The watering paid off! The tree that had turned a sick-yellow and lost numerous branches is now a vibrant green, with lots of new leaves reaching for the sky. I'll nurse it for a few more days until the Texas September cools down. In the meantime, I find looking at it through my front windows twice the joy that it used to be.
The dead tree across the street--as fate would have it--split in three pieces and fell on the house the day after I took the photo of it posted in the previous entry (detail). It missed the Lexus parked in the driveway by inches. The Lexus was moved to where it is in this photo, and then another large branch fell, just missing it again. The tree continued to split and crash until the landlord sent a crew to cut it down about a week after the first split occurred. To the left in the photo you can see what remains of a once-stunning red oak in the yard next door. About a quarter of it is still alive.
I'll never understand people's disregard for trees, particularly not in this part of the world where they grant us shade when we need it most. They lower our utility bills, keep the red clay soil from washing away, and gladden our gaze. They're worth far more than the bit of money it takes to water them. This is especially true for mature trees. Just maintain their root system. Barring disease or pests, they will continue to shelter you and your home. I don't believe that these same people would malnourish their pets or refuse them water. Why do they do this to another living being? Which is exactly what a tree is: a living being.
Some stories have really good endings.
Mind the trees!