It’s been a really hot week here, but we’re somewhat used to that smack dab in the middle of Summer here in the Sonoran Desert in the Southwest USA, so I’m trying to bloom where I am currently planted! But when the temps rise beyond 110 F. and hover there day after day with double-digit humidity rather than our early Summer drier conditions, it wears on even those of us more-seasoned desert dwellers! We are in the middle of our monsoon season here, which means there is a chance most afternoons of a thunderstorm developing and bringing with it the possibility for highly desirable rainfall! Even the wild creatures which cohabit my parcel of this desert seem to be attempting to cope with the monsoon seasonal weather challenges.
Each afternoon, I can look out the windows of my house to see a variety of birds and bunnies hovering under the shade of the more-lush plants which I planted closest to the house. I water those plants every morning and evening during hot spells like this to keep those plants from drooping in the afternoon sun, but also to keep a more comfortable and favorable environment for all those birds and bunnies which gather there! They find the moist, shaded soil cooler for their bodies, and often the bunnies stretch out to make as much bodily contact as possible with the soil. The quail which are native to this area also kick out some of the groundcover and soil to burrow a bit further down in and around the plants. Then the peach-faced lovebirds which made themselves at home on my street about twenty years ago find refuge in the shady bright-green branches of the shrubs I have growing there. At times, I have counted eighteen lovebirds along with several quail and bunnies all sharing about a 3′ x 7′ space. It’s magical to peek out the windows to see so many creatures taking their rest and comfort, all so readily visible from inside my house. In a way, their search for comfort provides for me a great opportunity to witness daily such beautiful animals, but also a responsibility to continue providing for them such excellent a refuge!
It’s not always easy getting up early to water and do my landscaping chores when the morning sun is already so intent on heating things up. And it’s not at all easy going out in the evening before the sun goes down to re-moisten the area with a fresh spray of water. But it is more than rewarding to witness how appreciated my efforts are by the creatures which rely upon my provisions! I make sure to keep birdbaths as well as water features clean and refreshed, my numerous plants provide shelter and food, and I even try to leave the area under my windows undisturbed so as not to frighten away the oodles of each specimen which are hanging out there from midday to evening. They bring me pleasure, so it’s the least I can do in return!
Taking the time to notice life as it plays out before our eyes each day is our choice! And I surely have made it my practice to notice the beauty of the natural world unfolding each new day before my eyes, regardless of the heat! I’m eager for the end of Summer, as by the beginning of August the long, really hot weather starts to wear on even the most tenacious, seasoned desert gardener. But since I cannot control the weather, hasten time passing, or alter the conditions in which I now find myself living, I choose to bloom where I am planted by making something good out of it!