Sunday, August 28, 2011

Drought and gratitude

I spent a lot of time today dragging around hoses and watering. 

I watered my vegetables, yes (they're totally dependent on the water and nutrients I provide), but also I (and my gardening companion) watered young native shrubs (as well as older ones, and shallow-rooted native trees like Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood), some quite old.  The evergreen Rhododendrons have suffered from the blasting heat and no rain of the last 6-8 weeks -- we normally would have had afternoon thunderstorms providing moisture.

But I'm mindful of how lucky we are to be able to turn on the hose faucet. 

Our (human-made) lakes are pretty full of water, both for drinking and whatever watering we're willing to pay for.  (Not too many years ago, we were close to not being able to turn on the tap for landscaping).

But a piece on NPR this evening reminded us of how it could be. 

Drought-stricken areas of Africa have emptied of desperate farmers and their families who can't 'turn on the tap' when nature's rains don't come. 

We saw women in Tanzania some years ago coming to a government well to fill up large containers of water to take home some miles away (probably up to 5-8 miles) -- this was on foot.  They didn't have vehicles or animals to help.

So I'm grateful this evening that I can turn on the tap to water plants.  And take a bath, not to mention water for a soft-boiled egg for breakfast and coffee, too.

3 comments:

  1. This is likely to prove to be the driest summer ever in these parts - and Nottinghamshire sandlands don't have much residual water to start with. Trees are showing drought stress and shedding leaves early and nectar flow has halted for honeybees.
    And as you point out, this is trivial competed with the privations of folk in drought stricken Somalia.
    Rob

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  2. I often think of how incredibly rich we are in resources, clean water especially, relative to some parts of the world. Like you I am incredibly grateful.
    I love your header photo!

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  3. Lisa,

    I know what you mean. Hurricane Irene drenched so many people, we were at the edge of Irene. The baby squash just died on the vine over the weekend. Soil like concrete here too.

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