16
   

about the drought

 
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2011 09:34 pm
@edgarblythe,
There was a story on the local news today about all the insects that are invading houses here, looking for water. One bug hunter was saying that in one house the ant invasion was so bad they were in the beds, the dressers, the closets and looked like a moving carpet in the bedrooms.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2011 03:47 pm
I'm not sure I do this... bats are not my favorite creatures.

http://msnbcmedia2.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/110728_bat-austin.grid-8x2.jpg

Quote:
AUSTIN, Texas — There are 1.5 million bats living under a bridge in downtown Austin, and a historic Texas drought is making them hungrier than ever.

That's bad news for the bats in the world's largest urban bat colony. But it is good news for the humans who gather each evening just a few blocks from the state Capitol building to watch their spectacular nightly trips into the nearby Hill Country to find food.

The drought has killed off crops in Texas, and that in turn has killed off those delicious pests the Mexican free-tailed bats consider dinner.

That means they have to leave home earlier than usual each night to find nourishment — giving the locals in this bat-crazy city a precious few more minutes to watch the normally-nocturnal critters fly before the sun goes down. Source


http://msnbcmedia4.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/110728_bats-flock.grid-6x2.jpg

http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/110728_bats-austin.grid-6x2.jpg
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2011 04:00 pm
I have been curiously free of bugs. A few years ago, there were bats at the apartments. But they were quickly gotten rid of. Mainly, I have to fight fleas, as the dog wanders freely in and out and those expensive flea poisons generally work, but fleas sometimes get in.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2011 04:11 pm
Very noticeable about the drought is the number of dead trees all over this area. Then, at the lake where we walk, animals that normally hide out in the daytime are plainly visible. Raccoons, possums - even a rabbit or two. Likely, they are hungry. I wrote about seeing a gator in the water a few weeks back. It might have moved on, because I saw it for just the one time. A few days ago, a very long snake was in the water very near to where the gator had been. Funny thing, it stuck its eyes out of the water to watch me watching it, exactly the same way the gator did.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2011 04:23 pm
We just got a brief but significant rain, so much so that for a few minutes the storm drains were overwhelmed with the amount of runoff in the street.

This should go a long way toward filling the bucket and ending the drought here.

Any rain in your area today, Edgar?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2011 04:31 pm
We have not had recent rain, but it is forecast that it will be wet for a few days, beginning Wednesday or Thursday and that the string of 100+ plus days will be broken.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2011 06:35 pm
@edgarblythe,
Fingers crossed that it happens for you, edgar.
Lots & lots of beautiful rain.
I certainly know what it's like, waiting, waiting, waiting, for the skies to finally open.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2011 07:29 pm
It will take a long rainy spell to get us normal. The forecasters predict a repeat next year.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2011 07:45 pm
@edgarblythe,
I so sympathize, edgar.
I know what that's like.
We had ten continuous years of drought in my state, which "officially" came to an end recently, though we can't assume that it is totally "over".

How's your "bucket back", going?
Make sure you leave lots of buckets in strategic spots to catch that rain!
I'd lend you all mine if I could! Smile

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Aug, 2011 08:02 pm
i am putting them out tomorrow. prior, they were a waste.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2011 01:49 am
@edgarblythe,
Good, edgar!

If not much else, it makes you feel like you're doing your best in the circumstances.

And your garden plants will certainly welcome a bit of spot watering!
Mine did! Smile
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Sep, 2011 09:11 pm
From the Houston Chronicle:

Millions of trees in the Houston area are likely to perish due to the drought gripping the state, potentially worsening air quality problems, destroying wildlife habitat and making the area warmer, experts said.

The most dire prediction came from Barry Ward, executive director of the nonprofit Trees for Houston, who estimated that 66 million trees - about 10 percent of the entire canopy in the eight-county Houston area - would die within two years as a result of the worst drought in Houston's history.

Houston city workers are removing dead trees from city parks, including Memorial Park, where at least 341 trees have died - some from pine bark beetles but others due to the drought, said Joe Turner, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

Another 200 trees have died in other city parks, and work crews are cutting down trees that could fall on public thoroughfares or injure people.

A Texas Forest Service study in 2001 determined there are 663 million trees in the eight-county region that includes Harris County, said Mickey Merritt, the agency's bayou region forestry coordinator. About 84 million are in urban areas.

"If you lost 1 percent, that's 6 million trees over the region, or 840,000 in urban areas," Merritt said. "My gut feeling is that we're going to lose more than we lost in Hurricane Ike within the eight-county region."

While there is no universally accepted number of Ike-killed trees, Ward estimated at least 6.6 million trees perished in the September 2008 hurricane.

A tree's chance of survival, Merritt said, depends on the type of soil and its condition before the drought began.

"Some weak trees might survive, but they're so weak that they won't fully recover and will continue to decline," he said. "They will be susceptible to insects and diseases."

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Sep, 2011 10:08 pm
I worry so about the animals.
Birds, I see them all over standing around with their mouths gaping open.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Sep, 2011 10:31 pm
@chai2,
I put bird and squirrel food in the back yard. Also water. We feed the ducks and geese in the park. They act like they are starving.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 08:19 am
@edgarblythe,
Yes, I keep my bird bath full at all times.

I'm more worried about thirst than hunger at this point.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 08:48 am
The deer have taken to grazing in full sight in the daytime. Something I never before saw in these parts.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 12:55 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm wondering what percentage of the dying/dead trees are native to that area of Texas.. if that makes any difference.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 01:06 pm
@ossobuco,
I am certain that it makes a difference in more cases than not. Other factors, such as the tree's condition before the drought, figure in. My bald cypress is not native to the area. Nor is the fig. Both show the greatest stress and in fact may not survive.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Oct, 2011 02:49 pm
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Finally-Houston-area-gets-some-rain-2210293.php

Finally, Houston area gets some rain
By ROBERT STANTON, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Published 02:50 p.m., Sunday, October 9, 2011

Call it charity, beneficence or even a gift from the gods.

Whatever it's called, many folks welcomed today's rainy weather as a new friend.

"We wish it wasn't rare," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris McKinney said of the wet weather. "It's a nice departure from what's become normal."

The Houston area and much of Texas have been unwilling recipients of a historic drought that has wreaked havoc on flora and fauna statewide, killing thousands of trees in Memorial Park alone.

The much-needed rainfall generally followed the I-45 corridor from Galveston to Houston and was heading east by the afternoon, McKinney said. By mid-afternoon the rain started coming down from Pasadena to Channelview.

Fueling the wet weather was a large storm system across the central United States, driven by a low-pressure system in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

McKinney said the rain was "pretty typical for this time of the year, when we start to transition from summertime to fall. That's when we get a lot of weather systems and cold fronts."

The highest rainfall - 2-1/2 inches - came down at Hobby Airport, while the Lawndale area of East Houston received 2 inches, the NWS reported. The average rainfall amounts for the greater Houston were in the range of 1 to 1-1/2 inches.

Bellaire was the beneficiary of about 1/3 inch of rain, while Memorial Park got about a half inch of rainfall, McKinney said.

The last time Hobby Airport saw that much rainfall was Jan. 24, when 2.3 inches came fell, McKinney said.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Oct, 2011 03:50 pm
The rain began early and is in fact still falling. It is the best day weatherwise for the entire year. But, the TV guys are saying the drought may last until 2020.
0 Replies
 
 

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