Sunday, July 29, 2007

deer and more drought

I woke up this morning, looked out the bathroom window and saw three deer strolling across the bottom field.

That's three grown up deer! All three casually strolling (not tip toeing) through the peppers and heading right toward our crop of previously eaten tomato plants.

This, to put it concisely, should not have happened.

It shouldn't have happened because just the day before we (three of us) had spent all of the day not dedicated to picking vegetables to repairing the deer fence.

We walked the several miles of ten foot high anti deer fence repairing the half dozen large bear size holes that had been recently poked in the fence.

Apparently, since we did this last, Momma bear or was it the 350 pound (by my neighbors estimate) baby bear entertained herself by proving that our anti-deer fence does not work as an anti-bear fence.

And with this drought, this record setting drought.

Let me say that again. This Record setting drought!

Its not just our vegetables that are suffering.

If you look out there everything else is right on the edge of death.

The forest is turning crinkly.

And the deer, no doubt, are running out of a ready supply of fresh greens in the forest. They are only too happy to get inside our fence and munch on our irrigated crops.

To prove I'm right, look out your window right now. Even if you are in the city I bet yoiu can see the effect of this drought.

Look at the parched grass. Have you ever seen anything so brown. If it's not brown anda dead looking, someone is watering it.

Then look at the trees. Or maybe we should say, look at the 'thirsty' trees.

This evening, we were looking down the hill from our house and noticed that some of the trees were losing leaves already. And that the leaves on other trees were turning yellow. And even others were crinkling up and dropping).

The drought we are having is very, very serious. And very unusual.

Out front we have a large walnut with a patch of zinnias growing close by. This afternoon the zinnias dried up and fell over. I suspect because the walnut is so thirsty its sucking all the water it can get out of the nearby ground.

I had a shareholder tell me this evening that he looked back on my newsletters to see if I regularly complained about drought. (His answer? I don't).

But enough of that. This weekend is farm party weekend.

Here's the facts:

The pot luck starts at 5 pm. Bring either a main dish or a dessert. We will provide sangria and lemonade.

There will be a hike up High Point Mountain starting at 3:30. The view at the top is probably the best anywhere within 100 miles of DC. The hike isn't all that strenuous. I think about 400 feet in elevation and about a mile or 2 in distant. It usually takes about an hour, including a rest at the top where on a clear day you can see all the way to Old Rag and on a cloudy day get a good view of my neighbors 25 square mile (more or less) estate.

Starting about 4 I'll be out here giving tours of the farm. If you want to hear my rap about how I started the CSA a decade ago with a rototiller bought on credit, along with pointing out the site of the old moonshine still (I might even get around to speculating which tree it was the 'revenuers' handcuffed one of the Hall boy's arms around and left him until they came back to collect him three days later), this is your chance.

Transportation. There are a number of shareholders who would love to come out but do not have cars. If you have room and don't mind picking up someone from the metro drop me an e-mail and I will try to put riders in contact with drivers.

Directions: Look on the web page. No one has yet got lost following those directions. (though, the tv team that came out last Monday for the drought story did pass our driveway and the 'no trespassing' sign several times, I think with distant visions of the movie 'Deliverance' in their minds.

Leigh Hauter


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