August 4th, 2006
Week 31: 7/30 – 8/5

photo: garden toad
The garden’s croaked.

Dateline: 2006
The toad finally let me get close enough to snap his portrait. He jumps into the potted plants after I water them in the morning. I frequently disturb him when I’m fiddling with the plants, only seeing him when he hops off in a puff. Today I was sitting panting on the step when I noticed him panting in the saucer. I snapped a score of pictures inching closer and closer until I got this one. He was too lethargic to care. I feel the same way.

August in Austin is filled with lots of shoulds. I should be watering more. I should be clearing out the many plants that have died. I should be getting my beds ready for a fall garden. I should be starting seeds for fall tomatoes and wildflowers. (I always wonder how the seeds sprout in these temperatures. Doesn’t it need to be 65 or something? Our overnight lows are in the mid-70s and it’s never cooler than 80 in the house.) I should be digging holes for planting shrubs and trees.

But every time I step into the searing sunlight I suspect that I’m part vampire. I saw a T-shirt I want to buy: The Sun Is Trying to Kill Me.

The garden this week? Scorched. That’s normal for us Texans. Sorry that the rest of you guys got stuck with Texas weather or worse this week. We didn’t plan to export the worst aspects of Texas to the rest of the country. You’ve probably had enough of that already.

by M Sinclair Stevens

4 Responses to post “Week 31: 7/30 – 8/5”

  1. From Pam/Digging (Austin):

    Love this post, M!The cranky toad picture, the T-shirt link, the final comment. That really does just about sum it all up.

  2. From Annie in Austin:

    What a great photo from a patient photographer! He has the perfect expression for how we all feel.

    A few years ago Tom Spencer talked about trying to stay in the shadows of the buildings to avoid the ‘Death Star’. But even in shade it’s hot.

  3. From r sorrell (Austin):

    I have a lot of “shoulds” right now, too. They’re about the same as yours. The ONLY thing I’ve managed to do is some sporadic watering. I have a couple of toad friends in my pots as well.

  4. From Jenn:

    Do you keep a little saucer of water for him?. He would certainly appreciate one. They like to sit in water and soak it up through their skin when they are thirsty.