Friday, July 1, 2011

#45 - Alas! A Drab Drought!

For my national and international blog is an update about our Texas drought. Unbelievably, Texas is EXTRA hot and dry. I can say in all strangeness...Texas has got Texas beat for record heat. Conditions are becoming desperate. My yard normally has soft St. Augustine grass bending beneath my bare feet, but for too long it's been crunchy and dry. The land is thirsty for a drink.

At my daughter's friend's house --- this is how young men in college
entertain themselves, one drags the contraption and the other practices roping.
Only in Texas, well, maybe not.
 As for Houston, this June is the HOTTEST on record. It is miserable. Our two air conditioning units are tirelessly working to cool our house. To assist our over-worked units, we are keeping it set on about 77 degrees during the day.

Surprising blooms this week, in spite of the heat and drought.
Is this a Trumpet Vine?
 As for Farmers and Ranchers in Texas, extended drought conditions have forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare the ENTIRE state of Texas a "Disaster Area." Many crops are ruined. Livestock are suffering and the state is hot and dry. Texas can deal with being hot, but not with being overly dry.

Last weekend, in College Station, Texas and you can see
the results of drought conditions by looking at the ground and shrubs.
The average high temperatures for June has been at least 97 degrees, but with the heat index, which is the "it FEELS like this temperature instead..." it is well over 100 degrees on most days. These conditions have qualified us to be in an "Exceptional" drought. It hasn't been this bad in over 50 years. As mentioned, most of the state of Texas has not received any significant rain since LAST August. Scary.

Last weekend, Deputy Dave and his brother Kevin are trying to get
an early start on the water...I sure do love these fishermen. Good guys.
I think these are the times when I do wish we had a few rain-barrels. Deputy Dave uses strategic watering techniques to keep our vegetable garden alive. Of course, the herb garden can better survive drought conditions because herbs are essentially weeds.

A serious situation we face in drought conditions are fires. This weekend, there will be Fourth of July celebrations and this means there will be people playing with fireworks who do not care about the home next door melting in a fire. The Fourth of July will be a night that finds us on pins and needles.

Another remembrance of Hurricane Ike damage. A fishing boat
pushed onto land by high waters and left there to ruin.
Our acreage, which is located nearly two hours from our home in the city, is also suffering severe drought conditions. The beautiful towering pine trees will probably end up dying because drought conditions foster a beetle infestation. There is a certain kind of beetle that will kill a pine tree, but only after the tree has been weakened by drought. In the Piney Woods, where our land is located, these beetles can cause widespread devastation to pine forested areas because one good drought propels the beetles to take charge. The only pine trees that survive these droughts are the ones that are watered manually. The trees on our acreage are at the complete mercy of Mother Nature.

There are scenes like this in our area, even today, harshly reminding
us of Hurricane Ike's devastation.
As for the drought, the ground around my house has begun to crack open wide --- we have several huge fissures that have recently appeared, as if an earthquake has taken place. And yet, the vegetable garden tries to make it another day. It's so disturbing to see our beautiful vegetable garden suffering. The tomato vines are surviving, but not producing many tomatoes. I think the plants are in a state of shock and have quit producing fruit as a means to self-preservation. The drought is taking a toll.

Another shot from College Station, Texas this past week as we were
touring the wedding venue for our daughter and her fiance. Land is crusty!
Rain is a beautiful thing. Twenty-five years ago, on my wedding day (church wedding) I had initially been upset because it began to rain. What Bride wants it to rain on her wedding day? Then, I had a well respected, older woman tell me that I needed to be filled with joy and thanksgiving because rainfall on a wedding day is a blessing sent by God to make it known that He has blessed the marriage and the rain signifies fertility, abundance, fullness, nurturing, commitment, and the dependent side of LIFE. Rain contributes to great things in our life and reminds us that we cannot do certain things by ourselves.

Deputy Dave kayaking and starting to see the rays of sunshine
break through the clouds with a bit of silver lining!
Ever since then, I began to see rain as a blessing. Right now, I am very much hoping and praying for the blessing of rainfall. A bit of rain makes life easier and more beautiful. So, we need some rain, but not too much...I feel like Goldilocks and would like to ask for rain, in the amount that is "...just right."

Mrs. Speckles and her four chicken girl-pals are waiting anxiously for rain
as they take leisurely strolls around the backyard.

Rain, Rain don't stay away,
We need you here...please, today!


LindaG said...

Those flowers are what I have always known as Trumpet vine, or Hummingbird vine, though I am not an expert by any means.

I am hopeful that with the spring on your property, that perhaps your trees will be spared the worst of the drought. You can't tell how old they are without cutting one, but I'm thinking that perhaps they've been through this before and have deep roots.

I'll keep you, and all the deep south, in my prayers for rain. ♥

Lana at said...

Hey Linda --- I had one of these trumpet vines so long ago, but this one had probably been planted years and years was growing all down the fence line and had wrapped around to the other side. It was beautiful. Even in this drought, this neglected plant was beautifully blooming. A testament to trumpet vines. The color was also rich and gorgeous.

Leigh said...

I've been keeping up with your heat and drought via several Texan blogging buddies. Having lived in Texas myself for a number of years, I know it's hot enough without a drought! Praying for rain and relief for you.

Lana at said...

Leigh...As a former Texas, you can imagine what it's like. I've never wanted rain as much as I do now. I believe a similar drought happened in 1956 - that's a long time ago and I'm glad they rarely happen because this has been difficult. Thanks for the prayers; rain truly IS a blessing!