June 21, 2016
It is dry. It is hot. And today is the start of summer.
Everybody is seeking relief: birds, including chickens, are holding their wings away from their body and find shade or a moist indentation (made by someone watering vegetation) to spend the time. The bunnies and hares lay sprawled under the trees, all legs to one side, with only the ears showing.
The ones apparently taking the heat in stride are our horses and the young quail. The horses have ample shade available but stand in the sun by the hour. The baby quail seem unaffected and scratch under the feeders as their parents stand with beaks open trying to stay cool.
Everything appears stressed to me. Plants and trees seem to crisp in degrees around 100 F. I do some extra watering, especially to plants that have many, and thin, leaves. This weather shows who really belongs in the desert. Even our Arizona ash, though native, belongs at a river's edge; here it stands next to a water dish which only supplies water to wildlife.
I would love to know who all comes to the water dish, especially at night. We have seen a bobcat visit in broad daylight, and our neighbor called at dusk last night to report that he surprised a mountain lion at his birdbath. We should hang a night time camera in the ash.
So garden and orchard are getting extra water, and the wildlife appreciates it. The hares have started eating the bottom branches of the apple trees, the birds keep testing the ripeness of the peaches. Still, all is well right now. We are looking forward to monsoons.