Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rain in July

Mom always said if it rains on her Birthday, July 15th, we will have a lot of rain in the following weeks So far it looks like this year her prediction is coming true. This week has been extra wet and thankfully a good deal cooler. However that may change back to hot in the days ahead. This time of year I watch the rain and storm reports carefully to see if I need to rearrange things in the garden. Usually to avoid wind damage to potted plants I have to weight them or even turn them on their sides during windy
thunderstorms.  I rarely get a total rainfall measurement from the news and sometimes I just wonder how much did rain did fall right here in my garden. I had this rain gauge from Casey Trees open house sitting in the studio for about a year and I thought why don't I just stick it in the ground and see what happens. Well the first night it was stormy weather, it was a whopper of a thunder storm with one and seven tenths inches accumulation I discovered the next morning. Wow how exciting to know the number of inches was a lot so I took a picture for proof below.
Naturally with this new gauge in the garden I wanted more data, so I dumped it out and repositioned it for the next 24 hour count. This morning it is still sprinkling by noon the gauge check was an additional six tenths of an inch. Plenty of rain for the garden and the trees in the neighborhood which require 1.5 inches if they are recently planted. Or as the gardener you have to see they get 25 gallons per week to survive and thrive.  
Lately I have been a little off with my daily sketching routine. Not feeling inspired with the heat and just being alone for a few weeks didn't seem to make it any easier nor more difficult I just didn't feel like drawing in addition to all the other stuff that seems to need to be done. Finally on Friday morning, after that big rain and no duty to do watering in the garden, I went out and did a sketch from the flowers right in the garden for a change.
Maybe I needed a break from my routine to get back to a more direct expression of the flowers in the garden. Earlier this year I felt stuck inside with all the cool flower arrangements Keith has been making for his 365 days of Ikebana. That and the extra hot weather made sitting in the garden seem too difficult and uncomfortable.

While I was sitting there drawing I realized that the House Wrens had indeed hatched another clutch of babies over the last couple weeks. It seemed to me that they were fooling around the bird house not sitting on the eggs once they were laid but after listening carefully I heard the baby begging noises coming from the house again for the second time this summer. I tried to get a photograph of what I was watching. The adults coming and going delivering bugs to the babies. Here is a series of images showing some of what I saw.

The adult birds make a lot of warning noise, like a clicking sound. When I am out in the garden they click and scold me especially when I get close to the bird house full of babies. You can see these pictures clearly show the house wren is keeping an eye on me as it comes and goes.
Today it was too drizzly in the garden to sit out there to do my sketch so I decided to cut a flower and bring it into the studio to draw. These hosta flowers smell sweet like a gardenia and they are large and showy so it is a delight to have them by my desk this afternoon as I am writing this blog post.

It's very satisfying to have sketches each day piling up. I don't know what they are for but they at least make the day feel like it means something. I really enjoy having a way to share my sketches as soon as I can get them loaded on the Internet. It feels very good to hear that people see and like my photos and sketches.

This week has been full of tragedy with the cowardly murder of 12 and wounding of 50+ men, women and children in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater. I think of how scared all those attached to such a horrible experience will be for the rest of their lives. It's a sad thing when people have so little love and respect for their neighbors lives. Meanness is all around us but so too is love. I dream of a world where guns and murder are no longer needed and everyone lives in peace. We have to have hope that impossible things can happen or they really will not. Speaking of impossible I used to think that surviving AIDS was impossible but I had hope that I could live longer if I got involved in the search for a cure... twenty five years later I find I was right to get involved. This week begins the International AIDS conference in Washington DC. I plan to attend some of the marches and free educational and cultural events at this years conference.  I went to the conference in 1992 Amsterdam Netherlands. It was right after my partner had died of AIDS and they didn't even know which infection killed him so I was amazed to see so many people coming together to find an effective treatment from all over the world. It helped me get my hope back and keep strong as my own illness progressed. Now I hear that 30,000 from around the world will be coming to this years conference right here in my home town. I hope to be inspired yet again that a cure is coming but only if we keep pushing those who are in power to look for it will it come true. That much I know from experience. Act Up, Fight Back, Fight AIDS is what we used to chant at all the ACTUP marches and demonstrations. That was effective at getting the media to pay attention to the less than 200,000 people infected with the virus. Now it's millions infected and that call has faded but the need to find a cure is as important as it ever was. Will they hear the calls for a cure? Watch TV this coming week to see what they report and monitor the papers to see if they really are telling the stories of real people in need of help or just reporting sensational news to sell advertising...

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