Recently I’ve read in three places that California is still suffering from drought. The Los Angeles Times, the U.S. Drought Monitor and the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno all gave their assurance that this is true. In spite of heavy rains, massive snow build-up in the mountains and flooding in low-lying areas, the drought continues. Since the rain has eased up a bit since then, I presume that we have not yet escaped from the crippling effects of this drought.
Now, me being just a dumb ‘ol country boy, I have long labored under the delusion that a drought was a protracted spell of dry weather. Imagine my surprise to learn that this is not so!
I am truly grateful to these authorities for dispelling my misunderstanding. In an effort to pull myself at least partially out of the fog of ignorance, I thought it would behoove me to delve deeper into the actual meaning of the word. Fortunately, this proved not to be too difficult. Thanks to the illuminating power of the Internet, I quickly discovered that on Jan. 25 the Los Angeles Times reported, “As of Friday, the snowpack in the Northern Sierra was 117% of average for this time of year. Statewide it was 107% of the norm. . . . Shasta Dam’s reservoir, fed by the northern end of the Sacramento River and its tributaries, rose 24 feet in 10 days. But until the state’s major reservoirs return to normal levels, the drought is not over.”
So now I know what a drought actually is. Nowadays, drought means that it has not rained enough in the State of Jefferson to meet the thirst of Southern California.
Thus enlightened, I can see that it will take much more than the drowning of a few ducks and frogs to alleviate this ongoing crisis. It is a lucky thing that wiser heads than mine have prevented a premature declaration of an end to the drought. Such a mistake would not only affect the college funds of the children of drought-board members, but many others would suffer as well. Consider, for instance, the danger to all those children in Los Angeles and Orange counties who might not learn to swim if their backyard pools could not be filled! Even worse, think of the poor giant agribusiness firms that might not maximize their taxpayer-subsidized profits! The situation is more critical than I had realized.
Now that I am able to appreciate the magnitude of this problem, I have begun to prepare for the ongoing effects of this drought, should it continue at the rate it has recently. I have begun building a large boat for the safety of myself and my family. It will be 30 cubits high, 50 cubits wide, and 300 cubits long. It needs to be this big, because of the environmental issues involved. A detailed environmental assessment has revealed that to protect sensitive species, we will need to take two of each kind aboard, to protect them from the ravages of this terrible drought. This is a monumental task, but I am willing to do my part in these desperate times. Presumably there is a reward waiting at the end of the rainbow.
Photo by James Montgomery
James Montgomery calls himself a broken-down logger/garbageman who went back to school and got a law degree. His work is in senior services. His interests include hiking, fishing, computers, kayaking, hunting and writing.