Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Extremes

This has been a strange year for sure. Last year was one for the record books when we had the worst drought in 30 years in this part of the state, nearly as bad as the one in 1983 which coupled with the farm crisis, formed me to who I am today which is to say, not a farmer. This year started off differently and in the spring, was the wettest year since 1898 which is the year we started keeping records of such things. Who knows how far back we might have to go to find the actual wettest year but it may have been those years when this part of the world was on the bottom of a vast inland sea.

The rains continued into the last days of June and then the tap shut off. In July, we got just enough rain to just take the edge of our thirst but not a tenth more. In August, we had the driest month ever since we received not a drop of rain in the entire month. Now everything up here is starting to look a lot like last year. For the farmers, it will be another early harvest because the crops are all dead and drying up already with no amount of rain going to help them anymore. For people like me, the biggest repercussion is the loss of more trees.

On my 2 acres of land, I lost 24 trees last year due to the drought and earlier this spring I wrote on here that I lost another five. Of those five that I thought I lost, three of them did leaf out but only on a few branches so although they were still among the living, they were definitely on the terminal list. With this drought going on now, their leaves are all dead and falling off already. Worse, I've got more than a couple mature trees that looked fine through spring and into this summer that are now full of wilted leaves. I'm beginning to think that in another three or four years, the only trees that are going to be standing are the ones way down at the bottom of the hill next to the roadway ditch where they perhaps get a bit more moisture.

I had been thinking about planting some trees next spring to diversify our little plot of land but now I'm beginning to think that perhaps I need to be looking more for palm trees and cacti.

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