Saturday, June 27, 2009

Weekend garden -- and weather -- blogging

Those four extra inches of rain have helped.

"Extra" rain. That's a strange term. The high prairie uses all the rain it can get. If it comes too fast, dry creek bottoms swell with flash floods and ponds rise at Cheyenne street intersections. But, in semi-arid Wyoming, gardeners like me welcome the rain.

When my daughter Annie and I ducked into Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, a bank of black clouds shoved in from the West. We'd already had one storm around noon -- a steady rain punctuated by thunder. That gave way to sun -- for awhile.

I was in the cereal aisle when the big rain began to hammer the Wal-Mart roof. I has visions of hail, so scurried to the store entrance. No hail, but a veil of rain, drops big as silver dollars. I'd spent half the month of June covering my plants in advance of hail. We've had many warnings but few actual tomato-shredding storms. The plants are far enough along that even a short burst of hail stones would be fatal to broccoli and bush beans and Early Girl.

Many of us gathered at the store entrance to watch others run through the rain. Wyomingites may own umbrellas, but they never know where they are. This was an umbrella day if I ever saw one, but I only saw two people slogging through the parking lot carrying one over their heads. I realized that mine was in the car trunk. At least I knew where it was.

The rain kept coming. I returned to shopping chores, but slowed my pace. What's the hurry? Annie prowled the store searching for make-up and CDs and various other goods. I lingered over the olive oil, noting the many fine selections at reasonable prices. On the main grocery aisle, next to the display for chips and dip, I ran into a colleague named Brenda. She had two canvas bags filled with goods. A much greener shopper than me, I'm afraid, as my stuff was going to occupy a ton of plastic bags. Brenda was taking another spin of Wal-Mart to avoid getting drenched on her way to the car. No umbrella for her either.

We chatted about as rain battered the high ceilings. Summer plans. Trouble with teens. Work hassles. Gardening tips. We then went our separate ways, circling the store with hordes of umbrella-less shoppers. I wondered what it would be like to live in Wal-Mart, as did the main character in "Matters of the Heart" (Natalie Portman in the movie). Or maybe trapped in the store by a zombie plague. Fortunately, Wal-Mart stocks plenty of guns and ammo, so survivors could puncture plenty of zombie melons with .45 rounds when the inevitable attacks came. And we'd have plenty of food.

Annie finally returned with a Janis Joplin CD from the oldies bin, a necklace, nail clippers and a few other items. She lured me from my zombie reverie and to the checkout stand and out the door into a fading storm. When we arrived home, I checked the garden and the troughs between rows were filled with rainwater. The leaf lettuce had been pounded flat but looked perky this morning. Otherwise, no damage and plenty of moisture.

Four "extra" inches of rain and counting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is very nice place for spending a week ends here ..... Thank u......

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