Monday, July 9, 2012
Drought that has been worsened by our near 100-degree temperatures of the last ten-plus days is what we have faced here in central Wisconsin.
Yes, here in my garden and at the family vegetable garden we have access to lots of plentiful ground water to pump and water as we please. My garden pictures are lush, and my lawn is green. I still mow it when the temperature get below 90 degrees and it gets to an appropriately long height. Yet, there is a darker side to our weather pattern this growing season.
Drought is not just here in my village, but a larger area across much of the bread basket of the United States. Here, my village sits right on spring-fed aquifers, groundwater is close. I joke I could dig a well with a spoon. What we call "sand points" are common. It is a very basic well someone drive in, typically less than 20' and attached a simple above ground garden pump to water a vegetable plot. People pull the pump in the winter to avoid it freezing. They are not so common as my youth, the DNR has all sorts of issues with possible ground water contamination from backflow, because our water table is right here at hand. I remember helping to pound a sand point as a teenager and hitting water somewhere between 8' and 9', attaching a hand-pump, priming it, and having running water in minutes.
Yesterday, I went for a drive with my son and as we got out of our own little "swamp land" it became very apparent how the hot temperatures and lack of rain were affecting the area, an area not listed as severe drought in the NOAA chart linked above.
There were many, I repeat, MANY mature trees dying.
Right in the front yards of home owners, their mature trees were dying. Boxelders, birch, maples, pines, and spruce were leading the list, but fruiting and flowering ornamentals were right there on the casualty lists, as well.
Are you oblivious?
People! Water your trees! Please! Trees are one of our best defenses against a whole list of ecological disasters from dust bowls to scorching heat. They take decades to replace.
It is not just your lawn out there, turning brown.
Water your trees. They are shouting at me! I'm talking to you...