Friday, September 11, 2009


We finally have rain here in Central Texas, thanks to El Nino (unfortunately, we can thank the boy and global warming for the drought in the first place).

Texas -- especially Central Texas -- has had a serious drought this year. My county is actually under exceptional drought conditions, which are the worst conditions possible. The state hasn't seen conditions this high since 2006 -- the year from which many climatologists date this current drought -- and July was the hottest month ever recorded in Austin.

The Barton Springs salamander is near extinction, and the agricultural impacts are near catastrophic for some crops such as cotton and sourghum (although sesame does very well). The worst drought the state has seen lasted from 1950 to 1957, and some researchers think this one will outstrip it.

While the rain we're getting probably won't completely relieve our dry conditions, every little bit helps. It's not time to stop water conservation measures (is it ever, really?), but maybe it'll give our firefighters a rest for a few days. And it was lovely to run in the rain this morning, feeling the ground soft under my shoes and splashing through 6-inch-deep puddles. I love the way plants and trees glow green in the diffuse light of a rainstorm, don't you?

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