Drought and the San Saba River

The effects of the ongoing drought are depressingly evident throughout the Hill Country of Texas. We traveled from Midland to Fredericksburg last weekend, and brown was the dominant theme for the countryside. Except for a brief oasis-like hint of green around San Angelo (thanks to some very isolated recent downpours), the countryside was distressed beyond belief.

Below are a few photos we took of the San Saba River just outside of Brady. The last time we stopped in this particular location, people were swimming in the middle of the river, where now there is only bare, dry rock. What water still remains is stagnant and ugly. We spotted a number of turtles, so there must be some fish in these pools, but that won't last long if more rain doesn't come.

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There is not doubt that the Texas Drought of 2010-201_ will be a game changer from an biological , ecological, and economical standpoint for years to come. I have never seen Nacogdoches Lake 10 feet below normal stage point ( at 54% capacity), nor have I viewed lush green grazing pastures which have been transormed into a vast toasty, golden-brown parcel of crunching thatch where the pickings are lean and the cattle are becoming leaner.

I know back home in Midland, folks have always been accustomed to the dry hot weather. It is just part and parcel of the deal when you live on the mesquite / sandy laden deserts of West Texas. In East Texas, the current hot and dry spell, wears wearily into the psyche of many residence that are not accustomed to massive oaks and pines turning brown and dying from thirst, the seemingly unending forcast of 104 degree plus temps, and the few thunderstorms that play hide and seek with personal rain gauges.

This afternoon it rained for a few moments. A large disturbance moved out of Arkansas this morning moving southward through Louisana and East Texas. I watch the storm on-line from work with expectations that maybe our day had arrived. Even the threat from a bowed echo that represented strong straight line winds preceding the storm was acceptable collateral damage..... as long as the rains came.

At four o'clock,the winds hit town with gust of up to 60 miles an hour. Moments later, my wife calls from home that the electricity has gone out once again with our rural co-op electric provider that we are members of. A few precious drops fall to the ground, but then it was gone as quickly as it had arrived.

Now, I am at work with it close to being midnight, where the A/C is whirling and keeping me cool until I get the all clear from the wife at home that once again...it is safe...to chill out.

I am so ready for Fall.

Went to the bunker last week and I couldn't believe the landscape from just West of Austin to Alpine. Dead cedar everywhere and most of the other plants we distressed or dead. Even the mesquite was dying.
Up in Fort Davis the land was very green with new grass since the fire. The yucca is even recovering and a rain or two has cleaned a lot of the soot off the rocks. I brought back a bunch of solar panels that were damaged in the fire and one day on Craigs list and they were gone. Except for a battery charging set up I don't think I get back into solar.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on August 22, 2011 7:57 PM.

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