Dry, Dusty Autumn

This crazy summer weather continues on and on.  Several early 1900’s high temperatures have been broken. The mornings start out pleasant but quickly rise to the high 90’s.

No rain in two months.  Dry land and vegetation makes a high fire risk.  The caliche dust on the county roads rises like a fine powder and hovers in the air for what seems like forever.  High dust clouds announce anyone traveling anywhere nearby.

drydusty2The grasses in the fields are all dead.  Broomweed or Broom Snakeweed (Amphiachyris amoenaseem) seems to be the only living vegetation and cows don’t eat it because it is poisonous.

drydustybWith hundreds of bushes massed in a pasture, its tiny yellow flowers and light green foliage form a lime green landscape.

drydusty3The ponds are almost dry.  This eerie moonscape look is created by dead, dry bleached plants and grasses sticking up from the bottom of the tank.

drydusty4Last summer when the ponds were totally dry, grasses and weeds grew up.  Then spring rains filled the ponds up.  Now they have dried again, leaving those dead plants and other crud stuck to them standing alone.

drydusty5Mighty strange looking.

drydusty7Another tank with scum floating on top of a small amount of water.

drydusty6Poverty Willow flowers shine a silvery white in the sunlight.

drydusty8Up close the wispy tufts look like small powder puffs.

drydusty9

drydustyaThis was dug as a spill over area from a tank.  This empties into a stream.  It seems unlikely that it would be needed.  But the spring rains did fill up the tank to overflowing.

drydustycNotice the stratum of this land cutaway. The top layer of soil is about 2 – 3 inches.  The white layer below that is caliche.  Under that is clay.  It’s a wonder that anything grows here.  But trees and some native shrubs do survive.

This explains why I used raised beds in the yard.

drydustyThis scraped plot was done by using a skid loader with a tilted bucket.  The purpose was to take away the weeds and loosen the top soil.  Then we scattered wildflower seeds.  It is in a pasture between the house and the barn.  So we should be able to enjoy the flowers.

Now we are praying for rain.  Autumn rains are needed for Texas wildflowers to succeed.  Actually, rain is desperately needed for everything.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it’s stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain

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