We headed out Friday morning in the rain and nothing could have made me happier. North Carolina is in a severe drought. I feel particularly bad for farmers who have been wiped out. Today I read in the paper that they have added to mandatory restrictions for residential accounts and are asking people to voluntarily reduce their water consumption in half. I've been doing more than the mandatory all year so it doesn't have much affect on my personal situation.
When it does rain I collect water to use in my garden and since my gutters don't work well in spite of being cleaned, strategically placed containers get the run off and a small amount of rain can fill a can with water spilling out of the gutters. Odd, but I've gotten 10 gallons of water out of 1/8 inch of rain that way. Even so, I almost feel guilty about how great my fall lettuce and spinach are doing when I read about how hard the farmers are being hit. Irrational of me, I know. It's a problem of scale and expense with farmers not facing restrictions on use so much as it's too expensive to irrigate without any rain to speak of.
It was pretty noticeable in the forest that Virginia has fared somewhat better in terms of drought than North Carolina. When we were in the NC mountains in the spring a lot of rhododendron were killed by the drought already as that part of the state has been in a long term drought. I noticed how much better the mountain laurel and rhododendron looked, along the forest trails in Virginia, and this was after a long hot summer. After typing that I googled and much of Virginia has been hit hard by the drought. However, the part of the Virginia mountains we were in is in much better shape than any of the North Carolina forests we were in during the spring, which accounts for the differences in how the forest plants look in the NC and VA mountains.
I had planned on posting more pictures from the mountains and forest trails since my last post didn't cover the longer hike we did on Saturday. I finished reading my local newspaper article on how hard the farmers have been hit by the drought, and then I found myself inserting all these farm pictures I took on the road. Pretty much all of these are in Virginia not North Carolina. However, with farmers on my mind when I went to insert a photo, my fingers seems to gravitate to the farms.Normally when I go to Virginia it's towards the DC area and when I go to the mountains it's NC so I was surprised that it's closer to the part of the Virginia mountains we were in than it is to the NC mountains we usually go to. None of them are that far in this day and age. I remember as a child it took forever to get to Boone to visit our grandmother but that was when the roads were a challenge. I kind of liked the fact that much of this trip was on much smaller highways than the ones we take to the NC mountains.I had to laugh after my practical post for photohunt where I discussed how practical maps were. We had plenty of maps but on the way home we ended up on a back highway that was prettier and meandered. I assumed it was planned until Bill said, I don't know how I ended up on this road but it's prettier than the other one. I said, are we lost? He said, of course not, we're heading south east and we live south east so we'll find the highway we want eventually. I trusted him and he was right.Bill and I have been taking trips together to the mountains for close to 30 years. Hard to believe. We started going to the mountains before we were dating. We were camping buddies. Then we got married in 1980 and still camped some and with my grandmother in Boone, NC and his in Bristol, TN we combined family visits to the mountains on both sides of the family. It was kind of cool to find out from my grandmother that a lot of my mother's wedding presents came from Bill's grandfather's china and glassware store although the two grandparents never knew each other. There just weren't that many places to buy that kind of thing in that part of the country in the 1940s so that's where people shopped for wedding gifts.
The totally bizarre small world story came out when our parents met shortly before our wedding. Bill's mother was telling my mother about when her brother died and my mother said to my father, who was talking to Bill's father, you need to hear this. It turned out that late in World War II my mother in law's brother was on a transport carrier ship of some kind on the way to England that collided with another large ship. I'll have to ask Bill to help with the details as he's better at remembering those types of facts than I am.To make a long story short, my Dad was on that ship at the end where most everyone survived and Bill's Uncle was on the ship at the end where there were few survivors. My Dad, of course, had told my mother about it and about how awful it was trying to rescue people and about the fatalities. When she was hearing from my soon to be mother in law about how her brother died, she instantly realized it was the collision my Dad had survived. Sort of surreal in a way. Another meandering post from a 49 year old woman. I have been so focused on turning 50 this year, I have almost forgotten to be 49. I will be working in the fact that I'm 49 for the next two and a half weeks every chance I get. Did I happen to mention that I'm forty nine. I just had the best news flashing across my computer. We are getting significant rain over the next few days, starting today. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain . . .