Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's So Dry That...


We finally had a measurable rain event, our first since sometime in May. We got 0.25" of rain which soaked into the top 0.125" of topsoil and evaporated away the next day. We are now almost 11" short of rain this year and including our extremely dry fall and winter last year, over 20" short since the start of 2016.  It's hard to imagine that we are nearly two feet short of water but then when you look at the river, it really isn't so hard. This same river has been high for the last three years, so high that a six month project to fix one of the bridges in this photo turned into a three year project. They finally finished it this year now that the river is low enough to finish but they haven't removed all their piles of rock left in the middle of the stream under the bridge.


I'm not a big fisherman, though I do love to fish now and then, to know what these dehydrated fish are lying here in the dirt about fifteen feet above current water levels. They do look like prehistoric beasts.


Now that the river almost doesn't exist anymore but in puddles, one can see all kinds of debris in the river bed from an old skateboard in the lower part of the picture to a pile of steel cables in the upper part of the picture. Someone should clean those up but since this is right below a hydroelectric dam that could potentially flood this area in seconds, it won't be me.

6 comments:

Kelly said...

So often a tiny amount like that just runs off the hard ground. What you need is a good few days of gentle, soaking rain. (like I'm telling you something you don't already know!) Still... every little bit helps.

I hate gars, so I'm struggling to feel sympathy for them. I'm glad we have none in our pond, though I've seen my share in the Ouachita River.

Vince said...

Is it 7 years since the big floods ?.

Susan said...

Whoa! Too bad I couldn't send you some of our endless rain for some of your endless tomatoes. Fascinating fish, the gar. Not one of my favorites, but still a thing of natural beauty.

Leigh said...

Oh dear, that looks just like us last summer. It's horrible when the ground, lakes, and ponds look like that. Hoping it comes to an end for you soon.

sage said...

Now I understand your eclipse comments from folks from Iowa, hating to miss the eclipse but also needing the rain. I didn't realize it was that dry there. We are wetter than last year, but not as wet as 2015 (where we had 20 plus inches in July and again in August).

Ed said...

Kelly - Gar huh. I don't think I've ever seen one but I don't river fish here in the midwest, only pond and lake fish.

Vince - The last big flood we received in this area was in 2008 so nine years.

Susan - Actually the tomatoes love this dry weather as long as we water them at the roots. They don't get diseases like blight and bottom rot like they do in wet (rainy) years and the flavor is very tasty.

Leigh - I can walk across the river without getting my knees wet for sure and this is following three years when it has been non stop over my head.

Sage - This has been an extremely dry year even for us. I expect next year, firewood is going to be cheap again as many trees won't survive the winter.