Thursday, July 5, 2007

Rain, rain, go away

I don't know how much Texas news is reported elsewhere; but, it's been raining a lot this year - a whole lot. Last month was the 2nd wettest June on record. The ground is so saturated that we've reached a point where the rain is causing more damage than good. Every bit of rain turns into runoff which is causing flash flooding. My heart goes out to those families who have lost a family member (19 on the last news report I listened to) or have been displaced from their homes due to flooding.

Fortunately, for Abelard's community, no homes or neighborhoods have been threatened with flooding from all of the rain. We do have a lake in our community (about 2 miles from Abelard's home); but, the land around the lake (up to the high water mark) is owned by the Army Corp of Engineers and has been leased out by our community for parks, bike trails, etc. Many of these parks are now flooded.

We've been having a drought for the previous two years; so, the level of the lake was getting dangerously low. They had closed all of the boat ramps because they were completely out of the water and on dry ground. They opened the boat ramps a couple of months ago. Now they're closed again because the lake is too high. We started out 2007 with the lake being about 12 feet below normal level; it is now 15 feet above normal level.

I drove down to the lake yesterday to take some pictures. If you click on the picture then you can see a larger version.

This picture (left) is one of the picnic areas by the lake. Those green rooftops poking out of the water are covered picnic tables with firepits. There are about a dozen such picnic tables here. The two that are poking out of the water are the furthest from the lake shoreline. The others are completely submerged.

This next picture (right) is one of the soccer fields.

This last picture (left) is one of the softball fields where you can see the water has encroached up to about home plate. Kind of a funny story about this picture. I was explaining to a friend about the water having partially submerged one of the baseball fields. He couldn't believe it and was asking where it was. When I described the location he realized I was talking about a softball field, not a baseball field. Evidently, we have softball fields and separate baseball fields (which are further from the lake and, therefore, not threatened). I had no idea that there was a difference. I thought I was doing good to know that they were both games where you threw a little ball and hit it with a stick. I guess the sports police come after you if you have the gall to play baseball on a softball field or vice versa.

And the funny thing: We are still under a burn ban due to drought conditions. Watering restrictions are still in place for lawns. (I haven't even needed to water my lawn yet this year).

For those of you living in areas in need of rain, a word of warning: Be careful what you pray for! :)

... and the forecast for today? More storms this afternoon expecting 1 to 3 inches of rain.


Gimple said...

God is a mysterious one. I wish I could understand when and why he decides to answers prayers. I just wish, oh how I wish...

Beck said...

We really could use some of your rain out here in the west desert! I'm afraid at any minute our foothills are going to go up in smoke again like they did last year...

Though I believe our faith and prayer can modify the elements, I also believe that many times He let's the elements play their course without much divine intervention.

It's like someone across town has a wedding and really is earnestly and righteously praying for a beautiful day for their once-in-a-lifetime celebration, while the farmer across town the other way is really praying for rain to keep his crops alive so that he can manage to righteously support his family and meet their earnest needs. How can God really answer both prayers?

At the same time, I've personally witnessed God's hand in parting a storm coming directly at us on a wilderness camp and it poured and struck lighting all around us, yet we were spared. And I've personally witnessed lighting strike us not 50 yards from our tent - yet no one was hurt.

Good luck in keeping up with the luxurious weeds that most likely will come with the rain... But how luxurious must your flower garden be with the rain.

Wow... I don't know where I'm going with this... I think I'll go hide in my cave now.

Abelard Enigma said...

But how luxurious must your flower garden be with the rain.

Actually, not as much as you might think. It certainly looks a whole lot better than it has the last two years when we were in a drought. But, not as well as I would expect. I actually talked with one of the local nursery's about this recently. Evidently it's a relatively common question they are getting. Their theory is that, with all of the rain comes lots of cloud cover, so the plants aren't getting as much light as they normally do this time of year. I also think that all of the rain may be flushing out some of the nutrients in the soil as well (so, I've started adding more fertilizer)