Walking the dog is good for many reasons other than bonding with the dog and getting exercise. Yesterday, however, an unexpected observation came my way while walking the dog. My walking path includes areas around the State Capitol building where lawns are maintained impeccably by overnight sprinkling and clandestine mowing. One little park on our dog route has missed this tender care. The grass has dried to a crisp from the recent heat wave .
A park bench in the shade was perfect for mopping the brow and breaking out the portable water dish. As the dog was greedily lapping the cool refreshment, I happened to look up to be thankful for the brief respite the tree's shade was giving us. Much to my dismay I noted the tree leaves were drying and beginning to curl. I knew immediately these trees were stressed and needed water desperately. This park had no water source and next year the beautiful trees will probably be gone.
Throughout my travels the rest of the day, I noted many trees whose upper leaves had already turned brown or dropped. It's worrisome to see mature trees stressed this much. Last night a small trickle of water from my hose ran on one of the boulevard trees and the hose will be switched to the other tree today. I value the precious shade of trees too much to let them die. Besides, I'm stressed from the heat even with enough to drink! I can't imagine dying of thirst as well!
(c) Bonnie Erickson 2006