Saturday, September 24, 2011

Texas Weather Affects

Unless you are interested in nature,anxious about enough water to drink, or care if Texans have it, this is a dull blog to read.

It is cooler. This morning Gracie was running mad circles in the back yard, reveling in the 61 degree F temperature. She felt frisky.

With the drop in temperature, I have to remind myself to water. A half-inch here, quarter-inch there rain is enjoyable. It does more good than the watering. It is not enough.

I was trying to explain to my fourth-grade granddaughter that yes, it rained, and yes, we are in a severe drought. She respects me. She doesn't believe me. Only time will prove what I say.

And I am afraid it will.

I will take pictures today of the almost denuded sweet gum and Barrett pear. I have tried to water, but that has been limited, too. My sweet gum has no leaves in the top third.

Here, in this climate, trees stay green and full till at least late October. Then, if we are lucky, the pecans turn yellow. Most years, the leaves turn brown and fall off. The winds come, and clear the leaves for us. Won't be as many to clear this year.

Fall gardens are doing well. Young trees, with watering, have come through.

I wrote a former Texas friend about a German Shepard puppy that fell in a "sun crack" and emergency services were required to get him out. Emergency services filled the large backyard cracks with sand for the puppy's future safety. My friend laughed, and said her Oregon friends would be amazed. It isn't uncommon in dry spells for the Texas clay to crack so much that small animals and even babies can fall in. Actually, it is so uncommon it seldom makes the news. The puppy, however, fell so deep it required attention to retrieve, which generated a registered call, which resulted in a short news story.

And you wonder about soaker hoses. They aren't for gardens, usually. They go around foundations or slabs built on this crazy Texas soil.

Looks like another La Nina is forming in the Pacific Ocean. La Nina created the first year of drought. This means a second year of drought in Texas.

What scares me is the cyclical nature of weather. In the 1950s, Texas endured the worst drought ever with four years of La Ninas. We have too many people now. OK. But we also have many more resources.

It may be a blessing we haven't had 28 percent of our water this year due to zebra mollusk infestation in Lake Texoma. Authorities think they can eradicate the mollusk this winter. And of course, all bets are off if people have no water.

One of our water districts that covers several million people has announced they are going into Level 3 water preservation on Nov. 1. This will include Home Owner Associations. No refilling private pools or running fountains. No watering lawns except every two weeks. Water in restaurants only if requested. This lasts until March 31. If spring rains are as dismal as predicted, the ban will continue.

Which would you rather do? have water to drink or have a shower every day? Next year, it could get that drastic.

Which is why a lot of Texans prayed for a hurricane. That would bring the water.

Federal assistance to rebuild? Well, guess not.


Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

These are dire circumstances you relate. I did know about the soaker hoses around your foundations; I didn't know about the dry cracks large enough to swallow a small being! Will pray for rain for you! I'm ashamed to say that I've complained a little about the amount of rain we have had in the last month. More than I ever remember having!

clairz said...

As we can see from Deb's comment, the rain is out there, it's just done an end run around our region this year. I had no idea about "sun cracks," though. We get some small cracks out in the pecan orchards, but they are healed by the irrigation flooding of the trees. This year that water is coming from ground wells, rather than from the mountains and rivers by way of the tightly-controlled irrigation district. Pumping out groundwater leads to even more of a deficit.

When it is so hot here, I long for even a small swimming pool. Your post has reminded me of how silly and impractical (immoral even) that would be.

charlotte g said...

Georgia went through a severe drought for several years and has come through. Texas and New Mexico have had them before, and will again, but the rains WILL come. We pesky humans keep wanting to reorganize the weather. I suspect if we ever do, we'll be sorry.