Heat and pond dragons

In the scorching sun of midday, my pond still offers respite to wild critters.

It has been deliciously hot here. Hot hot, unlike what I can usually expect. Part of me wonders if climate change is turning my wet and cool place into a warmer drier place. I would like that, though my neighbors would not. And further, the reason it is so green at my place all year long is because of the weather. In any case, I will be lamenting the cold rain soon enough, so today I chose to enjoy the blazing sun.

Yesterday it rose to 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C). In the morning Pedro and I took a frisbee to the trees beyond the pond, hoping to play in the shade. We noticed the pump was no longer pushing water into the pond. If I don’t add water, the pond evaporates and percolates and the level drops very low in the summertime. My pipe refills it, cools it, and aerates. Since it was early yet and forecast to be a scorcher, we thought the fish and frogs would appreciate it if we fixed the pump first. We ended up working on it all day long, as the mercury rose and the sweat poured from us. We thought we had it working around 5:30 pm, and took plastic chairs that we plopped into a deeper pool in the shallow creek, and sat up to our waists in water while we ate dinner and drank beer. Periwinkles and crawdads investigated our toes. On our way back to the house, we noticed the water had stopped falling into the pond once more. Argh. We let it be for the time. When it grew darker and cooler, we had a small fire in a stone-lined pit (the only way a fire is allowed right now in the summertime), and roasted marshmallows and stuffed ourselves with s’mores. He left very early this morning to go home, because he has a job and it is Monday.

After my coffee, I knew I had work to do. We had tried a million things yesterday and had nearly all the bugs out of the pump. Not literally bugs. But at one point we did open up the canister and found rocks blocking the turbine! Our best guess was that all I had left to do this morning was simply a better job at connecting the pipe and sealing it against leaks. This turned out to be true! The splashing water into the pond eased my mind and I sent a photo to Pedro so he could enjoy it too. The success today relied entirely on our hard work yesterday.

An hour later I went back down the hill to the pond to check that the water was still falling. It was. I brought my camera with me and stalked pond creatures for at least an hour.

My first delight was this turtle, sunning herself.
I captured this kingfisher on the opposite side of the pond from me, so my zoom was inadequate to get a better photo. Here it is squawking loudly, as seems to be the norm when they hunt.
What ho? Has prey been spotted?

And what about the dragons, you ask? Even at a pond, there be dragons.

Once I held still and seemed safe, this black and white dragon rested near me.
This robust gentleman held still for a photo when most of them give a shriek and dive into the water whenever I am near.

Today the forecast is 108 degrees (42 C), but tomorrow, finally, it will be 86 F (30 C), and even better, with it comes an overnight low of 63 F (17 C). Since this is not a region where it gets very hot (other than this weekend’s record-breaking temps), many of us do not have air conditioning. I rely on the open-up-all-the-windows-in-the-house-overnight method. But for that to work, it has to actually get cool at night! My regrets to my friends who suffer in the heat. As I recently said to my readers when I published the latest Cherokee newsletter: if you are melting and miserable, call me and I will talk about something happy to cheer you up because this is the weather in which I thrive. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Heat and pond dragons

  1. I am so glad to hear you thrive in this weather. We are doing ok since the heat pump has not given out but the plants, not so much. H watered everything last night because I can’t do heat. I am so happy you have Pedro to partner up with projects. Team work makes everything easier. That is the best shot of a dragonfly. Also the turtle and the bullfrog. I love it. So glad to hear you got the pump working. Everything is working here but me. I’m a puddle. It’s down to 111 finally. I do know I could not live without AC. Glad you are doing ok. Hugs, M

    1. Oh good for Heather to brave it and go give the plants a drink. I use watering as part of my cool-down strategy, and spray my feet while I’m watering, ha ha! I’m glad your AC is working and you can stay indoors while it is so awful. Tara also is miserable when it’s warm (Tara starts to break down when it hits 80, so I can’t imagine what they would do in 110)…but they are currently on a two-week road trip in California, celebrating graduation! The last two nights they have been on a beach camping, so it’s been cool and misty. I think that’s perfect. ❤ Glad the pump is working! It's still working but when I went out to check it this morning, the pipe again blew apart. I have to connect the pipe on the pump to the pipe to the pond. They are springy, flexible pipes, and thus I can't simply cinch it down tight with a clamp or I'd crush the pipe. So I have used tape, with a gently tightened clamp. With all that pressure, it's hard to keep it connected.

    1. Aww, thank you Yvette. I credit my camera. I’ve got no training and really don’t know what I’m doing with photography, but I have a nice camera. I also have patience. I visit the pond often, and this time I sat still for a long time and waited for the wildlife to come to me. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. ❤

      1. What a nice humble reply – but I also know what you mean because nature is such a good Subject
        But we also still bring our unique style and have an eye for things – right ?

      2. So true. You are right. Different things catch our eye, and each photographer will choose to frame a photo in their own way. Thank you for your compliments. 🙂 ❤

  2. Ahh, brilliant, Crystal. You are made for this day and age! There will be more of that. What a glorious pond you have, bringing joy to so many. One of these days an elephant or a gazelle might show up! 😀 I love it that you had lunch half immersed. 😀 But in this case a lion will want his share too! And you two did so well to fix the pump. ❤

    1. Ha ha! You are so funny to imagine a zoo at my place when I show you fish and turtle and dragonflies. I would love to see a giraffe gazing at me from among the tall trees around the pond, or a lion napping while the honey bees buzz around his flicking tail. I have sat in the creek in the past on hot days, but nearly always alone (once the neighbors on the other side of the creek got there first and invited me to join them, ha ha). I have never brought chairs and a meal and ate & drank that way, but it was AWESOME. I wouldn’t do it by myself probably, but it was so fun with someone else joining me. I enjoyed working on the pump with Pedro. We both had good ideas and good logic, and thought about different things. So we sort of took turns with trouble-shooting ideas and testing, to eliminate different problems one at a time, till we figured it out. Funny, in all those hours and in that terrible heat (no shade where the pump is), we never lost tempers or got irritated with each other. It seemed to be a sort of game. A puzzle, and we were working on it together and really valuing the other person’s input, but not being afraid to point out flaws in the other’s idea. I think I have rarely had so much fun working so hard for no pay off until evening.

  3. Your pond is such a delightful place, Crystal. And what a fantastic idea to beat the heat by having your meal in a deep pool. I’ve heard a couple of reports about the heatwave, and I hope that it was just a freaky once off, although from what I gather you loved it. 🙂 I definitely prefer warmer weather to cold weather, but I’m finding that I definitely prefer the cold if I need to get outside work done. Warm weather is for lazing around . . . .

    1. I had that thought last evening that warm weather is for lazing around, when I spotted the tree down in a different section of the property, and told myself I need to get out there and work on sawing the branches again. I turned to go get the saw, and then I immediately abandoned the idea. TOO HOT. I decided to water plants instead, in all the gardens around the driveway. They didn’t really need it, but I did, ha ha!! I think you are right that it is a one off (I just looked up the use of once-off and one-off. Interesting. The U.S. doesn’t use either, but I’ve learned to copy friends who said one off, and now I see you have said once off, which is also common.). Summertime high temps here are usually in the low 80s F, so this truly is remarkable weather. But this is one of the coolest, wettest places I have lived, and my preference is hot and dry.

      1. Isn’t language wonderful. English depending on where it is spoken has so many nuances and expressions that are typical of a certain place. I’m glad you listened to the wispering of your heart and watered your plants, instead of doing something more physical. Those branches can wait for cooler weather. 🙂

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