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Monday, September 24, 2012

The oppurtunity of drought

I did not truly realize how bad the drought had gotten until I went to my little fishing hole.  My fishing hole with a place where 2 creeks enter the arm of a reservoir.  I went to hunt paw paws, but what I found amazed me.  The entire arm and both creeks were dry.  Not simply drying up, muddy, no, dry enough that I could walk across and not sink one bit.  Burdock and sedge were growing almost in a green carpet across the places where water was, but if you looked closely, you could see dry clay, with huge cracks in it. 
At first I was appalled by the fact that there was so little water.  But the more I walked the more I realized that drought can provide opportunities.  For years people have complained that the reservoir was being silted in by runoff from the farms.  Here was an opportunity to return some of the farm soil.  No expensive and destructive dredger would be needed.  Thousands of tons of topsoil that had drained off of land from poor use was ready to be reused.  The complete lack of structure at the lake was evident.  Rock piles, brush piles and fish attractors could all be easily built and placed precisely waiting for the water to return.  Small dams and holes could be created so that the fish that were stranded this time and left to die would have a shot at surviving the next drought.  Bank cover could be planted to help transform the muddy lake into one that could be excellent. 
Too often we see natural cycles of abundant rain and drought as a problem.  We think of too much rain causing floods and too little rain causing drought, but we do not stop and look at these things as cycles.  But we will never have a time when the weather completely cooperates and does exactly what we wish when we wish it.  And if we did have such weather, we would never have the opportunities to easily do what needs to be done.  Many farm ponds need repairs done to their dams, and why go through the trouble of draining the pond if a drought has made it possible to repair anyway. Earthworks that would help to catch flood waters and retain them are built when it isn't flooding. 
Every time we react by judging things only by the negative, we stop ourselves from doing anything but cursing at circumstances.  There are hundreds of things that can be done in any circumstance if we simply have the forethought and will to do them.  We can make improvements to any land, at any time.  We can find ways to mitigate drought and flooding, but we also can find ways to use droughts and floods.  Nothing is static, and we can either fight the changes around us, or use the changes around us.  It is our choice. 

Live a hands on life

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