Weekend Muses

Ok, so it’s official now…My part of  the world is in severe drought conditions. I kinda’ figured as much since I haven’t really needed to mow in over a month.

Already dealing with high fuel prices, farmers now face rare drought | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
It was only last year that Houston had a wet spring and early summer, which kept the city verdant and its temperatures relatively cool.

But since then, Texas has experienced one of the driest fall-winter-spring periods on record. During the last nine months, large swaths of Southeast, South and Central Texas have been at least 10 inches behind normal rainfall totals.

I was cruising through one of the new mega shopping centers they are building on the southern edge of Houston in Pearland yesterday. What caught my eye was the number of freshly planted bald cypress trees turning reddish brown from the lack of moisture. I have a few in my backyard doing the same. Mine are too far from a water source to get a hose to. Natural selection at work.

It’s amazing what micro climates can be like. The first eight to ten years we were on this place the woods behind us along the bayou held rain water all winter and into the spring. When I used to walk my stray dog, we waded through water all through the woods. It was rubber chore boots or wet feet…The last half of our stay at this place, water hasn’t stood anywhere but the lowest spots on the pipeline right of way, and then only after a good rain.

As a matter of fact it was that condition that caused me to quit trying to garden on the sandy soil we have here. For about three years I went through the motions and tilled and planted just as i had before only to harvest very little. Some crops didn’t even make at all. Too hot, too dry, too far from a water spigot. At least I wasn’t in the position of the farmer quoted in the news article…

WALLER — As he pulled yellow corn off a stalk and removed its husk, Waller farmer and cattle rancher Tom Paben didn’t need to be told that a drought had come to Texas.

The corn’s smaller-than-normal ear and its dented kernels told the story.

“The corn is ruined,” said Paben, standing in his 1,100 acres of cornfields.

It’s almost sad to watch the radar during most of our spring storms. If you live north of I10, you are just a bit below normal. South of the Interstate we are way down…The last I heard was we were over seven inches down.

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