Sunday, July 8, 2007


The sun came out Friday, then all day Saturday and today. For the time being, the rain is past. The ground is so wet, and so much standing water is left that the humidity is huge, and the weatherman predicts it will continue for months. And the mosquitoes--we need to import bats and swallows. We have millions of the insects. (read a funny recently--a mosquito is an insect that makes flies seem not so bad.)

During the recent marathon deluge, several of us noticed our dogs reacting to this year's storms. Dogs that have never minded storms were seeking laps--and at least one of the dogs is way too big for a lap. His owner refused him firmly, so he squeezed behind the love seat where she was sitting and lay down, she said, as if he were hiding there. Funniest of all is Sharon's dog, Kipper, who has already established a command post in the master bedroom closet. Amazingly, he has made a connection between the beep-beep-beep-beep that heralds weather bulletins on the TV or radio and storms. Doesn't matter what the bulletin is about, when Kip hears the bulletin start, he heads straight to the closet. His owner says if we ever get a tornado alert, she'll just follow Kip's lead into the closet with him. It's got to be one of safest spots in the house.

Texans and their competitiveness. We've had so much rain, but by a spare half-inch, June was only the SECOND wettest June in recorded history. And we missed the longest run of consecutive days with rain when the airport rain gauge only registered a trace the ninth day, even though it rained elsewhere in the Metroplex. The water at Lake Texoma is going over the spillway for only the third time since the lake was created. But no big deal, because only a foot and a half of water will go over, where 17 years ago five feet of water went over. We've had some truly terrible flooding. Lives have been lost. Every lake in Texas reportedly is full past the brim. In fact, last Fourth of July, many boats didn't go out because the lakes were so low, unexpected sunken trees and debris was a danger. This year, the lakes are so full, most of the boat ramps are unusable, and the water is so high, once again, unexpected trees and picnic tables may be under the rising waters near the shore.

Last year, we had large pecan ond oak trees that had lived for decades die from the unrelenting drought. We had some big grass fires, one in the Texas Panhandle that burned acreage as large as the entire state of Rhode Island, destroying century-old homes and burning several thousand head of livestock to death.

This year, we've had more than a year's quota of rain already. We are all pleased that in the last few days, the regional water district has relaxed its level 3 water restrictions and officially declared us no longer in a drought. We're not quite sure what took them so long, but we are pleased. But there is water to drink, and wash in, and wash cars with and---we're really ready for some sunny days now for awhile.

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