We’ve had 1.3 inches of rain since May 1st. So reported our local newspaper (“newspaper”?) a few days ago. A third of an inch in mid-May and then a grand total of one inch during the entire month of June to date.
I don’t recall how much precipitation we usually get per year–something in the 40-inch range, as I recall. I also don’t remember the distribution of precipitation over the year. However, it’s more evenly distributed than some places. We normally get a good amount of snow in winter, some rain in spring and fall, and some thunderstorms (and just plain rain) in the summer.
This is why the Finger Lakes is so green and lush year-round. Normally.
Not this year.
It’s not like the desert or U.S. West, but seed heads and stems are well on their way to being dried up. If you look near the ground, the vegetation is still pretty green. But everything is much drier–and browner–than usual.
We went for a hike through a big meadow yesterday. I told Ron that the meadow and view reminded me of California. That says something.
We’ve been watering (I should really say, Ron has been watering…) near daily. We have enough things to water–vegetable garden, berry bushes, landscaping beds, two new evergreen trees, four new butterfly bushes that we bought Wednesday–everything is getting watered every day or two. It takes too long to water it all at once.
The vegetable garden is okay. We have some lettuce, kale, chard, and snow peas. Other things are growing–green beans, peppers, tomatillos (one of this year’s trial runs), zillions of mystery cruciferous plants, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, squash, and more. But everything could use more water. More water. More water!
It takes a long time to water it all–well. But we’re also concerned about our well. We’re far enough out of town that we are not on a municipal system. Our well was drilled recently (spring 2013, as I recall). Our driller said we have a good well: a lot of water coming out pretty quickly at a reasonable depth.
But still. In long dry spells like this one, it gives us pause. The well would recharge. It’s just a matter of time. But you don’t always want to wait to take a shower, run the dishwater, wash some vegetables, water the plants, or (ahem) flush the toilets.
We’re not exactly conserving water. No buckets in the shower or sink, for instance, catching every available drip. But we’re trying to make some micro-adjustments to our normal water practices. Ron is cutting back on watering the mature landscaping beds on the south side of the house. We’re trying to make sure the dishwasher is really full when we run it. It’s the season for grubby gardening and farm clothes. Dirty, sweaty farm clothes all day, all the time. We’re trying to coordinate washing our grimy clothes in a single load every few days.
The well and this weather are definitely making us more aware of how dependent we are on water. That’s a good thing.