severe drought continues

8.9.22 ~ Thames River

On Tuesday we left early to vote in the Connecticut primary and then drove down to the pond by way of the road along the Thames River. Some of the river’s banks are covered with an unattractive cement ramp, but, I happened to notice a swamp rose mallow popping through it as we were driving by.

Fascinated, I asked Tim to stop the car so I could hop out and examine the wildflower up close. How could it be growing in such an inhospitable spot? It wasn’t that big yet, maybe 2 feet tall, and I wonder how high it might be able to grow there. (They can grow to 7 feet, and the flowers are 4-6 inches in diameter.)

As I was enjoying the close encounter I noticed another wildflower growing through another seam. I loved the shades of purple on its petals.

Back in the car and on to the pond. So sad to see even less water remaining in it. I’m surprised the shorebirds don’t do their fishing over at the beach but they must have their reasons for hanging out here still.

drought-stricken Beach Pond
lesser yellowlegs

Nature, like a loving mother, is ever trying to keep land and sea, mountain and valley, each in its place, to hush the angry winds and waves, balance the extremes of heat and cold, of rain and drought, that peace, harmony and beauty may reign supreme.
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Feminist as Thinker: A Reader in Documents & Essays)

great egrets strolling by
snowy egret with lesser yellowlegs behind him
snowy egret
great egrets mingling with snowy egrets
swamp rose mallow, this one growing by the pond

We’re supposed to get a break from the heat and humidity this weekend, which will be nice, but we also need some rain!

22 thoughts on “severe drought continues”

  1. Hope you get some rain soon. We finally got rain a few days ago. Sure was a relief. Funny how plants can grow in such unusual places. Not much water, but you captured some great pictures of the birds.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. Our weather folks are predicting some rain for early next week so there might be some relief on the horizon. Happy to hear you finally got some! Plants all need different conditions to thrive, it’s interesting to observe just what will grow where.

  2. You do look parched, although I like the swamp rose mallow photo. We had neighbors who used to grow them. Beautiful. We’ve had too much rain here, wish I could send some your way.

    1. I can’t get over how happy and vibrant the swamp rose mallow looks in spite of the lack of water. Isn’t it nice when neighbors do all the work and grow something we can enjoy looking at? πŸ˜‰

  3. I sure hope you get some rain soon. It’s just awful, seeing all that dryness! I’ve long wished we’d invested in some kind of system whereby we could capture the excess water that falls in some areas (like Eastern Kentucky this year) and redirect it to places suffering from drought (like Texas). You’d think somebody could figure out how to do that, wouldn’t you??

    1. I agree with you 100%, Debbie! I think about that all the time. We have 190,000 miles of oil pipelines criss-crossing this country, surely it wouldn’t be any more difficult to install water pipelines, too. Of course, who will pay for them and who will “own” the water collected? Greed will probably win out over cooperation. Meanwhile, as we quibble over the details, floods and droughts will become more severe.

  4. Nature has ways of surviving, that is for sure. Seeds blown into cracks will break open boulders eventually. (There are two trees close by me that have done just that.) Those mallows sure are beautiful! Have a great weekend. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Eliza! It is amazing to see how life persists in spite of daunting odds. I’ve seen trees growing out of boulders on my walks in the woods, too. Hope you’re enjoying the break in the humidity this weekend! πŸ™‚ What a treat to sleep with the windows open last night, listening to the crickets, katydids and frogs.

  5. It amazes me sometimes how plants, even delicate-looking ones like this swamp rose mallow, are able to thrive in the tiniest of cracks. I was weeding this morning and found a group of teensy red wild strawberries. I wondered how the birds missed those? How did they get in the river rock bed?

    I like the picture of the snowy and great egrets together and their reflections the best of all these nice pictures. What a nice impromptu stop you made here Barbara. I hope you get relief soon to help with the drought and the toll is taking on the landscape and the poor birds.

