Back to the Garden
Took a short trip into New Mexico, escaping 105 degree temperatures, sandstorms, and excessive winds. While the high temperatures were 20 degrees lower, even the Rocky Mountains haven’t escaped this drought. Parched grasslands plagued much of the landscape along back roads and highways, as late-July scenery looked like the dead of winter. The paved road disappeared into a watery inferno, Nature’s cruel illusion of water’s presence in times of drought. Hundreds of acres burned near Ruidoso as charred remnants of pine trees stood like used matches overlooking the tourist town. Rain poured for about an hour, as thunderstorms popped up here and there only to fizzle out, as if the clouds used all their energy just to darken the midday summer heat.
Walking the streets of Sante Fe, it sprinkled three consecutive days but no significant moisture filled the sky. As we drove back to West Texas, the reality of the drought was a sobering homecoming. Even irrigation fields of cotton can’t overcome this drought. The vast majority of pivots were pumping to no avail, as plants were blooming in the top, signifying their surrender.
In just a few days, many rows in my garden had withered severely. I’m back at it now, trying to convince these plants to produce in extreme and utterly unforgiving conditions. This drought is a genuine gut check, as well as a reality check. It’s a test of true grit. While all of us here in the south (and particularly the southwest) U.S. anxiously await a two or three-day rain, it’s vital we hold our heads skyward and our bare feet in the garden.