When I tried to type “drought” in the title just now, it auto-corrected to “fright.” Exactly!
We are finally getting some rain, but it’s been bad, really bad — super hot and dry. Even that hardiest of perennials, the hosta, has struggled. I’ve dug up four shrubs and will likely have to dig up two more. Ferns have crisped and collapsed. Astilbe try valiantly, but barely make it despite daily watering. I’ve even been watering well-established trees for fear of losing them (NB: our reservoir, the Quabbin, has high levels right now).
It’s been a close-to-home wake up call for an area relatively immune to the drastic effects of climate change. Hurricanes are rare here. Tornados happen now again, but usually out by Worcester or Springfield. We don’t get flooding or wildfires and until now, drought was something that happened out West.
A “flash drought” is nothing like the nearly decade-long drought in California, say, but it brings immediate consequences.
I read that a temperature change of 1.5 degrees would be catastrophic for forests in the Northeast.
No wonder some nights I feel the acid bloom of fear just as I’m dropping off to sleep.
Oh! If only we could share some of our over-abundant rain!! 😓
I know. Your footage of rain has looked alarming at times but oh so relieving too!
Gosh Dee! Your photos & collages speak volumes! Our answer here has always been to plant ‘native plants’…but your area’s native plants must be used to more water (unlike here where folks like to pretend we are lush and green). This is really food for thought. Your images bring that home.
I emphasize native, so-called drought resistant plants. We don’t irrigate the lawn. Don’t care about lawns. But even so…
Here, too. Sure does make me think more about the Arctic ice-melt. It rained here yesterday and two rabbits appeared from the field – never seen this before. Do they know the eagles are now looking for rodents instead of fish? And, as distressing as all this is (because it sure does feel like the start of the end) I return to NYT Spelling Bee for solace. Pathetic and clueless.
I don’t know what I’d do without the spelling bee, wordle, the daily crossword and usually — a jigsaw puzzle going on the kitchen table. They are treats and stabilizers, both.
I hadn’t heard that about eagles. It’s very telling.
I just learned that since 2015, the Saudi’s have been growing alfalfa in AZ with unlimited access to an aquifer for irrigation. Outrageous! I don’t believe they even pay for the water.
Omg – about the Saudis
I don’t know if eagles are really going after rabbit instead of fish, I was just surmising.
My lawn looks like the lawn in the image you showed. Here in Maine we have gotten rain- enough to keep things alive…just. And it’s not as hot here on the coast. the ocean cools us. I water the peaches and husband waters the garden. We have heard that heating oil will be in short supply for Winter. We have No secondary source…so………
Hadn’t heard that about oil. Oh dear! And BTw read your recent post this morning and I’m sending you a HUG!
“the acid bloom of fear” … exactly and not just climate change … abortion rights, gun safety, toxic chemicals (my brother was a career firefighter and wore turnout gear every damn day), LGBTQ rights, DACA and immigration reform, Ukraine, anti-vaxxers and big lie-ers … the list goes on and on and on …
Thank you for naming some of the other terrifying influences of this weird time, Liz. I’m actually somewhat embarrassed to admit that climate catastrophe is usually not top of mind for me – it’s the possible fall of our republic, the rise of violence from the right — how the GOP is stepping with such enthusiasm toward fascism, fueled by white supremacy, stupidity, and conspiracies. It’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around.
Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before but for the first time in 40 years, parts of the Rio Grande here in New Mexico have gone dry. My daughter and son in law from CA were here visiting us last week, (they left yesterday)and were shocked to see this). CA had had droughts forever as has New Mexico. Lawns were always brown and here in the rental, near the apple tree, we have bare ground.
When we moved here in 2021, the landlord said there was a lawnmower and said we could plant grass seed if we wanted…I looked at him askance and said, no, water is an issue and lawns are not my thing! He pays for our water but I am ever mindful of the need to not waste water. It is one thing to grow for food, and another to grow for what I call,ornamentation; more and more, I grow for food, even in what I call this postage stamp garden…
For the past several years, I have learned to compartmentalize my fears of all that has befallen us because if I combine them, the overwhelming feeling of helplessness, takes over and I feel totally useless…taking small actions, when I can rise to the occasion to do so, is how I am coping with all of this. Still, there are some days, when all all I want to do is make my cup of hot Ovaltine, curl up in my chair and read and read and shut the door on the world…and I think we need to do that at times so that we can open that door, now and then, and stand and face and act, no matter how small the action…
If only everyone would abandon their lawn projects and plant a few trees instead! Have you see the pictures of the Loire River? Dry. Lake Merced, dropping. It is a lot to take in and taking refuge in books and Ovaltine is a necessity.
Someone recently looked at the post linked below and I went back to read it. In it I list some beautiful examples of humanity. I need to do that some more. For all our sakes.
(((Dee))) we humans have not been addressing climate change all my life, we have known this would happen in our lifetimes… Back in 1986 the hole in the ozone layer over Australia burned a friend’s cactus collection! David Suzuki came out to Australia on a lecture tour in 1988, he said we could collectively turn the ship of climate change around if we started doing something then & that the rate of change would grow exponentially. Now is the time, revolution is in the air!
The fossil fuel companies knew decades ago too! Have you read “The Ministry of the Future”? It’s an issue-driven novel that shows a world in which people actually get it together to slow temperature rise. All the things that had to happen was daunting but the book made it seem (narrowly) possible.
(((Dee))) I’m rereading Iris Murdoch ‘The Sea, The Sea’ after reading her 1985 book ‘The Good Apprentice’ and watching the heartbreaking film ‘Iris’ with Judy Dench, Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent. When I have finished reading a few more of her deeply philosophical and human books I may try to read ‘The Ministry of the Future’ but as we are living right here & now with the repercussions of our collective need to continue guzzling gas & coal that it could be almost superfluous.
Moving posts all around. I was noticing today a number of recent trees planted by City of Newton with the watering bags, which are now largely empty or close to it and many of the trees appear to be dying. It’s in our faces all the time now and we’re not suffering nearly as badly as a lot of other places. So much suffering of many kinds all over the world and in our country. May we heal ourselves, our animals, our environment. May we turn this around. May we use time wisely.
Yes May we use our time wisely!
We have a period of drought here every year. It surprises most people when they thing of the “green” Pacific Northwest. But it’s been so hot (for us) this year…not just the usual heat stress that causes plants to start dropping leaves but plants that look like the ones you’ve pictured, that aren’t going to survive even if they are watered or well established. And weirdly, everyone that gardens is complaining of not having the food crops that we typically have because of such a cold spring…
And…just thinking about the politics of it, climate change has always been one of my top concerns (if we don’t have a healthy planet to live on does the rest matter?) but really it all part of the rest. All the issues impact each other, all of it is part of a healthy (not just physical health but emotional and community) environment to live in. It’s what makes it so overwhelming and scary for me at times.
Yeah I think of the NW as rainy much of the time. Didn’t now about annual drought.
The fact that election deniers and climate deniers are overlapping sets makes clear why you can’t think about climate as an isolated thing.
It’s so hard to know where to put your worry energy! Don’t forget covid and growing cases of monkey pox…and any national or personal financial concerns…and so on.