While most of the Texas Panhandle and much of the rest of north Texas still is struggling to cope with a severe drought that began in 2010, the Divine Universe has sent our part of the state so much water this spring that our personal and local drought has literally drowned.
Here at the One-Acre Ranch in Fort Bend County, my rain gauge registered an unbelievable 19.25 inches of rain over a recent span of eight thunderstorm-filled days. To put that into perspective, that is more than the average rainfall for Phoenix, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M., combined – for an entire year. It’s been crazy, and difficult to grasp the magnitude of our wet blessing knowing that simultaneously, across the country, California’s collective suffering is increasing, from yet another year of horribly dry weather.
As one might expect, a lot of water from the recent rainstorms here ran off into the Brazos River, which has been swollen for most of the month of April, along with the Colorado River to the west. But a significant amount of water also soaked down into the ground where we needed it most.
Coupled with a cooler-than-usual spring, the result is, among other things, tomato plants chest high, and weeds almost as big. Every tree, bush and plant is on full-tilt grow mode.
At the Polka Farm in Lavaca County, 90 miles west, we’d faced hotter, drier weather and more prolonged drought than Fort Bend, but that also has changed dramatically. On Sunday I traveled out, ironically to reprogram and activate my little irrigation system. I found that our usually dry stream, affectionately named Lost Bridge Creek, had been raging, and flooded its banks, pushing so many logs downstream that they clogged both ends of our steel-and-concrete bridge. Then the creek roared right over the top of the bridge.
At the other end of the property, the creek stacked more dead logs against the barb wire fence we share with a neighbor. The rushing water’s force snapped each wire. When I inspected the still-running “dry” creek a couple of days later, I found that the 30-foot fence section that had crossed the creek now was relocated and ran parallel to it, with the posts firmly stuck in place amongst the flood debris, and the wires strung tight, as if humans had installed it there.
While it’s wonderful to have the rain, I’m wary, as the destruction from the drought still kind of haunts me. I wish I could afford to put gutters on the farm structures and build a water catchment system of tanks to hold the run-off. Maybe I can’t afford not to.
In the meantime I’ll take what nature gives me and be super grateful for it.