Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drought Relief

It RAINED last weekend!!!

Most folks would prefer that skies not threaten their Easter Egg hunts, but in our water-starved area, rain is welcomed like the winning ticket to the lottery.

My friends in the lovely green damp Northwest probably take water-from-the-sky for granted, maybe even feel put out when it rains. Here we dance naked in the downpour in thanksgiving.

I wasn't always this obsessed. I lived through droughts in Florida. In 1998, it was so dry that the Everglades burned for months, intermittently shutting down the interstates and airports. The smoke drifted all the way from the center of the state into my bedroom on a barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean. That year, the annual rainfall in the town was 42 inches.

Last year the total rainfall in our part of the Texas Hill Country was 12 inches. And five of that came in one burst in May. The Chihuahua Desert had more rain than we did. The thin clay soil that covers these limestone hills baked into something that resembled cracked concrete. Hundred year old oaks died. It's beyond extreme--click here for a full-color Texas drought map and see for yourself. We're in the dark brown area.

We've planted drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, bird-and-butterfly-beneficial plants in our yard. But I only have three species of plants native to the Chihuahua Desert...

So you understand how good it felt to dance naked in the rain.

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