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Old 06-17-2011, 10:12 AM
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"ECCEPTIONAL" D4 Drought


Yea, that's what we are having in Texas.

I noticed that South florida has a blotch of exceptional drought on it when I was looking at the drought monitor. 64% of texas is under the exceptional (d4) drought category. 2% of north east Texas has no drought but the rest of us are suffering. Here in rural Central Texas, Peoples wells are going dry all around me. I don't have a well, and normally we will be fine with our rainwater system through a drought but this time we are not. I will be running out next week, so I will be trucking it in. the city of Llano will be running out next week, also, so I am putting my order in today and beat the uptick in demand. Even the veneer of the societal safety net is being broached when towns run out.

I am interested in the fact that people on sandy soil are doing better than people on clay. The sandy valleys seem to hold a tiny bit of green. Both have therir pros and cons when it comes to drought. Judging from what I see around here, the sand is better because the plants can get their roots down really far to the bedrock where what little water there is collects. Clay retains water but once it dries out it is dry and is hard as a rock and the plants roots are shallow not penetrating far. Also the dirt shrinks and breaks the roots in clay. I have seen all the grass go from straw brown to grey. Mountain ashe juniper, a desert tree is dying because of a spider mite infestation caused by the continued dryness.

How is the drought effecting you guys out there. Are you just dumping more water on the garden or are you giving up like me. The lack of moisture in the ground means anything I put on it just disappears downwards . The caliche is just turned to dust and the air is full of it. I am praying for a small tropical depression, sorry to the guys on the coast, but all of us inland are praying away, so I guess you know who to blame if you get hit in Corpus Christi.

Last edited by marasri; 06-17-2011 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:13 PM
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Here in the Low Country we had our first real rain in over 2 months the other day .. got 2 inches at my house. I was spending about 4 hours total hand watering everything except the grass and some of the plants, twice a day since temperatures were steadily in the mid to upper 90's pretty much the whole time. When it finally looked like we'd get some real rain I ran the sprinklers on the lawn for few hours front and back in the evening before the rain was due .. I did that so at least the top of the soil would be damp and the rain would have an easier time of sinking in rather than running off and it seemed to work.

Hopefully we'll get more soon .. what we had was enough to stave off total kill of the grass, but not nearly enough.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:37 PM
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Between my last entry we had a 7 alarm wildfire across the road from me in a ravine. Fancy houses all around the ravine. I have my papers in a to-go bag. The smoke has died down a bit. I can see things on the otherside of the fire. It looks like 10 acres. There must be twenty engines that have gone by. in waves from all over the area. The wind is howling. The copter is here with its bucket. We have not had rain in months and months. Austin got an inch or so last week but it missed us. I think we got 1/4 inch in april. I don't count that. I feel a bit petrified. I should not be talking to you guys.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:46 PM
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Holy cow - and I thought our summer droughts were bad here.... They pale in comparison. Now that is a REAL drought.
This begs a question... why bother staying?
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:09 PM
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reason to stay are No blizzards......winter gardens when you are shoveling snow. gorgeous country friendly people, good music, lots of art and I have a great job. Swimming in the river is a must ...This too will pass and we will be back to flood. If I left I would head to New Mexico which is also burning right now big time.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:08 PM
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When I visited Texas, San Antonio, to see my brother I was shocked at how friendly people were there. The scenery was a nice change as well. But in short the general attitude of residents made me miss it. We had several BBQs in his neighborhood and all the neighbors treated each other like family! According to my brother thatís Texas. I got the impression of one big family there where everyone helps one another. I liked that!
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:35 PM
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Yea, we even talk to strangers, for the hell of it. My son went to school up north and he never noticed how friendly people were till he came home on vacation. If someone drives past you on a country road and lifts up his hand, he is saying HI to you. It is only mannerly to wave back.

The drought is because we missed our fall, winter, and spring rains due to La NIna. Now it is over an we are in normal dry Texas summer under the Texas ridge of High Pressure that will stay over us all summer unless there is a tropical system. This year we head into it with a huge deficit. The dry ground is not having the cooling effect on things as it might in a normal year so our temps are headed upwards fast. And the wind hasn't stopped blowing all year. the evaporation rate from the soil is hitting the roof. Today it is 30 mph and 30% hummidity.

Xeolyte, are you in southern SC. It is in D3 Severe drought. Are you with clay or sandy soil?
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:41 PM
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Our soil is pretty much a mixture of both though I'd venture to say in my area, more clayey than sandy. My neighborhood was built on a reclaimed swamp and we have very poor percolation so if we're hurting for water it's really bad.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:04 PM
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Your water table is probably right there. I am not sure if we have a water table per say , just an aquifer and that is 1200' down. I have a mini aquifer that is 120' down but that is of the hickory system and they have found that there is some major radiation problems with it in areas to our west. Environmental systems are every interesting.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:39 AM
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Mara, I'll definitely send you some of my rain if you can send me some of your sunshine. I haven't seen the sun in more than 2 weeks now, so not only is it soggy, it's cold. Downslope from me, they're worried that the winter rice crop is going to be lost to flooding.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:58 AM
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The sirens are back again and there is thin wispy smoke coming up. It was the second day that the other fire abounded from the 50 acre 100% contained to 200 acre status. It is good to see that they are taking it so seriously. Again 20 MPH winds.Still nothing like the ones that erupted all over Texas this spring. It is going to be a long summer. DH is out with the weed eater doing some every day in the wild groves around us. I looked at how things burned and it looks that if we take the undergrowth out, we ca keep it a grass fire and easier to fight , and not a brush and crown fire in the cedars and oaks.

it topped out at 104F (40C)yesterday. Not a comfortable time of year to be doing heavy yard work.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:38 PM
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Cool


Southwest Ga. is really hurting. Some wells are starting to dry up.Farmers are useing up the water for the crops. We are fine for now as we are on city water, but we are on water restrictions. It rained yesterday for the third day in a row. It was the first rain in over a month.Temrs 99-103.And it's still spring.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:51 PM
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Same here. 106 today. I work in the early morning and evening.Austin has water restrictions ever year. They can water once a week now, no car washing or pool filling. If it goes without rain, they will stop all watering of grass soon. I think next week. Many of the small MUDS and PUDS around the city are already not allowing it. LCRA, the governmental agency that controls the dam system on the (Texas) Colorado river are demanding that all water pumpers in the area have to pump 35% less water than there normal allotment.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:52 AM
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WOW. It only happened once here that there was some restrictions on watering gardens in my parents' village. But nothing too serious.
Sometimes, like this summer, we don't have rains for a month or so, but then they do come and everyone is happy.
We have a well in the yard and we bucket up water for my flowers... I use a watering can.
I use about 10 to water everything that's suffering... not the whole garden, of course.
Parents do the same on their cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
We always complain when the land is dry... but I know it is much worse in other parts of the world.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:37 AM
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Oh Mara, hoping you get rain soon. Those wildfires are frightening. Stay safe. There was a period where we where getting too much rain. Unbalances weather-wise all over, makes you wonder. In my area which is a big farming place, everyone waves also. Not that way where I grew up though! Took some getting used to, lol! I've always loved your stories & descriptions of the places you've been. So sorry your area is going through this.
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