Saturday, September 08, 2007
Return of Rain
The severe drought of the first half of 2007 has broken. We still have a deficit compared to our normal annual rainfall of about almost 5 feet, but the rainless period is crumbling. If you toss in the increasing odds of a tropical system crossing Pure Florida, then the drought really seems like a thing of the past.
My Dad in St. Augustine still complains that all the rain stops west of the St. Johns River. He blames the weatherman, but I think the prevailing seabreezes are more to blame. He really notices a lack of rainfall, because he has a million pots of this and that growing. Those potted plants must be watered daily if rainfall is absent.
I've been to the desert (it's a dry heat you know :) and it was beautiful in it's own way, but only in a temporary way for me. I think "perfect" weather (sunny, no rain or humidity) would drive me absolutely insane in about two or three months.
Give me a nice mix of days, heavy on the storms please ... and soggy ground, not dusty dry ground.
Here in Pure Florida, even with the broken drought, places that should be soggy are still too dry and the smallest creeks and swamps are missing their water.
Soon come tho.
I see water in a way similar to the way I see money ... I'd rather have too much than too little. Tropical Storm Frances dropped 16 inches here in 3 days in 2004 and caused some trouble, but after the trouble left, most of the water stayed around for a very long time which was wonderful.
Florida is low, flat, and only barely out of the sea so water tends to hang around instead of rushing out off to see the world. The water in our rivers creeps along, as if not really wanting to leave. Some Florida rivers seem more like long skinny lakes than rivers.
I remember rafting the DesChutes River out near Bend, Oregon back in '98. Now that was a river in a hurry to get to the ocean.
It's not like that here.
Water can trigger more than floods ... it triggers memories too.
I'm proud to say that although I'm 100% Pure Floridian, I'm 50% Yankee as my beautiful mother (whose birthday is tomorrow) is a Pennsylvania girl. That's her Dad, my Pa, in the photo above. When I was a kid, , we traveled to Glen Campbell, PA to see my grandparents every other summer. One of the funnest things to little FC was going with Pa to fill his water jugs. He would load us in his Chevy pickup and drive up into the surrounding mountains until we came to a rusty pipe sticking out the side of the hill.
One by one, we'd fill his many jugs with the cold, clear water and load them back into the truck, but first, we'd cup our hands in the cold flow and drink deep. It was delicious. I loved poking around in the little pool where the water splashed onto the ground as sometimes there were crawfish creeping about. At the springs, there were critters to chase and rocks to toss. It was pretty much little boy heaven. He called me Opie cause I was always tossing rocks in the water (go watch the Andy Griffith opening scenes). I loved it when he did that and I loved him dearly.
Pa wouldn't drink city water, only water out of the springs. I'm not sure why, but I have an idea. The water was so cold and delicious, it may have just been flavor. After living on unchlorinated well water for the past 20 years here at PF, city water often tastes a little too much like pool water to me.
I wonder sometimes if these pipes still gush water for the folks around Glen Campbell.
I hope so.