The rains finally came.

The grass at the Manse is green again! And in the foreground, you can see how even the large circle where the old maple-tree stump was taken out last spring is starting to green up at last, thanks to the arrival of long-awaited rainfall.

Regular readers will know from my previous posts here and here – and of course Queensborough residents will know from lived experience – that this summer just gone has been the driest that most people can remember. Lawns turned brown and crispy, crops dried up, gardens were a disaster, and wells were beginning to run dry.

Even at the height of the drought, our new elm tree had a ring of green around it, thanks to watering by John Barry.

Had Raymond and I not had the exemplary help of our friend and neighbour John Barry, we would have worried mightily over the summer about our newly planted elm tree; as everyone knows, newly planted things need lots of water to survive and thrive. But John has watered it carefully for us, and even at the peak of the dryness at the end of August and beginning of September, there was a lovely and telling circle of bright green well-watered grass around the elm.

John, who mows the grass and whatnot for us, had also strewn grass seed on the soil where the stump of the huge old long-dead maple tree on the Manse’s front lawn was removed this past spring. Eventually, we hope, that bare section will fill in and look like part of the lawn. But grass won’t grow if it doesn’t get water, so through the summer things weren’t going all that well on that front.

Before: the swamp (or “wetland,” as people call swamps these days) at Hazzard’s Corners on the Labour Day weekend, as dry as anyone had ever seen it.

But the rains finally came!

There was a downpour just after the Labour Day weekend, and then another one after that, and since then there’s been a fair bit of precipitation. When Raymond and I were back in Queensborough last weekend, just two weeks after everything had been looking completely arid and burnt, it was a much-changed landscape.

After: a week ago (two weeks after the previous photo was taken), at least a little bit of the “wet” has returned to this wetland.

Greenness and freshness had returned. The garden looked only half-dead (and on the point of resurrection), instead of completely dead. The dew on the grass (and the car, and the truck) in the morning was downright thick, and I don’t think a person can appreciate the miracle of a good heavy dew until that same person has lived through a genuine drought.

And that stump circle is filling in nicely. Thanks to the blessed rain.

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