Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Here comes summer ´21...

The merry month of May.  Almost as merry as the merry month of February.  But not quite.  

Just as the transition from summer to autumn is usually quite dramatic, as water wakes the land up from the summer's heat and dryness, so the change from spring to summer tends to be quite sudden.   Spring is the period of growth, true for the trees as it is for the grasses and all the wild shrubs and weeds and flowers....

...with home-sweet-home (my and Megan's yurts) above.

We are, again, short of groundwater for this summer.  The first half of the winter was super, bringing hopes that this year the water-table could be replenished a little, and summer could be, as far as water is concerned, stress-free.  Maybe with our up-river tube running all summer, for the first time in 3 years.  But after mid-January the rains have been "muito pouco" - small and infrequent - and here we are with our little river today close to being dry at our footbridge, which is in fact about a week earlier than last year's drought summer.   A long dry summer lies in front, with the next rain maybe in October. 

In practical terms, my priority this and last week is setting up the tree irrigation system, to include the 28 new plum and pineapple-guava trees, as well as 2 dozen or so seedlings, planted out in the winter.  I have really to be on my toes, as these new trees are quite sensitive until their root-systems develop.

And cutting! - or strimming, if you prefer.  A lot of it - about 4 hectares each spring, lower "varzea" land, lower and upper slopes, all are cut to minimise fire-risk and also to build soil and produce a layer of protection (mulch) to the ground from the intense heat of the sun.  Sean has been a great help, doing most of the hillsides (pic above - no, he doesn't cut barefoot, but he couldn't be faffed putting his shoes on to pose)

With some help from Eduardo, I have been renovating and repairing in the kids' play area.  New hanging monkey-bars, new slide and ropes structure, new approach to the "tea house", some repairs the big tree-house, and swings, and - new trampoline!  Modelled here by the Megan and friends..l

And another seasonal necessity... this next week I am pumping river-water maximally - and re-filling our 70k-litre storage tank from the river, while we still have it.   

The houses have to be painted ready for summer guests, within and without.  

 That's still to come, but Freddy has been painted, and is very happy in front of his lemon tree...

     I do remember saying something about a garden special too.  Yes, for sure, the garden is special, and it seems that around the local area people are realising that, bottom line, when shit starts splattering against fans, growing your own food is the only source of freedom.   I won't eulogise too much about the Várzea garden, but will say that production is well up on last year and that the allotment idea works  Here are the gardens of Damon...

and Pavel... 

On a sad note, we lost our oldest goose - the last survivor of the original 6 goslings of 7 years ago, this week, probably a bacterial infection.  Damon has always been the geese's surrogate father and has looked after their safety and well-being for years.  Here he is next to the wee grave he made.
... her daughter and the 3 new arrivals are all doing fine.

Time to publish or be damned...  Next week brother John is coming for a fortnight and myself and Megan are very much looking forward to seeing him, after not far short of a year.

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