Smelling the Ground Coming to Life…

Texas’ weather is as unpredictable as England’s.

This summer was no exception.

Remembering 2011 –

– our sons were living alone at Collins while we were in London for a year and experienced a record breaking hot and dry summer –

-this year we had no significant rain from the first week in June until August 18th another hot and dry season!

Everywhere was parched.

Hubs had the whole summer off from mowing; the grass gradually turned golden and fell flat on the ground, unable to stand up,

dry and exhausted,

like the rest of us.

I spent every other day watering for 30 minutes in the relative cool of the morning trying to keep my newly emerging Zinnia and two lilac saplings from shrivelling and giving up the ghost.

Then the drought broke,

with a steady shower of gentle rain, no huge displays of lightening or claps of thunder, just a continuous downpour that brought all the smells hidden in the earth for months to the surface.

The mouth watering fragrance of wild onions, mint, oregano and rosemary, the reek of manure, mouldy tree bark rich and heady, the fresh whiff of compost, tarmac wafting its acrid, oily smell, steaming concrete releasing its effluvia redolent of city rubbish-dumps.

Walking through the pasture my wellingtoned feet stirred up the moist scent of fresh mulch, the raw tang of re-hydrated urine the lemony bouquet of clover and purslane, and a stench of rotting animal corpses all of which teased my nostrils into a sneeze and caused my body to at once recoil and embrace the balminess of the earth as she released what she had kept to herself for almost 3 months.

It was wonderful to be out while the ground was being coaxed into re-birth.

On that first day I walked the perimeter of Footlights to see how the creek and run offs were doing and I found dry beds.  The water had surprisingly soaked into the cracked ground leaving the surface dry!

The following morning I took my daily walk while it threatened more rain.  It was misting and pleasant.

The temperature dropped 30º to 72ºF.

We began to enjoy the break from 100º+ temperatures.

That night it rained again, more than a mist, less than a pour, a drizzle I couldn’t hear on the roof or against the windows.

I shrugged on my jumper for my morning walk and stepped outside and came straight back in; although only a drizzle it was just a little too heavy even for this all weather Englishwoman, so I watched from my front porch.

This time, when the rain finally stopped after the day was over I went out again and found puddles in the creek,

and the grass had changed colour!

So far Hubs hasn’t had to go and mow and the dead spots in the lawn are still obvious but my Zinnia are thriving

and I have a lone Tiger Lily leaning outside the flower bed into the sun

giving us its all!

Thank you Lord for the life giving water from heaven.


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