Sunday, July 29, 2018

When the Rain Tumbles Down in July

Weather. It is always a topic if you can't think of what else to talk about. And if you have been following the world news lately there have been lots of interesting unusual weather events with either too much rain (causing flooding in Japan) or surprisingly hot, dry weather (in England for instance).
 Here in Virginia we had a wet spring which went well into June. Then we had a stretch of totally dry very hot and humid weather that lasted around 19 days but then, yes, the rain tumbled down in July! On July 21 we had 5.86" of rain beginning around 4pm and going on and on. The weather pattern stalled and we had several days of rain. The Potomac River was full of angry, swirling, muddy water. When there has been heavy rain it occurs to me to go down to the Great Falls and see for myself how the river is running. What I also need to do is take some comparison shots so you can see what it is like during the dry times.
But before the rain, the cornfields around Buckeystown MD made for a pretty picture. Here I like the undulations of the cornrows, the road and the wires on the poles.
 For many years we liked to keep the birdfeeders filled with seed but we have gradually eased up on that as the chipmunks were getting way more seed than the birds. This summer we have spent many delightful pauses in the day watching the backyard birds enjoy our birdbaths. There are about seven scattered around the garden but this one on the back deck is close enough to really see what goes on. Some days there is quite the line of birds waiting their turn. This catbird (?) was enjoying a solo bath on this day. However I have noticed there is a goldfinch who is quite determined to have the bath all to himself and will get out to chase other birds away.
 In Frederick MD I found this picturesque fountain in the Carroll Creek Park. The fountain is set up to vary the water heights and it takes a while to figure out the pattern and be ready to press the shutter quickly to capture the image you want.
 In my garden I have lots of coneflowers (echinacea) to attract the birds. These ones looked quite splendid one night just as the sun was going down. The yellow blobs in the background are black eyed susans.
 More visitors to the birdbath. I'm thinking they are house finches but what do you think? These two don't seem to be talking to each other just now judging by the body language. For this birdbath I am trying to photograph through the window so I don't scare them off.
 After the rains tumbled down in July the coneflowers out front got beaten down on the front walk which is a pity as they were looking quite magnificent. This patch of flowers becomes quite the magnet for the goldfinches in the Fall. Perhaps I can try to prop them up again with some temporary posts and garden twine. It will at least mean that the front walk can be used for walking again!
 The standard phlox have started to bloom - that is , the ones that the deer have not found.
 With the wet spring I was late planting my tomato plants. But just see how impressive this stem of "sweet 100" tomatoes looks. Not quite perfect though as I notice some cracking on the top left one perhaps the result of too much rain.
Ah, summerthyme. Yes, look carefully and see if you can read the fork.