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Monday, July 26, 2010


My cherry trees are dying. It seems to have happened very quickly. Dead branches, brown leaves destined to fall on the burnt lawn. I've been searching the sky for rain clouds for weeks. When they show up they taunt me. Hovering above my head an angry grey cloud hovers. It grumbles. The wind whips up a wee bit. Then just like that it's gone without leaving a tear. Many neighborhoods around us get a heavy drink while we in Southwest Roanoke County don't even get a sip.

I think I may have waited too long to nourish the trees with hose water. I don't care about the flowers, the vegetables or the grass. I care about these trees. The first thing I noticed about this house was the four cherry trees.

Splendid - although to some they're grown too large and need to be scaled back. The constant arid days have replaced pruning shears. I would be devastated if I lost them. I was trying to conserve water, especially after my last water bill. I hadn't even been watering the yard. But now I have to.

After a couple of tries I finally found the best placement to get the most water out the lawn shower. As soon as the sparkling fountain hits the sunlight excited chirps bounce from the trees. The birds call to one another. They swoop from the browning branches and totter at the edge of the water, drinking and cooling off. When a puddle forms they splash and play. It's like a day at the beach for birds. The best part is they're not afraid of me. They sing to me. It sounds like "Thank You." Especially grateful are the wrens, sparrows, cardinals and black capped somethings. Sometimes they yodel "Fill the bird feeder!" -- especially the chickadees who perch inches from my face in the backyard dogwood, flying to and fro from the feeder. Ok, ok, I get it.

This heat has been hard on all the living creatures. Even kids. Especially ones who don't have a pool to cool off in. A rain puddle is just as good though. It's like swimming in the concrete without getting your makeup ruined. We haven't seen many puddles lately. The other day I drove through a monsoon in the Raleigh Court area. After the girls had ice cream they found their swimming hole. My daughter captured her friend cannonballing into it...


We need more splashes...


  1. We really do need some rain. Here's hoping.

  2. I'm so sorry about your trees!! But I'll remain hopefuly for them. Glad your gal found a puddle to splash in.
    There is that fountain downtown, on your right when you get off the main downtown exit (before Elm, after Orange). One hot Summer a friend and I went running through it for a bit. It was bliss.

  3. Carrie, in Brooklyn we used to open up the fire hydrants and run through them. Once the Fire Dept. came and shut us down we'd head to the parks and run through the sprinklers. We'd always find a way to cool off. Good times...good times.

  4. Sorry to hear about your trees.

    Several years ago, we intentially planted bushes and plants that need little care and some of them have perished after this year's hot and dry summer.

  5. It rained here (I'm in Southwest County too) for about 1 minute this morning! I thought I was off the hook on watering but that trickle did nothing but moisten the tops of the flowers. My water bill was high last month too. I think I'm going to get my drum out-the new one I bought in Ireland-and do a rain dance! Hope your gorgeous trees make it.