    1. Thank you, Linda! It is amazing noticing what plants pop up in the most unlikely of places. With climate change I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more unusual and surprising adaptations. Impermanence is something we’re all going to have to come to terms with as time goes on. It seems like we’re getting more tropical bird sightings and I remember when people first started seeing snowy owls from the north down here. Makes me wonder how it will all play out, especially between those plants and birds with mutualistic relationships. Will they move north or south or inland together? Or will they die out together? So many questions and only time will tell.

      1. Tenacity of plants amazes me Barbara. At least it appears at long last that people are taking notice and will hopefully come to grips with understanding climate change and doing something, but it is too late to unravel what humans have done. I worry for nature as well as humans. At least they have finally put Monarchs on the endangered list (though people knew they were in dire straits for a while now). I read an article yesterday that climate change and destruction of wetlands by urban sprawl is wreaking havoc with mallard ducks which are not as plentiful as they once were here in the Great Lakes. The article said the Great Lakes population has been down by about 16 or 17 percent. It’s even worse in the Atlantic region, where the mallard population is down about 50 percent, but Canada has more mallards than ever.

        1. So true, we’ve passed the point of no return. All we can do now is try to slow it down and find ways to adapt to the profound changes in living we’re all facing. There will be a lot of population shifts, for humans as well as wildlife. Sigh…

  6. I love the photo moment of the snowy egret standing tall on the logs above the swamp with lesser yellowlegs also standing tall to the side yet behind on/in the muddy swamp. Impressive symmetry, Barbara.

    Thursday early morning as I was weeding the unwanted crabgrass over a foot high which is against our law regulations that seeds into my St. Augustine grass, I was watering with a hand held hose over the burnt areas of lawn due to the law water restrictions on level one. I was pleasantly surprised to observe a tiny tinny, about 1/4 inch long green – a – preying mantis or katydids or grass hopper. I pretend not to notice it. I observed. It stood still observing me. Predator or passerby? I wanted so badly to walk over to get my binoculars that were about 45 feet away, but I knew that if I did I would most likely never see it again! So we starred. Then all of a sudden it jumped into the air and gone from my sight.

    Friday early morning on the other side of my yard I was putting away the water hose. And I could not believe what I saw. A tiny tinny green thing the exact same same. Could it be the same one! Or another?

    This tiny little green thing lifted my spirits as I cope with the extreme drought. Where did it come from and how can it survive?

    This Saturday early morning, RAIN! Beautiful kind of rain!!

    The weather folks are preparing us for flooding Sunday tomorrow; as too much ; too fast will not be able to absorb into our clay soil. That’s true! The water will run into our storm sewers then be directed into our water treatment plants for new supply of running water. This is also expected to fall on our watershed areas which will help with replenishing our two lakes which are our additional water supply. Not expected to replenish negative 9 inch though, level 2 water restrictions are anticipated to go into law September. Coping and adapting by the sea.

    1. Thank you, TD! I can imagine how thrilling it was to encounter the little green insect and realize that it was observing you. πŸ™‚ I bet it was a cricket, some species are as short as 3/8 of an inch. But now I’m reading that there are some very small species of mantises, too. The world of insects is vast! I am amazed that entomologists can sort them all out. πŸ™‚ Climate change will likely bring us all surprising new insect visitors to wonder about. So happy you got some rain!!! That’s great that your community has storm sewers to collect and treat the rainwater. The city across the river from us started up a system like that to deal with storm surges and I imagine it works for rainwater, too. Our city is looking into it. So true, we’re all adapting, little by little.

  7. Love all those egrets, Barbara!! I happened upon five together myself yesterday and was excited on my find. And how cool for those two flowers to grow strong and lovely where you’d least expect. Nature is full of miracles! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Donna!! It’s nice to know another nature lover who gets as excited about bird encounters as I do! πŸ™‚ Most of the time great egrets seem to be solitary creatures so it is remarkable we’re seeing them in groups.

  8. I just love how some wild flowers/plants will grow in even the most inconvenient/inhospitable areas. They are determined!

    Wow. I can’t believe how dry that pond is. I hope by now you’ve gotten some much needed rain.

    1. We’re getting a little rain this morning. Not enough to end the drought but something is better than nothing! I need to go back and check on those wildflowers to see if they continued growing to a normal size. Life persists!

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