Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ABC Wednesday . . . R

For the past few weeks the operative word around here for the letter R has been . . .

. . . Rain

A little over halfway through the month, we have already received our average quota of rainfall for the entire month of May. Most of the time we have had gently falling showers that were simply an annoyance to this gardener who was waiting for the garden to dry out, only to have it turned to mud by still another shower. But last Friday we had one of those gully-washers complete with high winds and threats of tornadoes that sent us and son's family (their house has only a crawlspace) down to our basement for the evening.

Saturday morning we had an eerie feeling of deja vu--fields, yards, and streets were flooded much like the downpour we had in early June of last year. The photo above was actually taken a year ago, since I wasn't energetic enough to get out and take photos this time. But looking across the road, I could see the same "lake" rippling behind the neighbor's as last year. This is actually a grassy area behind a small housing development and backing up to a baseball diamond near the water treatment plant. There is a small drainage ditch running through the center that normally has only a trickle of water running through it.

While I have been waiting for dry soil to plant the ever-growing accumulation of homeless plants, the farmers must really be worried. Last year's flood resulted in late plantings and thus a less than successful harvest. Not quite as dramatic a photo as the first one, this picture above shows the fields behind our house, with water accumulating even deeper near the subdivision to the left. If you are wondering about the alien-looking white things in the bottom of the photo, they are augers used to pour grain into a bin. My husband climbed up onto the top of our grain bin to take this photo. Before you think what a wonderful husband he is to risk life and limb for this blog post, he had no idea I was going to use this photo, but was taking them for himself to record some drainage issues here. Not saying he isn't a wonderful husband . . . (whew! good thing he doesn't read this!)

While few, if any, fields have been planted with the usual corn and soybeans--late in the season already--many of the fields are a sea of yellow. This strange-looking crop is actually a field of weeds and is a common sight throughout the area right now. There was some debate on a local radio talk show yesterday about what type of weed this is, but someone finally identified it correctly as a "yellow rocket."

The yellow rocket is a member of the mustard family and tends to appear in untilled soil. Most farmers today have abandoned the old methods of plowing the ground in the fall, thus reducing fuel costs and soil compaction, not to mention soil erosion. Instead, the fields are left untilled in the fall and worked up at the same time they are planted in the spring. I don't know if working the fields with a disk will eradicate these weeds, or if most farmers will have to apply a herbicide. Either way, I doubt most are too happy about these yellow "flowers" in their fields and are eager to get their real crops planted.

All the rain from the previous weeks has also made the flowers happy. Last Friday I posted the flowers that were blooming, saying I had lots of "almosts" in my garden. Just to prove my theory that the best blooms appear right after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, on Saturday the first clematis bloom appeared . . . and then another . . .and another. Above is just the bottom of my clematis; the top is smothered in blossoms, too.

The rains finally subsided on Sunday, and so far it's been a glorious week without a rainy day in the forecast. I'm hoping it lasts even longer--I have lots of gardening to do!
For more ABC posts check out the ABC blog here.


  1. The farmer here was disking until well after midnight last night. A couple hot days and strong winds have dried out our soils enough to work. They are about 3 weeks behind.

    My clematis is a little behind yours but they have lots of buds showing.

  2. I like the yellow rocket, I must admit, but then, I'm not trying to grow crops.

    This spring does remind me of last year's flooding. I'm sure you've heard there is hardly a dry basement here in town. I don't know how the city will solve the problem, if it can be solved!

    I really love your clematis! It's another plant I would like to add to my garden at some point soon.

  3. Nice shots...I am in farming country also and we get water standing in fields like that...rain is great at the right time...I like the yellow look to the fields even though it's a weed

  4. The rains sure do bring some downsides. I hope it dries out soon and sweet of your husband to let you use the photo AND risk his life, even if only for his picture. I have noticed the mustard in the fields down here too. Last year it was so incredible, but not as much this year. I've seriously noticed it. Your clematis looks splendid! I do hope you get your pot ghetto cleaned up soon so they can enjoy the rain!

  5. Dear Rose,
    Lots of rain! My goodness. It has finally dried out enough I can get into my flower beds.
    Hope your sunny skies stay around long enough you are able to get your plants in.
    Happy ABC Wednesday!

  6. Great pictures even if they are a bit "wet"! Your flower photos are magnificent!

  7. On the other hand - what should we do without it? Your wonderful flowers would not have grown. :-)

  8. Hope you are feeling a little better and not overdoing it! I think the rain you have had has winged it's way here, it seems to have been raining for weeks now. I hope you'll send the sunshine over soon!

