Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Drought in North Carolina

It was already very dry here in central North Carolina when I left for Bulgaria at the beginning of August, leaving the air conditioner off. When I got home in mid-August, it was so hot in my house that the floor tiles in the bathroom burned my feet. The soap was melted. The dental floss was melted. The battery in my laptop computer, which had been in a dark place, was fried. My mattress was hot all the way through.

There was the longest run of days over 90 degrees ever recorded in August. We are in what is for this area, I believe, a historically unprecedented drought.

There was one, just one, rain in September. There is no rain forecast for October and the rest of the winter is supposed to be dry. The farmers' crops have died in the fields. The dogwoods are dying. Everything is dying. The grass is crunchy underfoot.

Farmers are getting rid of their flocks - there is no grass to feed them. There is a panic over hay - it has to be brought in from the North (that's where my donkey's hay for the winter came from).

I have always had a dread of dry places. I've never wanted to visit the Southwest, or Israel, or any other place which is usually dry. I abhor yellow, sere landscapes. Now I live in one. Maybe it's time to move. But where?

I wake up every morning thinking, "it didn't rain again." It starts my day off in a condition of despair. Will it never rain again?

The news people have long since tired of talking about the drought, it's not news any more. But every day that goes by, the story is actually bigger and bigger. Like, well, the melting polar ice caps. The thawing tundra. That boring global warming they have also tired of.

So who was hoping if we didn't talk about it, global warming would go away?

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At 3:10 PM, Anonymous susanlynn said...

I grew up on a farm. Droughts are scary , especially for farmers. I will do a rain dance for you.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger AJ said...

Although it doesn't appear the drought is as severe here in Tennessee (we've had at least a few days of rain over the past month), the summer months, particularly July and August, were devastating. I think we got one or two smatterings of precip during that time, and along with the obvious environmental hardships it caused, it freakin destroyed my yard and all my wife's flowers — just at the time we were trying to sell our house.

Yeah it's pretty depressing, but one can only hope it's just wht it appears to be, a 100 year drought, not a recurring condition.


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