Thursday, May 30, 2019
We need a season to dry out from summer!
It's been far wetter and stormier than usual in northern Texas during spring, and that looks set to continue into early summer. Miss D. and I have only lived here for three and a half years, but people who've been here all their lives are also complaining. The ground is sodden - it has almost no capacity to absorb new moisture, so any fresh rain that falls simply runs off into creeks and rivers. This is the result (clickit to biggit):
That's the Red River, on the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma, where it's crossed by Interstate 44. It's been about ten feet wide and six inches deep through the winter. Now, it's in flood, so make that three-quarters of a mile wide, including the flood plain, and about ten feet deep at the time that photograph was taken (by Miss D.) yesterday afternoon. We drove up to see the river in flood, as many locals have done. It hasn't been this impressive for a long time, or so we're told. The tornado watches and warnings have also been impressive! Looks like they're that way over a wide area.
All that water is on its way to Louisiana, so Shreveport and Alexandria are in for some interesting times when it gets there. From there, it'll join the Mississippi, and head for the Gulf of Mexico.
Mowing our back yard has become an exercise in frustration. First off, we have to wait until we can walk on the grass without sinking into it with a soggy squelch! That means waiting for three days rain-free, to allow ground water to drain off. By the third day, we can usually run the mower. Trouble is, it's Texas grass. If it catches even the merest sniff of water, it's going to grow!
We cut the lawn on Monday morning. By yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) it was visibly taller, by at least an inch. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were wet and stormy again, and more rain is coming. In fact, its next cut will probably have to wait another twelve to fifteen days. Look what's forecast:
We've got to wait for all that water to run off before we can cut the grass again. By the time that happens, we may need a brush hog rather than a lawnmower!
I hope most of my readers are keeping a little dryer than we are. On the other hand, our ranchers are generally pretty happy about their fields. The water's an inconvenience for farmers, and has delayed planting in some areas, but the cows are loving the fresh, green, rapidly growing grass. I predict a bumper Texas steak harvest this year!