Nature Notes: Rain, rain...

Nature Notes: Rain, rain...

It was beginning to seem like the sky had forgotten how to rain, what with the water levels in the streams and rivers falling to mere trickles. The wetlands, normally such magnets for ducks and geese and herons and all the other "pond" dwellers, had turned into moist black meadows, with hardly any surface water at all. The voice of the wetlands, the frogs, had become a deafening silence. While not a drought of epic proportions exactly, one of the driest if not the driest summer on record had finally passed with the coming of the October rains.

Elsewhere, people dry farming for a living (my grandparents), live or die by the fate and fickle of the weather. While a bit less dramatic hereabouts, the local wildlife habitat has been under tremendous stress with the drought conditions lasting throughout the summer. With little or no rain at all for almost four months, conditions for good forage were getting really bleak and the fire danger was out the roof. Interestingly, the local fire district, while placing the completely usual ban on fires within burn range of the dune grasses, and with almost no enforcement, made no changes whatsoever to accommodate the worsening fire conditions in the dune grasses.

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