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Storm recovery and more rain

July 15, 2016

It is hard to believe it is July in Arkansas when we got over 2 inches of rain and it looks like more is coming.  Storms took their toll across the state, but I think central Arkansas has been the hardest hit.  We were fortunate to have a generator so we never officially were without power, but our neighborhood lost power for 24 hours, and there are plenty more who may not get theirs back until Tuesday!  Everyone needs to thank the utility men and women. They have a tough job and it is simply amazing how they pull in from all over the country to respond to needs.  Having more rain and storms doesn’t help, but they do great work.

There were branches and leaves all over my yard and deck this morning, but we were lucky and no trees went down. storm damage july16 (5) I saw many huge uprooted trees along with plenty of broken limbs and huge branches. storm damage july16 (6) storm damage july16 (7) storm damage july16 (8)

We did lose internet and television late this afternoon, but it was even back within a couple of hours, so we have been blessed.

Clean-up is in order all over the state.  I got limbs and debris picked up and I do have a few branches of plants that are leaning or severely bent, but I am hoping a day or two will allow them to stand back up.

With all the rain we have been having, I have seen some splits in tomatoes. While larger fruited varieties are normally more at risk, tonight even a few of my cherry tomatoes had some cracks.  cherry tomatoes.july15.16 tomatoes splitting.july161Cracks in tomatoes are a result of fluctuations in moisture, so don’t be alarmed if you see this, but do eat them quickly or cut out the damaged areas. Once they split, they tend to decline quite quickly.

A few plants are loving this moisture. I saw a lotus in a pot yesterday and mine in the water garden has more buds coming up. lotus july 16lotus july14 (1)  Also be prepared to see a wide range of mushrooms popping up in the next few days. They thrive with this moisture and humidity.  I saw this orange cup fungus yesterday, mushroom cup fungus.july16 and more will follow, with all shapes and colors.  mushroom in lawn aug.16 (1) mushrooms may31.15 (3) mushrooms orange.sept.15.

In spite of the rain, drought tolerant clethra or summersweet has its first blooms, and the bees were active in between showers.  clethra july16.1clethra july16.2 and fleece vine fleece vine july161 fleece vine july162is blooming on fence rows and a few late flowering clematis are in bloom. clematis july16

Tonight I got creative in the garden and used what I had since I didn’t have time to go to the store.  I had half of a pork loin and some Arkansas peaches that were aging, so I made a pork, peach and peanut stir fry with peppers and garlic from the gardens along with some onions.  I have to say it was pretty darn good for something I made up. pork and peach stir fry.july16 Served over rice it was a complete meal.

We are still hearing rumbles of thunder and an occasional bolt of lightning, and the rain is intermittent.  I hope everyone has their power restored and that their homes and gardens are in good shape.  Tomorrow we head to Avilla to finish up our 2016 statewide Saturday training.  Weather permitting we plan to do the first part in the gardens, then wrap up with the rest of the Powerpoint on vegetables and herbs before the final test.

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