert of Maryland although the whole state is hurting for rain. The weather patterns in this small area seem to have changed in the last ten years. We don't get enough snow or rain anymore. It all goes around us or breaks up before is gets to us. A few more years of this and the local vegetation will make a shift to plants that can stand the arid conditions.
I want to move to Maine.