|Lamb's quarter, self-seeded in a big tub.|
The creek had already gone dry, although the sandy bottom was moist. Since our well is in the creek aquifer—somewhere—the state of the creek is always a concern.
Some areas upstream got more rain than here, and a trickle of flowing water has returned, muddy water that must be coming off an upstream burn scar.
Knowing these conditions were coming, thanks to the shamanic prophecies of the National Weather Service, we did not even try to garden like normal. Almost everything we planted is in containers—some tomatoes, some herbs.
And there there is the Zen of not-gardening. Instead, we took what showed up on its own.
One is lamb's quarter a/k/a goosefoot, a Chenopodium, which means "goose foot" in Latin. How lambs get into the story, I do not know. I assume that sheep would eat it. When it's too dry even for Swiss chard, these are our greens.
Another edible volunteer is wild amaranth, when it's young. Call them both quelites, if you prefer.
A third is nettles, which M. planted several years ago and which have firmly established themselves, putting them in the class of feral greens. Lots of hippie/Greek nettle pie is eaten in this house, "hippie" because she insists on making a whole-wheat sort of-phyllo dough.
We were going to try growing a similar plant to lamb's quarter, "Good King Henry," Blitum bonus-henricus, this year, but put it off. (In case you were wondering, it was apparently named after Henri IV of France, which just goes to show that you can preside over decades of religious wars and still have a tasty pot herb named for you. He did apparently encourage tree-planting.)
In the woods, brush, and pastures, not much is happening. A few tiny acorns. A scant handful of wildflowers—and what does bloom seems to come early and is stunted, as though the plants are trying to get through an abbreviated life cycle. Even my bomb-proof penstemon is just hanging on, barely existing.
A couple of days ago I thought I saw some Liatris about to bloom, which rocked me back, because its normally a flower that marks the end of summer. I need to go back and double-check. Maybe the plants just want this summer to be over.