ACID RAIN?

What is in the atmosphere at the present time I ask, as I checked out my balcony garden yesterday afternoon.

I had spent Tuesday night in the hospital (again) on the other side of the city as all ambulances were being diverted from the 3 major hospitals on my western side of the city.  Those hospitals were overwhelmed with patients and couldn’t take any more with long queues, so my ambulance was diverted to the major trauma hospital on the southern side (of the city).

A severe allergy attack (which presents for me, not unlike a heart attack and exacerbates my Paroxysmal SVT, newly diagnosed last October when my main inherited heart condition was upgraded to severe),  involves my heartbeat going crazy and actually quite scary at the time it occurs).   I’ve had flare-ups of skin rashes recently too.

I’ve been coughing quite a lot lately, especially during the night, but no trace of illness or lung problems have been diagnosed.  Last night I was exahusted after not sleeping much the previous night in the hospital’s short stay unit and I kept waking every couple of hours coughing incessantly for fairly long periods then lapsing into exhaustive sleep, but have no flu, cold or anything else.

I’m much better during the daytime as I keep my lounge sliding door wide open to let in fresh air during the shady mornings.

This morning, I finally got up just after 6.00 am instead of the usual 9.15am.   I figured if I’m going to keep coughing, I may as well be upright.

WATERING AT DUSK TO PUT A FEW SPOTS ON THE FRUIT FOR THE CAMERA SHOOT

I’ve been thinking a lot about the deterioration of my balcony garden and on reviewing images I made a few weeks ago on that 44C (112F) day when my garden recovered perfectly well after the searing heat, I really can’t understand why some of the herbs and vegetables have taken such a dramatic dive for the worse (since the dust storm).

I can’t see any Harlequin bugs (which devastated my garden last Summer -left).

I cleaned up and moved all the potted plants after the first major dust storm (as mentioned in a previous post), but a heavy rain last week has left the second layer of dust and damaged leaves again.  Now, in the last day or two, insects with rather voracious appetites have moved in.   Can’t see anything when I turn over the damaged leaves though.   But in the last couple of days, many leaves show caterpillar nibble marks.

I can’t quite face another massive clean-up a second time, which involves mopping and then scrubbing all the balcony tiles and fence, but I’ll get around to it.

The term acid rain was first coined in 1972 by Robert Angus Smith and was used extensively in the 1960s.   I’m beginning to wonder if the recent rain and red dust also contained some sort of acid and other chemicals/pollutants?

I live in a wonderful green belt along the Maribynong River in a new Housing estate, filled with trees and landscaping in the front of each building and townhouse.   Between my building and the river is Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve and some 400 hectares of parkland up and down the river (for the benefit of new followers).

The first year I lived here 2016-2017, I was just fine.  Although I have had daily headaches for some 3 1/2 years since.   Daily headaches are part of my health symptoms, but I’ve never had such a long period of them as this current lot.   There are many new apartment building construction sites up on the main road at the top of my short steep hill.

But recently, I’ve sensed something is in the air and suffering from MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) for some years as I have, has meant I try to stay away from heavily crowded shops, heavy traffic and smoky areas in general.  Sometimes it is unavoidable, so I complete my errand(s) and get back home fairly quickly.  If I go to Melbourne’s city centre, I do my errand, or attend my medical appointment, and come straight home, not wander around doing street photography as I used to some years ago.

I can’t quite understand why my Tomato #1 – Truss Sweet Tomatoes, has so many fruits for the last couple of weeks and they’re not ripening as the initial lot did.   Remember those gorgeous red jewels I shared with you in previous posts (left).

Most of the Herbs damaged leaves are on the western sides of the plants.   Is there something emanating from the construction site across the road?

MY NEW ITALIAN or FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY IS MORE DAMAGED ON THE WESTERN SIDE. YOU CAN SEE THE FAINT BLUR OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE SAND ON THE BALCONY FENCE RAILING ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE IMAGE.

Did the dust storm and subsequent heavy rain (leaving a further layer of red dust), contain some sort of chemical or ‘acid rain’?    (I’ve checked previous year’s gardening exploits and none show the same kind of damage as this year – insects/pests sure, but not leaf drying/damage as above)

Who knows.

But I’m not feeling much better than my poor garden at the moment.

I’m not sick, but I’m not as well as usual, either.   I’m one of those people that is super-sensitive to the environment around them.

I’m feeling like a bird that has had its wings clipped.