in the doldrums

8.26.22 ~ Beach Pond

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated our county as a primary natural disaster area due to the drought. We did get about two and a half inches of rain on Monday and Tuesday but it wasn’t enough to end the drought or benefit beleaguered farmers. These pictures were taken at the pond yesterday, a couple of days after the rain.

We wondered at all the bubbles in the very shallow water. The poor mallard could barely swim and couldn’t dabble deep enough to get her butt elevated. 😉

There were a few sandpipers and yellowlegs wandering around. I’m feeling too wearied to bother trying to identify them more specifically…

After a lovely week of low humidity and opened windows, the muggies returned with a vengeance, corresponding with the arrival of our granddaughter, visiting us on her own for a few days. But we made the best of our time indoors and went out one evening to see a troupe of Ukrainian dancers perform outside at Mystic Seaport. Afterwards, Kat, age 7, exclaimed that they were awesome! We thought so, too.

The rain came for the last two days of our visit. I introduced Kat to Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog on TV and Tim introduced her to a family board game called Rocks. I filled in a family tree fan chart for her which she examined closely and offered several very thoughtful observations. We spent another evening walking on the beach after the rain let up. Our little bright spot in the doldrums!

The following pictures were taken on August 19, before the two and a half inches of rain, a week before the ones above. It’s the lowest I’ve ever seen the pond’s water level. But for the little puddle it was dry.

8.19.22 ~ Beach Pond

I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. … A day where one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not try to be or do anything whatever.
~ May Sarton
(Journal of a Solitude)

So I continue living in the changing light of this room, biding my time, dreaming of crisp, cool, walkable autumn air. And more rain, which is not in the weather forecast. Waiting somewhat patiently and keeping my wits about me — so far.

20 thoughts on “in the doldrums”

  1. Lack of rain is always frustrating. I do hate to see the ponds and lakes slowly dry up. It is hard on waterfowl and discouraging to humans. I guess we can sit quietly and watch the chaning of sunlight in a room and outdoors – after all we do need rest now and then. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day.

    1. It is a very disheartening situation to see happening. When I read May Sarton’s words about living in the changing light of a room it hit so close to home because I am super aware of the time of day inside and how the sunlight highlights different parts of the rooms as the hours pass by. The days grow shorter, promising those better ones soon!

  2. So nice that you were able to spend a few days with your granddaughter. The activities that you found to do together are lovely, Barbara. And Kat is the bight spot, I’m certain!

    I’m curious what the bubbles are about too. I had lots of silly thoughts about the bubbles.

    Wonderful quote!

    1. Thank you, TD! That quote hit home. It was such a delight having Kat in the house to share the long hours of indoor activities.

      I did find this explanation for the bubbles online: “The heat of summer can cause all sorts of issues in ponds and the bubbles you see rising in your pond is almost certainly gases being released from decaying organic materials in the pond. It is almost always a question of too much protein in the water. Fish waste, leaves, grass, or any sort of organic material builds up at the bottom of the pond…”

  3. Glad to see you back Barbara – I was thinking you or Tim were feeling poorly from this endless Summer heat and humidity as you had not posted this week. What a shock to see this pond look like this. And they tell us there will be more scorching hot and drought-like days going forward. We suffer and nature suffers alongside us. That’s nice you had a little visit with Kat before the school year begins. She learns many things from spending time with you and Tim – if it is not nature, it is ancestry.

    The bubbles around the duck are worrisome. Are they foamy at all (maybe PFAS)? You should submit them to your DNR if possible. Last week, someone strolling along the Detroit River and saw an oily sheen on the water. Turns out a hospital, that has sat vacant for 20 years and is now going to be turned into multi-family housing, there was heavy machinery there readying the earth for construction. Evidently it hit the drum holding gas or oil and caused it to leak.

    1. It’s good to be back, Linda, although for some reason I’m suddenly not getting email notifications when someone leaves a comment here. This seemingly endless heat and humidity is definitely dragging both of us down — how soon we forget the lovely days we had recently! It was fun having Kat’s company since we had to stay inside anyway but I wished we could go out more so we could all move our bodies more.

      The bubbles were probably gases being released from decaying organic materials. (See my response to TD’s comment above.) That kind of makes sense as sometimes we get very “swampy” smells coming in the windows when it’s terribly humid out. We’ve been hearing so much about those awful PFAS lately — it seems they’ve spread everywhere. In our drinking water. Sigh. That’s terrible about the oil leak into the Detroit River. 🙁

      1. WordPress has been acting up now for about two weeks, sometimes even asking for credentials to leave a comment – you can’t post without logging on as yourself and then after doing so, you post as “Anonymous” sometimes. It is crazy. I said to another blogger that I hope WP knows and we don’t all just assume that someone alerted them to this bugginess.

        I’m looking forward to Fall Barbara – even if it means ice and snow are on the way. The heat and humidity get to me too and yes, we forget those little spurts of good weather once the muggies set in.

        1. I remember when something similar happened with WordPress a couple of years ago, so frustrating. I don’t remember how or when it got resolved. I cannot comment on a couple of blogs, too. All this when I’m already in a foul mood from the weather. Sigh…

          1. They never figured out why some of the photos in my older blog posts are grayed out. I hope they resolve this current issue as I’m far enough behind in Reader (five days). I shut my computer off early two nights due to the stormy weather. We had severe weather Monday in the early evening. I’m ready for Fall and to leave behind this heat and humidity which creates volatile weather.

          2. I wish some of your storms would come this way! They keep fizzling out before they get here. A nice, gentle, day-long rainfall would be so welcome right now. If only some of that humidity trapped in the air would be released into the earth. My sister’s well is drying up. That’s too bad you’re having so many severe storms, though.

  4. Thank you for witnessing what is happening, Barbara. I feel so sorry for the other-than-human who are desperately trying to survive in a changing climate. The drought here continues, too, although we are not as bad off. I keep watching the tropical systems, hoping for a good dose of rain without the hurricane aspects. I’m glad you had time with Kat. It sounds like a lovely visit. 🙂

    1. I’ve been watching the tropical systems, too, Robin. We could use a tropical storm about now! The birds and animals are paying such a heavy price for our human negligence of their and our environment. The average annual air temperature in Connecticut has increased by 2.2°F since 1950. To think, I grew up without air-conditioning… The creatures have no choice but to endure it and adapt if they can.

  5. We’re hoping for rain tomorrow (sadly, I don’t think it’s going to ease the drought much). Wouldn’t it be nice if we found a way to capture the excess rainfall that some sections of the world get, and share it with the sections that are too dry? Glad you got to visit with your granddaughter — seven is a good age!

    1. I just read that 46.91% of the lower 48 states are in drought as of August 23rd. I hope you’re getting your rain today. Some rain would be better than none. And better than the floods others are getting. I hope we do find ways to share the rainfalls. I so agree with you you, seven is a magical age! So eager to learn and explore the world!

  6. Your photos show a weird scene. I’m sorry it’s too dry where you are, while here it’s too wet. Balance would be nice. I bet being around a 7 y.o. cheered you. They have energy and curiosity to spare.

    1. Balance would be what nature seems to be trying to find again now that we’ve upset the apple cart. I heard the term “weather whiplash” for the first time on the news the other night. We did have a blast trying to keep up with our seven-year-old! 😉

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