Fall colors surround us, temperatures have dropped, but there's no touch of autumn in the air; daily highs still top 100 with nary a drop of rain.
(Clouds congregrate at times, but even when tinged gray, I know they're just playing games with us.)
We've had hot, dry summers before, though.
One in particular stands out in my memory (and makes me sweat!) because I was driving that old green Mercury Villager minivan with no air-conditioning and a passenger window that wouldn't roll down.
That was the summer I taught Daniel to drive. We always headed out early enough to finish the lessons by 10 am because that's when my side of the van became an oven, even with my Walmart water-mister fan, and I became a little, ahem, grumpy.
Spanky the salamander was still with us then, staying cool hiding under wet moss in his terrarium, only expending energy to gobble down a live cricket or two. Once or twice a week we'd grab a plastic bag full of them from the pet store and dump them into their own little terrarium, furnished with an empty toilet paper roll and a little water. Every day Daniel scooped a few out for Spanky's dinner.
One afternoon the kids and I swung by the pet store for a bag of crickets, the last stop on our round of errands in town. It was 4 in the afternoon and (according to the fancy digital dash thermometer) 107 degrees.
The crickets didn't stand a chance. Poor little guys, they baked right there in that plastic bag - an oven within our oven van.
Yes, things could be worse. I have an air-conditioned car this year and give thanks for it and the a/c in our home every day!
We even still - somehow - have a little water in the pond. It had dried up enough for Tom to get his backhoe down there to scoop up the silt (making the best of the situation!) and he must have somehow unblocked the opening to some underground springs.
I'm really surprised anything is flowing from the springs right now, but as you can see, there's water in the pond. It has to come from somewhere, and it sure isn't from the sky!
Belle's grateful for it.
Not much of a pond, though, is it?
One year the water completely, totally dried up. Tom was able to scoop enough silt to see fossils embedded in the bedrock of the original creekbed, right about where my name is in the above photo. I love knowing they're there, even if I can't see them anymore.
Tom had to halt work on the pond because of the water; instead, he has turned his attention to the creek bed downstream, beyond the little pond (which still has a few inches of water in it, too) clearing overgrowth and scooping silt, preparing for the rain we know will fall, someday.