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BREITBART.COM – More Than 60 Percent of U.S. in Drought reads the headline
“More than 60 percent of the United States now has abnormally dry or drought conditions, stretching from Georgia to Arizona and across the north through the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin, said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.”
Here in Ohio we have an abundance of rain… in fact we are waterlogged and flooded, but I remember well the year we had severe drought. I lost many plants in that year, and experienced how such conditions make even the birds silent. Everything is waiting, waiting, waiting… for that precious rain. It is a time when clouds form and look promising only to disappoint as they disappear without even a drop.
Back in 1999 I wrote this:
(Oct. 10 ’99) I could say something silly like “Time flies”, but the reason I have not updated the journal is due to the effect of the drought. Like the other living things around here, the dryness caused me to just lie low in the garden (actually I stayed in the house and attended more to the chldren and housework than usual -good for me). I spent the morning garden time visiting the essentials with the garden hose -just to barely keep the new things alive. I gave up on the rest-it was “live and let die”. Also, instead of real gardening I worked on changing these pages around and making some graphics. Illusions of work in internet gardening…. oh, dug up some plants for someone who promised to water it faithfully, and that was it!
I do have a theory on drought, my captive audience: I think periodic drought has a purpose in the lives of our gardens and in our own. If a plant has a decent root system, the dryness forces the roots to grow more deeply and strongly into the ground. So long as the plant survives the vicissitudes of this time, it emerges a better plant. Of course anything at all weak or the young must be attended to carefully, and if they can just be kept alive til the rain comes they should be fine. Details such as mulching and weeding make the difference for these plants. Drought also requires value judgements: if the tree is valuble and you cannot suffer losing it, share some precious water with it. Think a little and it is not too hard to apply some analogies to our relationships.