    S x

    PS, I wonder if the rocket is the rocket that you can eat as salad leaves?

  9. Hi Rose, I do hope the ground has dried out quickly for the sake of the farmers trying to earn a living from it. Our own plight with too much rain is a mere annoyance compared to theirs. Your clemmie looks great and the macro shot is terrific. I agree, things open just after bloom day each month. :-)

  10. Dear Rose, Another excellent R word is rose for roses and for our friend Rose! All the rain does seem an echo of last spring...but I hope not. Would you thank your sweet husband for the photo...

    The clematis is beautiful and how like them to hold their blooms until after Bloom Day. I was having a serious talk with the birds...they haven't cooperated at all; and will not hold still so I can get a good photo of them!

    Have a sweet's warming up and drying out here.


  11. On behalf of ABC Team I thank you for participating with such a wonderful choice and am looking forward to meet you for next week's «S»!!!

    I do hope your rain won't stop by here in Lisbon, at least during the weekend as I really need to go for a swim at the beach!!!!


  12. Rose, What a delightful town you live in to have a radio debate about IDing weeds. Seriously.

  13. Hi Rose....that is a lot of rain and as you say, so difficult for the farmers.

    I remember the rain last year. Didn't your basement flood or am I mistaken........

    I know the yellow weed is a nuisance but it does look pretty and I expect there will be some bees or insects enjoying the little flowers....

    Lovely clematis ....

    Hope the weather soon improves and you can get outside and put your lovely collection of plants in the ground......

  14. What a beautiful clematis!

    Your 'yellow rocket' doesn't have the right flower for a member of the mustard family - it's a 'daisy'. It looks like our own Oxford Ragwort. Please don't try the leaves in salad unless you're absolutely sure of what you have, ragwort is highly toxic!

  15. Ah, yes, all that rain. Enough for now. I should hope it will ease off soon. You captured some good photos of it on the fields though.
    Love the clematis at the end and also the other flowers and yellow crops.
    today was the first sunny day for ages.

  16. I agree with Jay. The yellow rocket does look just like our Oxford Ragwort.

    We have had lots of rain too and I've become really frustrated because the garden needs a good tidy and I haven't been able to get out in it.

    Love your Clematis photo! I can't grow them. They die off, presumably due to Clematis Wilt, but I have tried burying the stem 4 ins under the soil and that doesn't work either! (It's supposed to be the remedy for Clematis Wilt.)

  17. Wow - that's a lot of rain. Good to see stuff blooming nonetheless. My clematis haven't opened yet - I can't wait. Yours is gorgeous. Spring is so fun!

  18. I saw lots of fields that looked like that yellow one on my last trip to AR.

  19. You don't suppose we ahd all this rain just so you could use it for R do you?? :) You did a wonderful job of explaining have the rain is affecting the farmers and to continue on, eventually it will show up in our gorcery bills.

    Hope you get all your plants in the ground so that you can enjoy our time at Spring Fling. But if not, the world won't come to an end. :)

  20. Lovely pictures of the Clematis, Rose--especially the macro shot--gorgeous color. Oh, I hope you don't have a repeat of last year...I'm sure that is uppermost in everyone's mind right now. Maybe you should have an Ark built just in case! ;-)

  21. Rain is really a good thing but golly, sometimes it does dampen a fair amount of month! Photos are beautiful and the clematis is gorgeous.

  22. I hope you have seen the last of flooding for this year!

    You are waiting for the rain to stop and I am wishing we could have a bit of rain - but just one day!

  23. Marnie, the tractors are start to work in the fields this morning. They're behind, too, but not as bad as last year.

    Joyce, It is kind of a pretty flower, isn't it? Flooded basements seems to a big problem around here; at least I didn't have to contend with that this year.

    Carol, The yellow rocket does make the fields rather pretty.

    Tina, Once I get everything planted I won't be so upset when it rains...a little:)

    Sherry, It is finally dry enough here to plant, but I always seem to have to work on sunny days!

    Reader Wil, Thank you; the clematis is a welcome sight.

    RuneE, Your absolutely right! Parts of the country are going throuh a drought, which is not good either.

    Suburbia, The rain has finally stopped here; maybe you'll have sunny days, too. I don't know about eating the leaves...I would want to make sure I did more research first!

