Sunday, August 23, 2009
The trees were hanging in there until now. Many trees are suddenly turning brown in the relentless Texas heat/drought. Days which do not exceed 100F have been few and far between for two months now. A few small local storms pop upevery few days, usually missing the spot you happen to stand upon. Most days the skies are clear and even cloudless. There is little sign of remission in the forecast.
Suburban areas around Austin are now trucking in water. (h/t John Fleck) Reservoirs are flirting with historic lows . Domestic water use is not threatened but strict limitations on watering are in effect. Famous springs and swimming holes are threatened.
Trees and shrubs are visibly stressed at last. It seemed sudden to me. Until this week I was amazed at how long they managed to stay green. Now the stress is visible. Juvenile specimens that aren't watered are mostly dying. I'm not sure what that means for fire danger, but I guess it's not good. South Central Texas was tallgrass prairie before fire suppression. There are far more stands of trees than is natural.
Texas remains prosperous, though not very pretty these days. Nobody's starving except wild animals. I saw a four foot wingspan hawk hanging around the city the other day, two doors down from my house, about three miles from the state capitol.
Posted by Michael Tobis at 11:50 PM