Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I had begun to think recently that my body had adjusted to the desert heat and dryness. I seemed to be comfy with about the same amount of water as I was drinking up north. No dry mouth, no feeling thirsty.

But then for whatever perverse reason I decided that there was much pruning to be done in the yard. Today. The 4th day of 95 degree or higher temperatures. But hey, Sunday's 97 didn't count because I hadn't left the house. And no, we're not air conditioning yet because we open up the house after sunset and shut it again after sunrise, keeping afternoon temps inside from hovering much above 80. We had gone so far as to dig out a fan for the living room, though after two days it decided it wasn't going to bother to turn the blades any more in the low setting. High is still fine, though, and there is a back-up fan in the front closet.

This morning I decided that the thorn tree, aka our foothills palo verde, needed to have the middle cleaned out. Not a major project, but the seed of the idea was rooting. The small palo verde has a lot of crossing branches, and even more that are just too thickly growing, crowding everything. So I was out with heavy gloves and two kinds of pruners, plus a folding chair that proved to be less than useless. (I think we can dismantle enough to recycle most of it.) This was just after sunrise, and before I finished, earlier than the task did, I had sweat running down my face. Probably it was running all sorts of other places, but the salt in my eyes was the annoying part. At any rate, one doesn't need to prune something drastically all at once, right? Right?

It just wasn't that hot! Now normally I'm good with just the water I take my pills with, plus whatever liquid comes in my fruit, yogurt, or whatever, at least through the morning. Then a couple glasses before bed in case I didn't get enough. By 10:00 AM however I'd finished my 3rd tall glass and was looking for my next two, even after cooling down in the fan and in the shower.

Call me stupid, but while I was sitting out with the dogs as briefly as possible late this afternoon while they tended to their yard needs - or that was the plan - I looked around the rest of the yard and found other things desperately in need of pruning. The palo blanco was sprouting out heavily at the end of very spindly branches, and I decided they needed a bit of trimming before they snapped in the next good wind. Then the pink poison bush, aka oleander, tucked back in the corner behind the fence but still in our yard, was getting very spindly and top heavy with new leaves and blooms. It too was vulnerable to a good wind. I could at least  cut back the branches on our side of the fence, though we really need a 6' pole trimmer to reach over and get the tops. That $40 tool expense could wait, but I decided to head over and start the job.

Then the neighbor's white oleander was pushing through the fence with a lot of white blossoms on spindly branches, so snip snip. I looked again at the willow, but its trim job to shape it last week still looked like it would hold for the year. It has a fat flower bud growing, and I'm not ready to mess with that.

Were I really ambitious, I would also have trimmed along the west fence, and then trimmed the trimmings so they'd fit in something to get set out for the garbage men to haul away. They don't like thorns. Stinky garbage, fine. Thorns, no. Considering it was hovering above the forecasted 95 and I was on about my 10th glass of water for the day, plus my knees had had quite enough, thank you, I left them on the ground. Maybe the bunnies will come over and munch a few for me. Maybe the oleander will even be nummy but still poisonous for them? One can only hope.

Meanwhile, two more glasses outside and two more once inside, and I'm starting to feel a little like I've had nearly enough water. It took two cleanings to get the salt off my glasses, so maybe it's time to have a salty supper.

The forecast is for highs dipping back in the upper 80s  by the weekend, still well above average. Maybe by then I'll feel like trimming the trimmings. But first another glass of water before thinking on it. Maybe three. And if they sit there a few extra days....

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