Friday, July 01, 2005

The Greens of Summer

Posted by PicasaOut the kitchen window

Summer is settling into the canyon; much more gently and slowly than usual. This slower, gentler summer is reflected not only in the still faintly green, but mostly cornhusk yellow hills aorund my house, but also in my water bill. We have not much more than an acre and it's all irrigated. Any land that is not irrigated and is within 150 feet of a dwelling, has to be cleared, hacked back and made barren. We choose not to do that which is why Los Angeles County Waterworks bills are usually opened (in the summer months) with some sense of dread. Our first summer in Topanga, when we weren't exactly young, but were green to the ways of watering, our first two-monthly bill was over $600.00. Within a week, Himself understood the irrigation backwards. Small leaks were fixed, Western gardening books were purchased and studied, and timers set for fewer, but longer watering bursts. Today I received my first bill of the season and it's for a little over $200. I know the weather is largely to do with this, but I feel a certain sense of pride at just how little water we've used.

It won't rain again until November at the earliest. With the dryness, I'm hoping we'll have no need for the Moroccan Fly Abatement Scheme pictured below.

And so today I took the baggies off the lantern. This fly abatement scheme was initiated not too many weeks ago when my daughter's dearest friend from her D.C. days was visiting. Pesky little flies were bugging us and Annabelle (DC friend) related to us the way she and her husband, Ken, keep flies at bay at their weekend place in West Virginia. Simply put, they fill baggies with water and nail, staple or hook them onto any available surface. It's not a pretty look, but it works out East. While it didn't seem to do anything here in the West but, as with all things new and different, after a while it just becomes normal. And so the water-filled sacks hung on our Moroccan lantern for about a month until today when I threw caution to the wind and pulled them off.

The cacti given us by kindly neighbors were finally stuck in the dirt. I love the way they're planted...kind of like sentinels keeping watch over the playhouse and driveway. These gifted plants have made me feel a little guilty from the day they were offered.

Louise called me and said they'd done some cactus-culling and would we like some. I jumped at the offer and told her we'd collect them within the week. Four weeks later we still hadn't picked them up. The primary excuse was laziness, with weather coming in a distant second. Six weeks later I saw them...neatly stacked on the driveway. If these neighbors weren't in their mid 70s, I'd think, oh well, oops, sorry. But I felt like shit since Louise, who has crapped out lungs on a good day, probably hauled them over in a wheelbarrow.

Down the driveway, just out of the watchful gaze of the sentinel cacti, lies my newspaper. This morning I just took a picture of it. I never actually went and hauled it up until my husband called to say he'd be home in 20 minutes. If you look hard, you can see it, encased in plastic, at the end of the drive.


Blogger Meghan said...

Due to the title for your post, I have Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" ringing in my head, which, if I had to choose a song to loop over and over in my brain is really not a bad one at all.

9:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home