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.


Sharon said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures! And memories :)

kevin said...

I know what you mean about the desert, I've had enough to last me the rest of my life. Only one more week, though.

pablo said...

Glad to see that folks were using milk jugs to store water even long ago.

I'm crossing my fingers that you will soon have a full pond again.

Then send some of that water my way, okay?

Floridacracker said...

Thanks. I just took a stroll with the camera after an rainy night last week.

I bet you have. Good timing, Rick says the shrimp are running well.

I watched the Weather Channel yesterday and I thought RR might be getting some. Not true?

robin andrea said...

The taste of good fresh, clean, unchlorinated water is a rare commodity these days. You are very lucky to have such a thing. Glad to see you are getting some rain. We're getting some sun. There is some balance in the world.

robin andrea said...

Oh, I almost forgot, Happy Birthday to your mom tomorrow! Hope she has a great day.

rcwbiologist said...

Wow, this post brings back memories. I also drank water out of a pipe like the one you went to with your grandpa, but my grandpa lived (and still does) in Texas. I too remember how cold it was. And Andy Griffith could quite possibly be one of the best shows ever produced for TV IMHO. Happy Birthday to your Mom.

SophieMae said...

Happy Birthday, Pure Mom!

Is it just me? I am a lineman for the county keeps going through my head.

Our 'rainy season' seems to have just about dried up again. The creek is still puddle-less.

One of my favourite water memories was visiting (Great) Aunt Alma and Uncle Wyman in SC. They had a pump in the back yard and one on the back porch. Sometimes we'd have to prime it to get it going. Great times!

Love the sparkle on that last pic!

threecollie said...

Pretty wonderful water photos. We have a pipe like that just a couple miles from here...good place to get water for the fish tanks and lots of folks love to drink it.I am a little hesitant because it is just down the hill from and active barnyard.
Glad you are getting rain...we are too. I have not complained a word about our long, dry summer because of not wanting to start a rain fest like the past several years, but I admit we needed it.

Laura said...

This post brings back memories for me, also. I remember going up to the mountains when I was a kid and drinking the cold water that tumbled out of a spring my godfather had taken us to, and it was so clear and pure.

The drought is still ongoing down here in South Florida, unfortunately! We have a lot of ponds that have not yet filled up, and still many dead lawns. :(

Send the rain down this way!

Happy Birthday to your Mom. :)

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

What a beautiful post with wonderful memories! Happy early birthday to your mom! We lived in Arizona for a year...and I much prefer our afternoon shower routine here. You have some beautiful photos here!

Thanks for stopping by my new place. I love the clean look of it. I now feel as though I don't appear to be such a 'gloomy gus' all the time ;)

Juli said...

I drank from a similar pipe in the boonies of North Carolina one very hot summer while I was on a motorbike trip. It was delicious...

Cathy S. said...

Happy Happy Birthday to your mom!

Deb said...

Happy birthday to a mom who raised her son right!

vicki said...

A delicious post with really amazingly beautiful photos. I'll be there Tuesday and I'd love nothing more than some Big Weather during the week. Happy Birthday to your mother!

(can't get over these photos!)

Floridacracker said...

Thanks all for the happy birthday wishes to Mom. She had a good day.

Balance is good :)

The Andy G/Don Knots combo was magic.

Weird. Pa was a lineman for the gas company.He had a whole circuit of gas wells that he monitored.

I remember how wet your region was earlier this year. It was such a striking contrast to here at that time.

There's grass in Tampa?
It's still dry here too, but the rains are here and there as opposed to earlier when they were somewhere else.
My pond is still a puddle.

Your new site is very fresh! No gloom at all :)

Something magic about cool clean water from the earth.

Cathy S,
Thank you thank you!

Thank you.
Let the circle be unbroken.

Thanks, you know how to make a photographer smile.
Welcome home.

edifice rex said...

I had a uncle that lived in Portland, OR and when I was about 6 or 7 we went to visit him and he took us to the Deschutes River. I don't remember a whole lot but it was very pretty and we watched some Native Americans catch salmon. My uncle bought us a whole, smoked salmon and we had a picnic lunch.

Stephanie said...

Hi There,

I stumbled across your blog while doing a Google search. I just wanted to say that I grew up in Glen Campbell, and that spring is indeed still where it always was (if it is the one I am thinking of; there are several around the area). My parents don't drink the city water either - it's way overchlorinated and occasionally tests positive for lead.