A warm, muggy day following a warm, muggy night. Nori the cat is asleep and the temptation to nod off is strong in me as well. I had the AC on in our bedroom overnight; given the gentle sea breeze I’ve opened up to house for now. That may change later.

We’ve been trying to apply Nori’s monthly flea and tick meds without success. We’ve only applied them once before but Nori seems to have identified the thin white application bottle as enemy and I am unable to get close to her with it. I’m hoping the heat and humidity will stupefy her sufficiently later, enabling me to apply the evil liquid; of course, that plan depends on me not being stupefied as well.

The drought drags on and some of the trees we planted this spring are stressed; one has begun to drop leaves, never a good sign in July. There is a chance of rain in the forecast along with the proviso that any rain will likely be scant.

Still, radar shows a cluster of showers and storms off to the south and west, heading in our direction. For the past several weeks any rain has passed just north or south of us, or dissipated just to our west, a pattern reminiscent of the drought two summers ago, so we watch with fingers crossed. Back then we lost newly planted, and some mature, trees and shrubs, so we are appropriately concerned. Watering helps but no amount of watering can make up for the present deficits.

We are told this new pattern of frequent drought is a predicted outcome of climate change. If that is so, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, we will all depend increasingly on ground and reservoir water for irrigation during the summer and resources are already strained. This was a hot topic (no pun intended) at Friday’s farmers market where there were thin pickings indeed.

We have a small circulating fountain in the back yard and a couple of birdbaths so local critter’s, including insects, have access to water. The year before last an extended family of turkeys took up residence in the yard, enjoying the shade and drinking liberally from the fountain. Turkeys can be aggressive but we all got along just fine.

When there are a number of birds and other animals wanting to access the fountain they usually take turns rather than squabbling over limited resources. Everyone seems to know just where the water sources are and that everyone is thirsty. Sometimes desperation sets in and the larger birds and animals drive the others away for a few moments before some semblance of order is restored. If all else fails, the smaller birds just pull back and wait; the wait is never long.

I’m tempted to draw some comparisons between the behavior of our backyard animal guests and their human counterparts but, hey, that is just too blatantly obvious.

15 thoughts on “Drought

  1. Indeed, it is blatantly obvious. We, too, have water in our backyard—a small circulating fountain and a bird bath. Many creatures come to drink, and I’m glad we can provide water for them.

  2. Dry here too. They keep saying it will rain, and the driveway is wet, but that’s about it. I have two new trees that are both starting to lose their leaves. I was moving some daylilies this morning, and as soon as I moved one shovel full of soil, I could dig with my hand because it was so dry. It’s not a good situation for the Farmers and those of us who like to eat.

    1. Judy, the situation is indeed difficult. Yesterday the storms broke up just before getting here. We did have a few hours of very light rain which has brightened the grass and done little to end the drought. One would think that everyone who wants to eat has figured out that our food supply is in jeopardy on multiple fronts but I am afraid most people do not think much about the food chain beyond the grocer.

  3. Here in south east Australia we are experiencing the reverse climatic conditions. Here it rains, rains, rains. Our winter is colder than I can remember. We are experiencing food shortages because the weather is so bad the farmers can’t grow leafy green vegetables. What a strange and troubled world we are heading into. Your observations of the birds definitely has parallels with the human world.

    1. Suzanne, I am truly concerned to hear your news. I never imagined food shortages in Australia but of course that now seems the new norm for all of us. The US is so large and diverse climatically that thus far we have been fine, a condition that just adds to the denial. I often wonder what happened to the caring and desire3 for cooperative problem solving that was so common here as I grew up, Folks no longer understand that what happens anywhere eventually impacts us. I hope you get relief soon.

      1. The food shortages are seasonal. We have had them before. For months after a cyclone no one could buy bananas because they cost $17 a kilo. Now it’s lettuce and other fresh greens. $7 for a lettuce in the supermarket yesterday. The current shortages are because of all the rain.
        We are a big country too but you can’t grow much food in the centre – it’s a desert.
        It is strange how people are reacting now. Many have forgotten about the banana shortages of 2010 and are carrying on about the price of lettuce like they will die without them! Crazy. People are so detached from nature these days. They don’t understand that you need good weather conditions to grow food. It’s alarming to think of how they will respond when conditions worsen are as they likely to if we don’t change our ways immediately.

      2. Suzanne, we will be in increasing food difficulty here as the middle of the country becomes increasingly hot and dry and all other areas experience climatic unpredictability. Droughts in California and hurricanes in Florida create shortages and higher costs already. Sadly, climate change is already severely impacting communities throughout interior Australia and throughout Oceana as you undoubtedly know. It is heartbreaking. And yes, people are cut off from nature, farming, and watersheds. We will certainly have a challenging time of it.

      3. We sure will. Today there are more wild storms hitting areas of the country that have already experienced major flooding. Life is getting very extreme in some places.

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