Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Still Dry Despite the Rain

We had a little rain over the week-end. About an inch spread out over the last three days. We still need more than a foot to play catch up from last year's severe drought. And, predictions are that it will be hot and dry again this year. Though it looks like we're going to have some wild flowers this spring, the river that runs through it is still low. This was taken in the fall and it's still the same. You can see, at the bottom of the bridge supports, the normal "high" water mark, though in flood this bridge has been under water.
And that's what people are talking about, that we need a small flood, not only to fill the river, wells and aquifer, but to flush the river of built up debris.

As in this picture of a huge cypress log being carried along.

This is an island in the middle of the river called Tranquility Island. Tranquil isn't it, with the huge bald cypress trees to walk under, and the river placidly drifting by? 

This is just below Tranquility Island, which is under water. See that bridge behind the trees? I've see the water more than half-way up the supports. I've seen refrigerators and small cars in the trees. (No joke!)

Here's a picture of a vehicle that's buried on Tranquility Island.

One time during a flood my husband and I went up to the "big" dam about a mile up stream from where the above pictures were taken. We saw the most extraordinary thing. We saw grackles (You know grackles? They are a large, noisy, gregarious bird) hitching rides on pieces of debris, logs and such, and floating down river. Then, just as the log was about to go thundering over the dam, the birds flew off, veered back up stream and hitched a ride on another log.  They did it over and over. Many of them, not just a few. They were playing. It was like they were at a Disneyland for grackles.

We had only 13 inches of rain last year, when our average is around 34. Since January there's been about 5 inches, for which we are grateful. But we need a flood. Around here they're called frog chokers. At least here, in the Hill Country, most people are safe when the river rises, there's time to get out of the way and few homes are built in flood plains. But it can still be dangerous. People have lost their lives.

Have you ever been in a flood?


  1. (Pssst...they're grackles in most of the world.)

    We of course have floods routinely in San Antonio. It's always been like this. Researching the lesbian western, I read every surviving local newspaper from the Civil War I could find on microfilm down at the Enchilada, and they tended to be a little bit of local news and advertising wrapping a lot of stuff reprinted from whatever other sources the editor could lay hands on, with a huge emphasis on war news, as you'd expect. Except for the very last newspaper of the war. That was a Flood Edition, containing the report of the committee assigned to evaluate what made that year's March "freshets" so much worse than previous years, editorial remarks on which bad building practices had to go, and reports of the worst damage. Who cared about Appomattox when Yturri Street was just gone?

  2. LOL! Thanks Peni! I've made the correction from crackle to grackle. Although the noise they make is very like crackling!

    As for floods in San Antonio, I think that's one of the reasons the area was settled, because there was/is lots more surface water. Much more that up here in the Hill Country.

  3. Hi Bish
    Lovely photos. In Colorado we used to have floods along certain rivers in the mountains until they built dams and fixed those broken. In 1965 when I was young, there was so much rain it flooded Clear Creek taking out Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado and flooding parts of Denver, about 45 min. drive time away from Golden. We have mostly clay for soil, so a little water goes a long way. It will flood from too much snow melting coupled with rain in the spring. But it's rare. Today, Elitch Gardens, an amusement park well known for Big Band music over the radio in the 40's moved and is situated along Clear Creek in Denver. Big mistake I think.

  4. No, I've never experienced a flood. I hope I never have to!

  5. Disneyland for grackles - that made me laugh!
    Never been IN a flood, but I've lived in several ares that experience flooding now and then. Currently the floods usually come from hurricanes.

  6. Ohhh, how, I have never been in a flood but since I have a huge fear of dying by drowing, it would scare me to death. We are dry here in NC as well-a topic of conversation on our radion station this morning with's all scary-the extremes!

  7. Wow! Look at these amazing pictures! Be careful out there, Bish. Flash floods are super dangerous. But isn't it interesting how you can live on an island and be in a drought? I always thought it was odd to live so close to water (I know, salt water, but still) and need water.

    Anyway, take care! Be safe~ <3

  8. Wow, it's amazing the changes that rain or no rain can do!

  9. Wow, we get more snow in the winter than you get of rain all year.

    We had a flash flood last year. It dragged a guy under his car and he drowned. :(

  10. Great pictures, Bish. I've been in many floods in California. We've even had to evacuate a few times. It's amazing how fast and powerful that water can be.

  11. I've never been through a flood that wasn't caused by my washing machine. At my first primary school we had occasionally flood drills where we all had to walk what seemed like miles to another school that was on higher ground. Very strange, as I don't ever recall there being flooding (I even looked it up to see if I could find any records, but there was nothing).

  12. Wow, amazing photos, Bish! I don't think I've ever been in a flood, thank goodness. I grew up on a hill and funnily enough I live on top of a hill now (Notting Hill!). London is actually in the throes of a drought, if you can believe that.

  13. Floods were pretty common along the Mekong, so, yes I've been in some of those. It was never much of a deal there because the Laos are sensible people and their homes were built on stilts. The French and Americans, however, had to muck out their first floor levels. We never learned. :-)

    Thanks for the comment at the Write Game and for the chuckle. "Untweeten!" I like that, Bish.

  14. I've been surrounded by floods but never hit me directly.
    Great photos. The one of the trees is inviting. Never enough cool trees in the summer.
    I'm laying a little low right now but see you soon on A-Z.


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