Radish Stew

A Central Texas Gardening Journal

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Out of the fryin' pan

Sunday, September 4, we were excited about the approaching break in the weather. The wind was out of the north! After the hottest 3 months on record, we needed some cool. The temperatures topped out about 90 all week, which is cool for us, but what a price! Fires surrounded us! Fueled by the strong winds, they burned out of control for days.

Only 4 miles to the east by the flight of the mockingbird, 23 homes were destroyed by fire. About 22 miles to the west, 67 structures were burnt. And 50 miles to the east, in Bastrop, almost 1,400 homes were lost to the blazes which destroyed 36,000 acres of beautiful Lost Pines forest. 

Next week, the temperatures will again climb to 100. Still no rain is predicted. But things will not be back to normal.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Small Accomplishments

During this very long, very hot, very dry summer, I have especially been aware of small accomplishments.

We added two very small pear trees to the garden months before the summer started. Both trees now have new growth! I call that a miraculous small accomplishment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Very Long Very Hot Very Dry Summer

Less than half of the garden is occupied by plants this summer, so we have lots of opportunity to work on the beds. As you can see from this picture, we can locate areas of white chalky limestone soil we call caliche. It is very dense and can be dug out in in chunks and layers. 

The other day, I was digging some caliche and out fell a fossil! It was embedded in the layers and had not been exposed to the air for many years. I looked in my Texas Fossils by William H. Matthews III and found that it is called a Texas Cretaceous Gastropod. It is actually an internal mold of the shell of an animal which was on the ocean floor during the age of dinosaurs.