|An old catalpa tree in our yard is dying|
It has been an extremely hot and dry summer here in Oklahoma. And I do mean extremely! We broke an all-time record cumulative days of having 100+ degree temperatures...over 60. That is SIX ZERO plus days!!! Many of those days were well over 110 degrees. We had several days of 115 to 118 degree days.
|A new tree that I planted last year had been doing well, but couldn't tolerate the extreme heat. It did not survive.|
|These are not fall colors on a neighbor's tree. This is a mature oak tree that looks like it isn't going to survive either.|
|The vegetation on, several silver maple trees lining our drive, is thin and sparse|
Trees, large and small, young and old, are affected by this heat and drought. Many trees have died. I didn't get pictures of flowers and vegetable gardens, but they have been drastically affected as well. Many gardeners have given up as the vegetable plants just are not producing.
|This is not a path going through the woods. It is a creek bed. A dry creek bed. A creek bed that normally has a fair amount of water flowing through it.|
|From an upstairs bedroom, you can see the pond near our house.|
|See that pipe sticking up out of the ground? It is our overflow pipe. The water is supposed to be at or near the edge of that pipe. Looks to be at least 3 feet below normal.|
And to make matters worse, our state has also been in an extreme drought! Creeks are drying up. Ponds are drying up. Statewide average rainfall is 11 inches below normal. Fortunately, this pond close to our home is deep and still has a fair amount of water in it. Better than many around the area.
|A view of one area of our pastureland. This is normally nice and green. It is brown and drying. If only it could survive like the weeds!|
|You can see the dirt through the very sparse vegetation of a neighbor's pasture. Normally, he grows wheat on this parcel of land.|
|The planting of wheat seed normally starts this time of year. If we don't get any rain, there will be no planting of wheat. Unless, you are very optimistic and that would be a huge gamble to take.|
Experts are predicting that the 2011, because of La Nina, drought conditions will most likely continue making this the driest year on record. This is not Arizona nor is it the Sahara Desert. This is Oklahoma!
To make matters worse, several large grass fires occurred burning over 6000 acres and destroying over 30 homes. We've been under a very strict burn ban for several weeks...not even charcoaling on the grill. Some intentional, which is way beyond my understanding as to why. One or two, though unintentional, by people just not thinking, by throwing out a cigarette and burning a mattress (??)
Now I realize that this is not huge by some other out of control fires that have raged across the country, but it has been said that one fire was started by a lawnmower hitting a rock and causing a spark. Another was started by a bulldozer or some large piece of machinery hitting a pipe sparking a fire. Conditions are extremely dry and humidity extremely low for fires to start like that.
Now you ask, what is so short but sweet about all of this? Well, after weeks and weeks of people praying for a break in the weather, it finally happened. Temperatures dropped to the low 70s to low 80s.....LOW 70s and 80s....that's reason to celebrate around here!!! Woohoo!! For about a week, we've enjoyed these wonderful temperatures. Some areas have even had rain!! Not us though.
A week of cool, open the windows, enjoy the breeze days. This weekend, the thermometer started creeping back up. It will be creeping back into the high 90s. Today we turned the air conditioner on. The reprieve was short but sweet. That's okay, because it is supposed to be dropping again towards the end of the week. A sign that fall is coming. Something that looked like it was never going to happen. But it will. It always does.
We are thankful for the break in the temperatures, but we are so desperately needing the rainfall. Farmers and cattlemen will not be able to continue their livelihoods if we don't get rain. So we are still down on our knees. Praying that the experts' predictions are wrong.
Praying that conditions are not as bad where you live ~