WHEN FINALLY, IT RAINED

We’ve been in a state of drought for a long time. At least ten years. Maybe longer. It might be fifteen years by now. The years are slipping. This year hasn’t been quite as bad as last year because at least we got some snow. Not as much as we normally get, but some. Last year, we had mere inches where we normally had feet.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – almost no water at Manchaug

The drought broke the other day. I try not to worry about the water because we have a well and we are entirely dependent on the weather for all our water needs. I can only imagine how bad a farmer must feel when the rain doesn’t fall or falls at the wrong time. It must be terrifying.

Nothing says summer like our gliding swing

It began to look like a storm was brewing many hours ahead of the actual storm. It had been thundering for hours with no rain. Apparently it was pouring in downtown Uxbridge just three miles north. When the wind came up, I figured the rain was finally going to fall. Sure enough, it did. As if the clouds were slashed open, sheets of rain poured down. The lights went out and the Wi-Fi went out. Sudden darkness and I had that momentary bit of wondering about where I put the matches.

Two or three minutes later, the lights were back. It took another half hour for the Wi-Fi to reboot. It was funny because with the Wi-Fi out, I could see every device our neighbors own. Who had which kind of iPhone, for example. Since I know everyone’s name, I could identify the location of each. There are only four houses close enough to appear on my server, so it isn’t complicated. I’m glad we don’t live in an apartment building!

I went to put some seeds out for the birds. It had cooled down by at least 30 degrees. This isn’t unusual weather for us. There is no “usual weather.” The first year I was up here (1988), by the end of April, it was 90 degrees and stayed in the 90s for two more months. You couldn’t buy an air conditioner and the little apartment I was renting was stifling. Good thing I was recently back from Israel. I didn’t mind the heat, though the humidity was bad.

This last heat wave was an airless heat. No breeze. Hot all day, hot all night. I think it’s called an inversion layer now, but then, it was just two months of triple H days and nights: hot, hazy, and humid. The sun never shone. it was gray all the time. That was my introduction to living in New England. Not what I expected.

Yet during this same period, we’ve had summers that were perfect. Comfortable, dry, sunny, warm, with just enough rain to keep the gardens green. We’ve had winters with 12 feet of snow followed by spring where it rained continuously through March as the snow melted. We flooded. So did all the towns nearby.

For the last ten years, we’ve had a variety of winters ranging from no snow to buried up to our chins. We haven’t had enough rain in a long time and the rivers have run almost completely dry. Some years, all you could see was the mud at the bottom. Not good fishing weather.

I’m pretty sure we had a summer last year, but I don’t remember it. We were indoors for all of 2020 and all the seasons seemed to be the same. Last summer was the worst. COVID was raging, the hospitals were full. Folks like us were being very careful. We didn’t know what the world would be like after the plague, but we wanted to at least be around to find out.

We made it. That’s the good news. The bad news? I’m not sure to what world we’ve made it.



Categories: Anecdote, Blackstone Valley, Changing Seasons, Nature, New England, Photography

Tags: , , , ,

13 replies

  1. No amount of watering that we do seems to have the same happy effect on plants that rain has 🙂
    Weather patterns everywhere has been so weird and unpredictable over these last few years that the strangeness has become the norm.

    Like

  2. Drought is the worst. I’m in Northern California and we’re really in trouble. Looks like fire season has already started.

    Like

    • There have always been fires in northern California. They were a known “thing” 80 years ago. George R. Stewart wrote a book about them called “Fire.” Disney made it into a short movie, too. They have overbuilt an arid area and it’s hard to know how this will end in a good way. Too many buildings and people and electrical connections — and too little rain.

      Like

  3. LOVE THAT GLIDING SWING.
    THE RAIN ELUDES US, TOO. OUR CALIFORNIA NATIVES MANAGE TO SURVIVE WITH SOME WATERING, ALTHOUGH WE DO HAVE SOME PLANTS THAT MANAGE TO PULL UP WATER FROM THE NEARBY RIVER AND DON’T SEEM TO NEED US TO HELP THEM. OUR JACARANDA TREE DOES THE SAME, AND OUR TREES IN THE BACK YARD THRIVE WITHOUT OUR DOING ANYTHING. BUT….I WANT SOME RAIN!

    Like

    • It’s not just the plants. There’s a huge — or it least it WAS huge — aquifer that stretches from Arizona through New Mexico, most of Utah and Nevada into California. If it doesn’t rain, the aquifer has no water. Even though you probably don’t have wells but live on “city water,” the city water still comes from the same source — that underground river that flows through so many of the western states. Ultimately, if there’s no rain, should the aquifer dry out, there will be NO water.

      I lived in Israel when the aquifer dried out. No matter how many warnings we gave (I worked at the Environmental Health Laboratory at the University of Jerusalem), no one listened. My boss (who has come back to the U.S. to live finally after spending more than forty years in Israel) (Dr. Hillel Shuval [you can look him up on the Internet] — probably not his original name) predicted we’d lose the aquifer by 1986, He was off by four years. The aquifer was dead by 1982. Arid regions — and all our western states fall into this category — have to be very, very careful about the way they treat the aquifer because once it is gone, it will never come back. ALSO, when it has been poisoned, usually by high nitrite fertilizers that leach into the soil — it’s useless. You can’t even use it to water crops.

      Water is our most precious resource. You can do without a lot of other things, but without water, there’s no life. Not for crops, not for animals, not for people. Most people just don’t recognize how fragile our ecology is and how serious our North American drought is.

      Like

      • My desert friendly plants (need very little water) in the front yard are looking a bit peckish these days. The gardener says they need water, but we’re in the middle of a serious draught and I’m afraid to use more water than minimally necessary. Bottom line: the plants will have to limp along until conditions are better.., whenever that may be?

        BTW, It’s June 13 and we had a temperature of 110F today. they’re predicting between 115 and 120 over the next few days. Most of us will stay at home, like that’s so different from what we’ve been doing, right? Luckily stores stay open late (9pm – !0pm) so shopping for essentials can be done after sunset. Its’ hard to tell if we are surviving a really hot summer.., or just living in a pizza oven.., I’m offering 5 toppings, including pepperoni and pineapple (Hawaiian style). We don’t deliver!

        Like

Trackbacks

  1. WHEN FINALLY, IT RAINED – Lagamaya

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Thoughts & Theories

My Personal Rants, Ravings, & Ruminations

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Light Hearted Mysteries

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.

musingsofanoldfart

Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

sparksfromacombustiblemind

EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL...

THE SHINBONE STAR

NO LONGER ENCUMBERED BY ANY SENSE OF FAIR PLAY, EX-JOURNALISTS RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY TO FIGHT THE TRUMPIAN MENACE!

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

ScienceSwitch

Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

A Day In The Life

People, Places, Nature, LIFE!

%d bloggers like this: