Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Drought










According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the current drought condition here is "Severe." Actually, we are right on the dividing line with "Extreme," but I like to look on the bright side.

It's not that unusual for us to have a dry summer, but it really is bad this year. I had plenty of hummingbirds in the late spring, and they should have produced lots of babies. In a normal year it's not uncommon for me to see 25 or more hovering around the feeders at one time, and they'll go through a couple of gallons of nectar in a week. Right now I have maybe a half dozen hummers, sucking down less than 2 quarts--and that's with very little wild food around. It's been so dry since early June that I think a lot of nests failed, or they just didn't mate at all. Or they went further north where things aren't quite so parched. No water means no flowers, and few insects, which they really need when they're nesting.



A few nights ago coyotes came into our back yard, yipping like crazy, and hung around even after we let the dogs out. We often hear them in the distance, but they have never come so close to the house. It may just be a coincidence, but it's possible the drought has them looking harder for a meal, and the various critters that root around under my bird feeders attracted them.

The park is dry as a bone. Yesterday I walked the creek bed. It hasn't flowed in weeks--at this point it's actually dusty. The deer must be having a hard time of it, with no water and the foliage all withered. They look skinny.

I can remember other droughts just as severe. One summer when I was a kid, it was so bad we actually ran outside and danced in the rain when it finally came. So this may just be the normal cycle of things. Still, I can't help wondering if the climate change predictions are on target, and this is what we can expect every summer. That's a sad thought.

5 comments:

Bozo said...

Don't forget what a mild winter it was too-- 70s in January. Something's happening. We're watering our flowers, but everything else has just burned up.

Renee said...

That's sad to hear. Coyotes at your door and hummingbirds not even bothering to mate! *sigh*

Dawn said...

Drought scares me. Here in Southern Calif. we have gotten only 2 inches of rain since July of last year. Every night I pray for rain. Every single night. So far that prayer falls on deaf ears.

I'm with you on this BG. I try to look to the bright side also.

chayaruchama said...

My poor criiters....
They're on my prayer list.
[Christ, you'd thin I was BORN again,...the way I DO go on

Thank you for the visuals, ma fille.]

BitterGrace said...

Wow, Dawn, 2 inches in a year seems incredibly little, even in S. CA. That is scary.