After weeks of drought and high heat, yesterday dawned with a dark, cloudy day. It was supposed to be sunny and 90s, so we wondered; it felt like it wanted to rain. But because of the forecast and the past drought, we thought “No way!” Then it began with thunder and fat, heavy drops which quickly turned into a downpour. All totaled, we got 1.33 inches of wonderful soaking rain. We were so grateful! After all, we’d been spending about 10 hours every day watering six gardens plus the livestock. We’re so blessed to have two good wells and David’s water hole.

The gardens are all looking great, despite the heat, drought, and grasshoppers. We’ve continued mulching, weeding, and fertilizing where needed and it seems to be working. Our potatoes are starting to bloom, which means under the ground, there are new potatoes setting. And no blister beetles to be seen.

Despite the drought and heat, the gardens look pretty good. Of course, the oldest garden (pictured) is the best as it’s had years of manure and can easily be watered.

Last year we were thrilled to find a single Monarch caterpillar on our butterfly weed. This year, we’ve been seeing quite a few Monarchs fluttering around as opposed to many years of not seeing a single one. And this morning, I checked the flowering butterfly weed in our front flower bed and found not one, but a whole “family” of Monarch caterpillars! I’m so thrilled to see those beautiful, striped fellows among the bright orange blooms, which the bumble bees are happily gathering pollen from.

Look at all these cute young Monarch caterpillars! I was so happy to see them.

More rain is a strong possibility tomorrow. Life is good! — Jackie


  1. I can’t get over how similar our weather is over 250 miles away! Yes, the good Lord blessed us with a inch of precious rain! So grateful!

  2. So glad you got rain. We have had a reprieve so mine is finally drying enough I will be able get some weeding done. My tomato leaves are yellowing from all the water. This country is so vast we all have different weather! What a wonderful place to live and have opportunity to face and overcome challenges. This is why I like to be stocked up well because you never know what is next! So thankful for your guidance and sharing of your knowledge.

    • You’re very welcome! I’m sure happy to be living in the good old USA, despite our problems. Can’t think of a better place to live! We, too, always try to be well stocked up because, as you said, you never know what’s coming.

  3. God hears your prayers ? Sadly he ignores so many others. Mustn’t be praying to the right God I suspect. Hope your luck continues Jackie, you deserve it as you give hope to so many.

    • I’m sure God hears my prayers. I might not get the answer I wanted but down the pike, I can see what I missed. Yep, we had drought. But now we appreciate the rain even more.

    • We think so too Tammy. It’s been a struggle this year, but things are looking pretty good despite it.

  4. Your work is paying off handsomely. The results show you sure know what you’re doing. Best wishes for continued productivity.

    • Thank you Sheryl. We’re sure glad to not be watering 10 hours a day along with everything else. Whew, what a relief!

    • Thank you Susan. Of course some of my daylily beds look pretty ragged due to lack of watering and weeding…..

  5. I love the Monarch caterpillars. I have created a Milkweed area in my garden. I”ve seen the adults but no caterpillars yet. We here have experienced very dry conditions and I keep praying for rain. Today is green bean day with canning of those. My onions have “peaked” as the tops are falling over and it won’t be long to dry those. The bulbs are smaller than normal-I believe due to the dry condtions. It’s been an unusual year but aren’t they all different. One must adapt to survive. Your garden looks great.

    • You’ve said it Everett; you have to adapt to the conditions present. If plan A isn’t working, on to plan B and on down the pike. Our Monarch caterpillars are getting so big, so fast! It’s fun to go watch them on the plants. They feed then actually lay down and take naps!!

  6. Oh, the joy (and perils) of gardening! Blessings as you get a little breathing room. We were all praying for rain for you! What a miracle!

    • Thank you for your prayers. We’ve even got more rain today and more in the forecast. We’re so grateful!!!

  7. Super glad you got a good amount of rain, that system looked like it was coming our way, but dried up before it got here. Our gardens are hanging in there thanks to heavy mulch and watering sections every day. Has your Swiss chard ever flowered the first year? Some of our plants are doing that, probably because of stress from extreme heat and drought. Would that seed be worth saving or would the plants just be inclined to bolt prematurely too?

    • Yes, sometimes Swiss chard will go to seed the first year, as will spinach. Yes, the seed would be worth saving as long as it is mature. I’m sure it bolted because of the heat and drought. Both chard and spinach will do that.

  8. Hi Jackie, so glad the rain finally came to your area. I was so worried for your garden. Praise the Lord.

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