Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dry and drier...

I wish this were the sight outside my window.

But it's not.

And it hasn't been for quite a while.

Tomorrow we start severe water restrictions -- we will only be allowed to water with irrigation/sprinklers, etc. ONCE a week, from midnight to 10 am. Even numbered houses on Sunday night -- that's us.

You can water by hand any time, so I could, theoretically, stand outside in the cooler hours of the morning and evening (relatively cooler - 76 this morning the coolest temp of the day) and do nothing but water for hours on end by hand.

I can't do that, and I can't let everything die. And I can't break the restrictions because our lakes are literally going dry.

We are predicted to feel the effects of El Nino this fall and winter, with higher than average rainfall forecast for us. Starting in November. November.

So, for now, I will spot hand water things that look like they are losing that battle - trees and large shrubs get first priority. I noticed a beautiful 9 year-old oak tree in severe stress today with yellowing leaves falling to the ground.

I will also keep collecting extra water in buckets in the shower. Did you know, 1 shower's worth of water - 2 large buckets -- can water most of the pots in the back patio area? I know it sounds crazy, but imagine how much water is wasted while you wait for it to warm up so you can get in.

And, I will keep watering the birds and the squirrels and insects and deer who are all starving and dying of thirst.

And my daughter and I will keep doing silly little rain dances in the yard when we see scattered clouds in the sky.

It can't hurt, right?!


Carol said...

Rain dances can't hurt, might help, good exercise, too. I would keep doing them.

I remember a drought in '87 when my aunt would take her bath water one bucket at a time out to water the garden. I think they had a window in the bathroom and she handed the buckets out through the window to my uncle. Tedious, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Janet said...

You have a good attitude about it Diana. It breaks your heart when it is so hot and DRY! Hope you get some relief before November.

Gail said...

My dear, I am so sorry to hear that older trees and shrubs are feeling the drought. They would be my priority, too. Two summers ago we were in a big time drought and most of the neighborhood lost maples, Magnolias and small ornamental trees. The taprooted trees did much better. gail

Maggie said...

Oh how I wish we would get some real rain here in Austin!! The lakes are so dry - My family and I are referring to the Cypress Creek arm of the lake as the hike and bike trail. No longer a lake but truly a river. Your bucket in the shower is a great idea. I think I will start that one tomorrow.

Pam/Digging said...

Have you been up Lamar between Enfield and 29th St., Diana? It looks like a bomb went off. Trees all along the dried-up creek have toppled over or lost huge limbs. It's very sad.

Patchwork said...

We've had even less rain here in Wimberley than Austin proper. We get to hear the thunder, and see the clouds. Then it goes around us. Less than 3/4 inches in ten weeks.
I've been doing the bucket thing for a while now...and 'rv' showers...wet down, turn water off, scrub, water on, rinse off. Tiresome, but water is just too precious.
Hope they're right about El Nino.
In the mean time, let's dance, dance, dance....

Lancashire rose said...

We just got a letter in the mail today about our water restrictions too. We are in a MUD. Fortunately drip irrigation systems are exempt from the time of day restrictions although we can water 2 days a week. The next phase rules out all automatic systems except drips. David just spent the afternoon removing 2 trunks from our cluster of Spanish Oaks. They died over the summer. The tree must be hundreds of years old but the last two years have done it in. The rest of the trunks will likely go in the next year or two. No more shade from that tree. Like you, I feel for the critters. There is no food anywhere for them.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You can be sure I will be doing a rain dance for your area too. What a worry being in a predicament of water rationing. It is scary to think the lakes are so low. I would imagine that you can't wait for November to arrive. Maybe some rain will find you before that time.

Diana said...

Carol -- My daughter laughed when I told her that I'd confessed our rain dances to all my blogging friends. But it makes us laugh about it, which is better than the alternative.

Janet -- You think I have a good attitude? Ha! I was afraid my post was too pissy! I'm trying not to bee too fussy about it.

Gail -- I sat for 30 minutes in a lawn chair with an extra long hose and watered a Burr Oak tree last night with a magazine in my lap. Hand watering is allowed anytime, so by golly, I'm gonna have to do some more of that.

Maggie - I haven't been to the lake, but I have seen the photos of Travis on tv and it's so sad. Good luck with these restrictions and your buckets.

Pam -- I haven't seen those, but having my 9 year-old Burr oak showing signs scares the dickens out of me. We did get .04 of rain last night, and 90s are forecast, so maybe there is hope.

Patchwork -- I know it's frustrating to see the rain go around. That's what it did to us this weekend and last night. Someone got some, just wasn't us.

Lancashire Rose -- so sorry you've lost some trees. Not nice to come home to. It puts it all in perspective, though. I am much less concerned with small plants that I was now that the trees are starting to fail.

Lisa -- well, we got .04 last night, not even a real drop in the bucket, but for me, I'm trying to look at it like a foreshadowing of better times to come. There is some water out there somewhere, and someday, it will come here again!