We did get some rain last night! Hallelujah! It didn't last long, but it came down fairly hard for a short time after dark and I swear I could feel the world sigh. All the plants and animals seemed to release a degree of tension. Of course, it was really me releasing that tension, but I'm sure the creatures appreciated the rain too.
I tried to take a video but it was too dark. There's a 97 percent chance (!) of more rain today and tomorrow -- in fact the experts are saying there's a danger of localized flooding because the ground is baked so hard -- so I'll have another opportunity.
Most of yesterday remained stubbornly dry and sunny. Dave came home around noon and I showed him the sad state of the garden, where the crocosmia have turned brown and the lower fronds of the tree fern have crisped up like oven-baked kale. He then slept much of the afternoon, while I sat out in the garden reading "The New Yorker" and probably being bitten by more insidious flower bugs.
Remember the little wren from a few days ago? Well, it was back, peeping madly from the underbrush. This time, I didn't see the parent. The baby fluttered from bush to bush, working its way around the garden in a circular pattern and making a heck of a lot of noise. I wonder if the parent finally said, "OK, it's time for you to fend for yourself," and took off. (The bird equivalent of, "Get a job!")
It was hard not to feel bad for that little thing, looking so lost.
But I'm sure it will be fine. This is nature. Mama bird wouldn't have left if she didn't think baby could manage on its own.
In the afternoon, I gave the banana tree a good spray-down with the hose, hopefully washing away much of the spider-mite infestation. I'm counting on the rain over the next few days to do the same all over the garden.
My bug bites, meanwhile, continue to itch like mad. I went to the pharmacy and picked up some Anthisan insect bite cream, but I don't think it's super-effective. I might need some hydrocortisone. Or maybe I just need to endure until they heal. They feel slightly better than they did a few days ago.
Today is my last day of summer vacation! Honestly, I'm ready to get back to work and think about something other than insects and watering.