Beautiful rain, dripping from the evergreens, dribbling down the pink slopes of the foxgloves planted by the front path, and still the hummingbirds are at it, whizzing from flower to flower eating bugs and drinking nectar from the kale flowers, borage, whatever’s open. The rain is such a relief after weeks of dryness, and much as I loved the clear, warm air and the way my tomatoes put out flowers and shoots in the warm nights. But I had to irrigate, which seems so unnatural. Some day I’d like to try to get through a whole summer without watering from the city system, instead using only stored rain and gray water. A bucket in the sink poured out over one bed of vegetables or herbs at a time is a start, but I’d love to collect the rainwater all spring and mete it out all summer, like the glaciers have done for the forests and meadows until recently. Keeping the soil covered with low growing clover, grass clippings, or just weeds pulled and left to decompose, keeps a lot of moisture in, and watering infrequently but deeply encourages roots to go deep. My clay holds on to its moisture, too much in other seasons, but a welcome property in the warm months. I read on every plant label that what is wanted is well drained soil, but that kind, when I work with it, purchased from the dealers in topsoil removal or manufacture, makes me tired, demanding continual watering and burning through the compost so fast I can’t keep up. Clay is good enough for the cedar, the Douglas firs, the Oregon grape, the huckleberries, and the foxgloves, so it’s good enough for me. I’ll work with my clay, slow, cool, fine, just fine.