It had us fooled for a while. With several days of cooler temperatures, we felt Autumn tangible in the air, optimism re-surfaced and plans for Winter projects were broached at the dinner table.
It was nice to feel the change in the days. Daylight hours shortened, bird song changed. The few remaining cicadas` call, croaky and sluggish.
I scarcely dared say it, but it seemed we were suddenly able to keep on top of the watering. My roses, idling in a the straight jacket of excessive Summer temperatures, suddenly were trying to flower.
Demmi, whom scarcely leaves his house between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm was suddenly under our feet dropping his drool covered ball hopefully, in front of us.
Bedroom windows left wide open all Summer were suddenly banging closed in the early hours, as temperatures dropped before day break.
Today, the short reprieve was over. Scorching sun made it`s appearance again, the fiery Southerly wind driving temperatures high once more.
Although I wouldn`t change our beloved Kanakary for the world, it is perhaps one of the hottest, driest areas in Eastern Crete. It can be raining all around us and it seems we are shielded by an invisible dome, which keeps the rain from falling on our parched gardens
Of course, we do manage to keep a number of plants and trees alive. But in watering our 50 odd fruting trees, inumerable young vines and olives, flower/herb gardens and Vags`s long suffering veggie patch, it has created a little oasis in this barren countryside, where goats and sheep around us nibble any vegetation to mere stumps. Harsh brush, thyme and thistles abound, with no neighbouring gardens to entice the local bird population, their foraging is concentrated here at Kanakary, where we waige a constant war with raiding blackbirds, sparrows and pigeons, whom claim the finest, ripest grapes and figs, even pulling new seedlings from the ground, gourging themselves before we`ve had the chance to savour the fruits of our efforts. Perhaps this is their reward for keeping the pest insects at bay.
Spying brightly coloured peppers down in the garden, I eagerly grabbed the first one, only to find the outer skin had held just firm enough to hold the flesh within, which had turned to a squelshy mush, cooked in the severe heat. Disappointment whelled up as I saw all of them had suffered the same fate.
Maybe it`s all relevant, because we do manage to pull in harvests, but I get the impression that our success rate in the Summer is about 50%. Maybe we should be content with this.
Once again, we both expressed our disappointment in the vegetable crop, and decide it isn`t worth planting anything next Summer. But then again, we say that every year…….