Friday, May 10, 2013

whoa, time to take a break here, and just blog. usually, when it rains, one might tend to stay home, make a pot of coffee, watch it rain for a while, especially if one just finished one's grading and has every excuse to not go out in it. i, however, felt a strong impulse to go out in it, especially since it's really the first rain of the entire spring here, and the ground was parched, not green at all, literally crackling for it.

ah but when it rains the gutters fill up, and the right hand turn lane from nineteenth onto flint on the north side of the intersection has maybe two feet of water in it, which the large trucks enjoy, whether they intend to splash you or not. the smaller cars creep carefully through it, terrified that the water will get above their intake and ruin them forever. but my main point is, though campus is less than two blocks from here, i can't get across this place, on foot or on bike.

reason to stay home? still not. i walked down the middle of the busy nine-lane until i found a jumping place (a ford, i like to call it) and ran across the road, and hurled myself past this high water. living dangerously, it was. cars and busses were splashing up water all over campus. by the time i got where i was going, i was soaked.

met the wife of a cotton farmer the other day who was telling me, the rain carries nitrogen, unlike what you water or irrigate with, so it's inherently better for the ground than simply pulling it up from beneath and spreading it. she said controls were about to come down on the cotton farmer, which would be a catch-22, but i couldn't quite figure out what would be catch-22 about that. is it that not growing cotton would make the situation worse? i'm not sure.

anyway, these folks, who were from around here, said that the last truly wet spring was in maybe 2006, and they're figuring on a seven-year-cycle, so they figure it should be over in maybe one more year. they're saying that all the farmers and landscapers are likely to go broke in the meantime, since seven years is a long time to go without water, but that's essentially what has happened. the really bad year was 2011, worst drought in texas history, but by the time we got here in 2012, they said the worst was over but in the big picture, it wasn't over. and people were watering like crazy.

i walk by this one house where they water like crazy. the fertile lush green grass sits below these enormous trees that appear to be very healthy, roots not coming up at all. and the shade makes it possible for this grass to grow, a rich, full, green. i feel like stopping, lying in it, and thanking them for offering up their greenness for public consumption. problem is, they did it mostly just for themselves, though they for sure wanted us to at least see it. the parks at least keep those sprinklers going all through the spring. sometimes i'm walking around the park at night, and a shoot of sprinkler comes up and hits me right as i walk. it's ok though. you live around here, you don't mind a little sprinkler once in a while. my point is that i think it's good to go out and use the community supply, rather than always hauling it all up ourselves, why not share? a little patch of green can be that way for all of us. maybe i'll even meet these folks someday.

reminds me of the word fountain garden. in this place the fountain is a hand that has a number of letters in it. the water comes out of the top and tumbles down from within the letters, which is why it's my favorite fountain. at the bottom is a pool which i wouldn't swim in, because of the chemicals, but the wet nature of the place brings a lot of birds. grackles, doves, and mockingbirds dominate as they often do in this part of texas. there are other kinds, i just may not know what kind they are. these birds are noisy. i'm not sure what it is they have to say. maybe they're just interpreting the fountain in their own way, trying to tell each other what they think it means.

pictures coming. it's back to work for me.

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