What is that brilliant yellow orb up yonder? Could it be the sun? Well, we’ve weathered three plus weeks of wicked storms, torrential downpours and horrible humidity, and today – finally we got a well-deserved respite. How refreshing it was to step outside to the cool instead of clammy air. It made me feel invigorated instead of dragged down. I was so revitalized that in two hours’ time I got in a walk, took the car for a much-needed spin and re-energized my roses and perennials with some Miracle Gro. At least the fertilizer won’t get scorched by the sun or washed off by the rain for a few days, so they will reap the benefit. I’m relieved to find no black spot issues on my roses despite all that rain, but the humidity has caused some powdery mildew on one of the lilac trees. Hopefully all this dry heat will help the tree without resorting to chemicals. The same thing happened in 2010 and it recovered without treatment. I was ecstatic to see my Daisies have all emerged and really spread out since last year. My Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans’ petals are just starting to unfurl. I miss my three Butterfly Bushes which suddenly bit the dust this past Spring. The bushes grew like weeds and were so hardy and welcomed a variety of beautiful butterflies as they alighted on the long and delicate blooms and savored the nectar. Perhaps the butterflies will continue to visit the Coneflowers since my butterfly books suggest they are attracted to pink and purple blooms.
I enjoyed my trek so much this morning but other duties called, so a longer walk will be on tomorrow’s agenda. Weather woes have left many gardeners’ annuals very waterlogged and a little bedraggled looking, but the perennials do not look any worse for the wear. I passed some very tall Tiger Lilies that were toppling over and they fairly roared when I walked past the garden, all ablaze in orange, and which ran the entire length of a corner lot. The mushrooms in Ford Park that I mentioned before have tripled in diameter and I swear one was the size of a dinner plate. So now you know the origin of the description to have “mushroomed”. I am surprised that the birds are not pecking at such a humungous fungus, which was rather striking looking with the dew drops poised perfectly on its flawless cap. I saw several birds splashing and frolicking in an early morning bath thanks to huge, deep puddles in the street. I really miss my birdbaths – I had two large, one medium and a small birdbath which attracted every bird imaginable and I topped it off several times a day. I stopped offering water to the birds when the rodent infestation began and it breaks my heart in the hot weather to think of my birdbaths just reposing in my garage. At least all the rain has allowed crevices, nooks and crannies to provide natural receptacles for the birds to drink and bathe. The budding chalk artists are now rejoicing since they finally can take their talents to the sidewalks again without worrying about the rain washing their handiwork away.
I for one am grateful that we have left this volatile weather behind for awhile. I held my breath each day when the rumbling began and torrential downpours quickly followed. Each day this week was predicted to be worse than the last, and two times I momentarily lost my power. At work, our office was one of many that lost juice following Tuesday’s storms and then a subsequent transformer problem thwarted any efforts to quickly restore the power. There had been brownout conditions all day yesterday, then it went kaput in late afternoon. This is problematic at our complex where access to the parking garage, building and the individual suites can only be done via swipe pass. After a power outage, the passes become virtually useless and the suites cannot be electronically locked and must remain open with buzzers and alarms incessantly shrieking until the power is fully restored. This syndrome happened during the big grid outage on August 14, 2003. We were in the suite on that wicked hot day and suddenly the power was gone. Of course, the first thing to worry and wonder about was terrorism since our building was right next to the Detroit River. We had radios but no electricity to turn them on and after this occasion I always ensured I had a battery-operated radio in my desk drawer. We left the suite post haste and luckily only had to go down three flights of stairs to reach the street level. However, no one knew what was going on, and naturally, as panic set in, people streamed out of the building, not in an orderly fashion as fire drills or emergency preparedness events had suggested to exit. A little pandemonium ensued, but everyone was out in a fairly short amount of time. Luckily it was the end of the business day so the crowd quickly dispersed once they got to the street. As soon as the car radio was turned on, the truth was revealed about the massive power outage and not an act of terrorism or something else just as tragic – what a sense of relief that was! I hope to never have to go through an ordeal like that again in my lifetime.