Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let it Rain

We recently spent a few days camping on our property in Western North Carolina. The weather was beautiful and much cooler than we expected. The area has been in some state of drought since the late 1990's. It is now classified as "Exceptional Drought" which is the most extreme level.

The picture is of a shallow pond on the property. This is the first time it has been this dry since we owned the property. There was always a small puddle for the deer to drink out of. Now it is dry enough to drive across. The pond used to be home to many frogs and newts. I hope a few of them are hiding in the bit of mud in the center of the pond waiting for the rain.

Rain did come the first few days of this week as the remnants of Tropical Fay passed by. I had really hoped she would move to the state sooner and leave a bit more rain. Instead she waltzed across Florida a few times. It seems much of the rain this time of year comes from tropical systems or weather systems from the Gulf of Mexico. Hopefully the fall months will bring more rain to the area.

Many of the trees are showing signs stress from the years of low moisture by turning yellow and dropping their leaves in the late summer before the temperatures cool. There are several trees dropping leaves. The tree in the center of this picture is a Sweet Gum with leaves that are brown and shriveled. It looks different than the ones dropping leaves. I am afraid it may not recover.

We never drive very fast on the mountain roads because they are steep with lots of switch backs and curves. Often deer are crossing the roads, which is another reason to drive slow. These two crossed the road in front of us and then stopped in the trees to watch. Can you see them? Below is a enlarge portion of the photo. It's kind of fuzzy, but hopefully you can see them looking at us.

The deer almost always stop to watch us pass in the car. If we stop and watch long enough they will move on. As long as we stay in the car, they appear to take their time, but if we are on foot, they don't waste time moving away from us.

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