Oklahoma Drought Monitor Map 12/10/2013

Okiedawn OK Zone 7December 13, 2013

I haven't posted one of these in a while, so here it is. This week's edition of the Oklahoma Drought Monitor Map is linked below.

While 49.22% of Oklahoma remains in some stage of drought, ranging from Abnormally Dry to Exceptional, my part of Love County is back in the white for the first time in about 18 months. Woo hoo! I'll celebrate by watching the rain that is falling outside right now.

Let us not forget, though, that almost half our state, most of it in the western half of the state, remains in drought and in some areas, where Severe to Exceptional Drought persists, water supplies are low and it is critical that these water levels rise before summer (hopefully long before). At least some of these areas already are in Stage 3 or Stage 4 water restrictions, or are facing them this spring, and those are pretty harsh restrictions.

All I wanted for Christmas was to be out of drought because I had decided I would not compile a grow list, purchase a single seed or make a single plan for Spring planting until and unless we made it out of drought. So, somewhere in the midst of all the holiday preparations, I need to find time to squeeze in some garden planning and order a couple of seed packs because it looks like I might get to plant a garden in 2014, after all.

Now, if only the light rain that is falling at above-freezing temperatures here would just melt off all the ice that remains in our yards here, as well as on secondary, lightly-traveled roadways. I know some of you may get freezing rain and hope everyone stays safe today and tonight.


Here is a link that might be useful: Oklahoma Drought Monitor 12/10/2013

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I need to quit looking at these. I'm going to print it out, put white out over the dark red and hang it on my wall. lol

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Leslie, I'll buy you a bottle of white-out for Christmas! (grin) Seriously, though, I am looking forward to the day that your area is back in the white and hope it happens in 2014. We both know there's no way y'all will get enough rain in 2013 to end your drought before 2013 ends.

We stay in drought more often than not nowadays. I look at our place now and it is hard to remember we once had a big pond filled with fish, several smaller ponds, one year-round creek and several seasonal ones and a swamp. Our property has changed so much in the last 15 years, and most of that change has occurred because rainfall has become too scarce. All the ponds stay dry most of the year, although the big one sometimes has a foot or two of water in it in May and sometimes into June. The fishing dock we built there? No one has fished from it since around 2004 and there's no fish left in it, obviously. It once was spring-fed but that spring dried up for good in the drought of 2005 and the smaller overflow pond adjacent to it also hasn't had much water in it, other than holding runoff for a few weeks after a persistently wet period. It is hard to remember that we used to have so much rainfall in spring and early summer that the overflow from our big pond drained into the smaller pond, which then stayed full for several weeks to several months each year. Our swamp is gone, and the plants that once grew in it are too. Once the spring that fed it dried up, its fate was sealed. It is astonishing to me that year after year of drought has changed this piece of land so much. I find myself gardening in significantly different conditions now than what I had our first few years here.

I always joke with Tim that if we had wanted to live in a desert we would have bought land in a desert, not in a wet creek hollow. When even our native cacti dried up and died in 2011, a part of me knew that things here never will be the same again. I miss all the beautiful (but water-thirsty) ornamental plants we once had here. Nowadays I only plant drought-tolerant plants, mostly native in origin, that can tolerate our increasingly-long periods of drought, and even those tend to die or at least go dormant during prolonged drought.

I don't know what the answer is, long-term, but if we keep having persistent drought year after year, my garden is going to keep getting smaller and smaller.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 7:32AM
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