For folks who get plenty of rain, or even those who are getting too much, it’s really hard to believe what life can be like when there’s a terrible drought and the rains just aren’t coming. This area doesn’t get much rain when we’re not in a drought but with the drought, it’s just been unbelievable. The area has water restrictions . . some can water on Monday, others can water on Tuesday. Your day is determined by whether your street number is odd or even. We’ve been in Stage 3 of our drought plan. There’s been much talk of going to Stage 4. It was pretty much accepted that when the water board meets for their August meeting, we would go to Stage 4. That means everyone is supposed to cut their water usage by 50% . . figure that one out when folks have been working so hard to conserve already. All outdoor watering was supposed to be stopped but the water board was trying to find a way to still allow residents to do some smaller amount of watering.
Typically, July and August are months when we get no rainfall but this year has blown that statistic and we’re all so happy for the rain. Some folks about 30 miles from here have reported receiving 11 inches of rain. Last time I checked, the lake was up 4 feet. The ground is saturated so all the rain that falls in the lake’s watershed now is running into the lake. The water for most of this area comes from that lake. People are almost giddy with the amount of rain we’re receiving.
Ranchers had gotten rid of their cows last summer or the summer before and some who were hopeful had brought in more cattle but many were taking those to market due to the dire conditions we’re been experiencing. Pecan trees, which are a big cash crop in this area, were being affected adversely by the drought. The grasshoppers are even caused by the drought and they’ve destroyed everything from my own tomatoes to acres and acres of hay .. not to mention that they ate the screens on the windows last year. It seems that during spring, when grasshopper babies are hatching from their eggs that were left behind the previous summer, if it’s a wet spring, there’s a fungus that kills off many of the grasshoppers. If it’s a dry spring . . they all survive and thrive and since we had such a bumper crop of them last year, they left behind lots of eggs and we have a double bumper crop of them this year.
At our house, our rain gauge showed that from Sunday through yesterday we had gotten about 3-1/2″ of rain. Today we’ve gotten close to 1/2″.
The pictures are a bit blurry . . they were taken from a moving vehicle through a dirty window but at least I wasn’t driving! It’s so rare to see water in the tanks (ponds if you’re not in Texas). There was water pooling on any low spot in the fields we passed.
This field could have been one that had been irrigated but it looks like weeds so I’m not sure if it was green because it has been irrigated or because of the recent rains. It’s rare to see anything this green around here in July.
Before we left Abilene, another round of storms was moving in. No one was complaining!
Driving in the rain! Vince said “How long has it been since we’ve driven through rain?” I could not remember the last time we had to use the windshield wipers.
As we got closer to Brownwood, the skies became blue, without the gray rain clouds but we hadn’t been home long when the rains arrived here. For the first time in the two years that I’ve been here, there’s a little standing water in our yard. The ground is sandy so it isn’t terribly muddy and again, no one is complaining.
The only thing more fun than trying to catch four little chickens before dark is trying to catch four little chickens in the rain before dark! So . . out we go . .