Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer, still

It feels like summer will never end. Here it is, mid-late September, and we are still suffering 105-110 degree weather every day. I am weary. 

I know I have nothing to complain about, but I feel the frustration inside my skin. We are all just tired of hot hot days. The white flies have taken over the grapes, so tomorrow I will cut the vines back to stumps. The tomato plants have all died, taking some of their fruit with them. Anything with flowers has been deflowered; wilted and dehydrated.

The raised flower bed needs to be torn down; all the dirt needs to be removed so the south containing wall can be rebuilt. But it is just too hot to care yet. And it is too soon to plant anything in it, anyway.

But early this morning, we heard lovebirds in the backyard tree.

And a praying mantis had settled on the dogs' tennis ball. 

And E. asked me if we will have fresh tomatoes soon. And any chance we could have pumpkins? Or will we just plant basil, thyme and more rosemary? This question threw me - E. is the guy who's dream house would be a 10,000 square foot garage. He'd have his '70 Cuda, his '69 Roadrunner, his '73 Camaro, and both of his muscle Novas parked in there. He'd be happy with a sleeping cot in the corner. He'd have a TV hanging from a wall - all the better to watch "Destroyed in Seconds" and "Myth Busters". 

But a garden? 

So, I am anxious to rebuild our garden bed. I'm anxious to plant winter crops, to put in the winter grass for the dogs, and to start planning for a living Christmas tree that we can plant in front of the house.

And I think of this poem:
by Andrew Hudgins

My wife is not afraid of dirt.
She spends each morning gardening,
stooped over, watering, pulling weeds,
removing insects from her plants
and pinching them until they burst.
She won't grow marigolds or hollyhocks,
just onions, eggplants, peppers, peas –
things we can eat. And while she sweats
I'm working on my poetry and flute.
Then growing tired of all that art,
I've strolled out to the garden plot
and seen her pull a tomato from the vine
and bite into the unwashed fruit
like a soft, hot apple in her hand.
The juice streams down her dirty chin
and tiny seeds stick to her lips.
Her eye is clear, her body full of light,
and when, at night, I hold her close,
she smells of mint and lemon balm.

12 comments:

Sandra said...

so whats winter like in AZ? warm all year? does it get cold? i thought you would be like us in Florida, no seasons and things that grow all year round
are you sure you don't have my husbands clone for your hubby?
bob would love eveyrthing you names, just add the 42 plus radio control airplanes that live in our hanagar(garage). i would like to live in a hotel room on a beach with room service and maid service, that is my kind of home.

rohrerbot said...

Whoa!!!! You have lovebirds flying around your neck of the woods wild? That would be really cool to see:)

Susan B. said...

I am so with you on wanting the heat to be over. Record temp this late in the year ... enough already. I hope the weather predictors are right and our temps will be down to NORMAL by Wednesday.

Gail said...

Sometimes husbands can surprise you!

The heat has beaten us without mercy this summer...a whole month without measurable rain. If not for the creek, our would have died quickly.

We are having cooler nights but 90's in the day. It is such a relief from triple digits, I'll not complain.

Yes, I will, my summer has gone by too fast and too hot to enjoy it.

Pat MacKenzie said...

What a lovely poem. We were in Surprise, AZ the last two weeks of August and found it almost unbearably hot. I wouldn't mind being back there now - we've had frost the past three mornings and a skiff of snow already. The only winter crops we'll be planting are sticks in the snow so we can see where our walk is so we know where to shovel. Looking forward to a trip to our place in AZ again in Nov.

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

It's so nice and cool here! I'm loving it. all the gardens are beginning to look as you describe yours, though.

Let me know when the weather is bearable, I'll head west then!

Love that poem!

Barb said...

Lucky you to have a "winter garden" and now a husband interested in what might grow there. Perhaps your Lovebirds were an omen...

altadenahiker said...

Gosh, I feel for you, because it could just as easily have been us. That unrelenting heat, the triple digits, make it so hard to think.

But you have lovebirds. I thought of you when I saw my first heron of the year (maybe two years).

Pat Tillett said...

We're going to be in Sedona on Friday, I'm hoping for some milder weather...
I like the image of a garage like that!

BANJO52 said...

The praying mantis photo is great!

Is that lovebird a parrot? In Florida, I learned that their green parrots are not native and are the result of caged birds escaping and finding each other. Now they're all over the place. Is that a love story?

If I showed up in E's fantasy garage, would he show me how to wait more patiently for AAA?

My sympathies for your temps. I would not be pleasant to live with in that, even without planting to do.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Oooh, for all coming out this way... WAIT! Still hot.
Sandra, we actually have seasons. We get heavy frost, and then extreme hot. But both times, people say "It is a dry heat/cold..."

Rohrebot and Banjo - it is quite a treat to find these lovebirds. I found a website that tracks Arizona lovebirds, so I added our spot to the census. Even though they are native to Africa, some have ended up in Arizona!

And the garage scenario? I guess I forgot to add the needed popcorn popper, the Coke machine, the Ms. Pacman video game, and the required stereo system. And a dog or two, of course; and a wife is allowed, too!

Thanks, all, for reading and commenting. I hope for more photos of lovebirds soon!

Tracy said...

I hear ya, Brenda. I am ready for some cool weather, and getting anxious to get out and put my fingers in the dirt again.