    Frances, The clematis is a very willing model for photos:) I do believe it waited on purpose till after Bloom Day to open.

    Gail, It's finally dry here, too; I'm hoping to make a dent in my "pot ghetto." Good luck with your bird photos!

  24. Sailor Girl, Thanks for stopping by; hope you have a good time--and no rain--at the beach!

    Monica, It must have been a slow day:) Of course, now that our Governor Blago is gone, we have less to complain about.

    Cheryl, I forgot to mention that my basement stayed dry this time; I am so thankful for that! I would think the yellow weed attracts pollinators, too. But now that the farmers are starting in the fields, it won't be around long.

    Jay, I will check this out. I know plants have different names in different places...and I certainly won't eat any leaves! Thanks for the tip.

    Maggie, By the time I posted this we had had several days of sunshine; I'm happy!

    Mean Mom, So sorry about your clematis. I've noticed flowers on UK blogs that I can't grow either, so I guess we have to work within the limits of our garden. The rain has frustrated me just because I am SO far behind on garden work, too.

    Sarah, We live in an area that is prone to flooding so a lot of rain at once can really cause problems. I love seeing all the new spring blooms each day.

    Susie, I bet these yellow weeds are everywhere.

    Beckie, Well, I had been wondering for a week or two what I would do for R:) If the sunshine holds, I should get the most important stuff done. Otherwise ....It will just wait until June 1:)

    MG, I wish I could send some of this rain your way! The clematis is such a cooperative plant for photographing.

    Tumblewords, Thanks; we all want just the right amount of rain--not too much nor too little.

    Karyn, I know this summer there will certainly be days when I'll be praying for rain, too!

  25. We've had a wet spring too, but not quite as soggy as you guys in the midwest. I'm sure the farmers will be glad when they are able to get their crops planted and I know you will be glad to get some of your plant grotto residents in the ground as well. Pretty Clematis! Is that Nelly Moser? Looks like her a bit. :)

  26. Rain! Imagine that! Here in Southern California, we have the opposite problem. But you know what they say - it doesn't rain, it pours.

  27. The rocket flower is a very attractive weed. Some of the prettiest things just sprout up unplanned by gardeners. Cheers!

  28. We have been getting all that rain too Rose. I am way behind in the garden this year. The weeds are trying to win the war. It is amazing how the flowers seem to know when bloom day is occuring and wait until the following day to open. Ha...

  29. I love rains during May as it gets really hot before the beginning of Summer in June and we did have a great shower one night, last week and ever since the climate has been pleasant. Though it's sultry, at least it's not dry hot!

    Yellow rocket looks so refreshing and of course the Clematis! Who doesn't love Clematis? Have you heard of anyone? Smother them! .... Oh, I'm just kidding, or am I [devilish wink]

  30. WE're actually getting drier weather than usual. (I think.)

  31. We are finally getting some of that lovely R! The eastern part of FL has been flooded lately, but we've stayed high and dry until yesterday evening. Seems like it's either feast or famine with rain here. I've got a clematis just like yours but can't remember the name. I lost the plant label somehow.

  32. Racquel, The farmers have been really busy the last few days now that it's finally dried out. I'm pretty sure the clematis is a Nelly Moser; the tag was lost long ago.

    Weeping Sore, It's always either too little or too much.

    Citydiggity, Thanks for visiting; yes, sometimes the weeds outdo my flowers:)

    Chandramouli, I thought we were in monsoon season for awhile:) I have yet to meet a person who doesn't like clematis!

    Liz, The rains have put me way behind on everything.

    Walk2write, I lost the tag to mine, too, but it looks just like a Nelly Moser.

  33. It's nice here today but their calling for rain Tues., and Wed. Have a good Memorial Day.

  34. Hi Rose, blogger wouldn't let me leave a comment before. Must tell you how beautiful your clematis is. Wish I could grow beautiful ones like that. All your flowers just glow - and I love rain (in moderation of course).
    Hope you had a good weekend.

  35. Rose, I'm going to be a granny!!

  36. We sure could use some of your rain and were worried about a possible frost last night! Your clematis are fantastic!

  37. Rose no rain falls here..we could use some though! Very chilly and windy..sure makes the old bones creak in my garden.
    Lovely Clematis! Already!! You're garden is way-y-y-y ahead of mine!

  38. Thanks everyone, the weather has improved this past week, and I've been busy,busy planting in the garden.

    Congratulations, Liz! I'm so happy for you!


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.