Several years ago on a hot August afternoon, I found this Leopard Grasshopper sitting on my quartz stone at my front porch. I guess, it was looking for shade from the sun. For quite some time I sat next to it, while it watched me carefully. After capturing some photos, I left it alone. And when the sun began to set, it left the porch and hopped on its way.
A few years back, Kevin and I planted a peach tree in our backyard. Luckily it was producing fruit in the same year. But back then, we had five peaches growing. And Mr. Squirrel had his own way of sharing: Four peaches for him, one for us as a family of four. I quartered the last peach, so we all could enjoy a little slice of fresh “heaven”.
The following year, we’ve got about a dozen peaches. And Mr. Squirrel was much more generous: He took his four peaches and left us with the eight remaining fruits.
This Spring, our peach tree was in full bloom. And we could tell, we would get tons of peaches this Summer. But I’ve noticed they are a little bit smaller this year. I wonder, if the drought has a big factor in it. The tree didn’t get as much water as in the previous years. And I might have to consider some fertilizer for the next season. So, while Mr. Squirrel, the Blue Jays, Mrs. Mockingbird and Mrs. Sparrow are happily munching away my peaches, I had to rescue some for ourselves. On Monday, I filled up a bowl. And when those fruits are gone, I have to grab some more from the tree. In the meantime, Luis keeps Mr. Squirrel in check. Mr. Squirrel is allowed everywhere on our property, but not on the peach tree. As soon as the Squirrel jumps in that tree, Luis is getting havoc. Once he gets outside, he chases the squirrel across the fence. “No, no! No peaches for you, Mr. Squirrel.”
Damn, it is hot! The last few days, we had temperatures of 106ºF (41ºC) here in the northern part of the DFW Metroplex. The next few days suppose to reach 108/109ºF (42/43ºC), before we get a break and hopefully some rain. Every night, when I water my home garden I also refill the bird baths. One of them, I put lower to the ground. The bunnies and other critters need water in this heat, too. My pets are “lazy” all day, and they won’t move a muscle until 7 PM. When I tell Lexi and Luis to go for a short potty break outside, they look at me as I had stolen their milk bones. Lexi goes in our bedroom, while Luis cools off on our leather couch.
*Original meaning behind “The Dog Days of Summer”:
When Sirius (the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major/Greater Dog, therefore called “The Dog Star”, rises with the Sun on those hot Summer mornings, we call the days from early July until the End of September “The Dog Days of Summer”.
The widow skimmer dragonflies begin to visit my yard more frequently, again This means it’s over 100ºF, and it’s mid July. As soon as I fill up the bird bath and water the garden, my little dragons come over for a visit and check out, what I’m doing. They love to hang out in my yard until sunset. And the following evening, the dragonflies show up again. I love Texas Summers. Usually, when it gets that hot, the humidity goes away.