Seven sunny days

Where's the rain?  It's starting to feel a little like a drought might be headed our way.  Here's the forecast for the coming week for Texada/Powell River

Where's the rain? It's starting to feel a little like a drought might be headed our way. Here's the forecast for the coming week for Texada/Powell River

By Tom Read

Our local weather forecast from Environment Canada shows a string of sunny days reaching into the future. Spring weather predictions are notoriously unreliable, but if we get all this warm sunshine, we’ll need to get busy in the garden, weeding and prepping beds for May planting. And the bees will be busy, I hope, so they’ll need some attention, too. Not to mention the chickens, which we let out to go walkabout every afternoon when it’s nice weather. They’re always back waiting for their evening snack by 5 or 6, then have to be tucked in for the night.

We’re still waiting for one of the hens – any one! – to go broody and start sitting on a clutch of eggs to ensure our next generation of chicken for the freezer. The rooster crows earlier every morning it seems, especially with all these bright days that start peeking out around the darkness way too early.

There’s some not-so-great parts to all this sunshine, though. The rain gauge in our garden seems stuck at about 1.5 inches for the whole month of April. Let there be no doubt: we’re too dry for this time of year. The implications for our homestead, for Texada Island and for the region include:

— barbeque season will be short, while irrigation season will be long;

— we’ll make a lot of solar power at our homestead during the day, but little or no micro-hydro (which operates 24/7) once the creek gets too dry, so we’ll have to burn propane in our back-up generator to make up the shortfall in electricity production. And propane costs a whole lot more than “free” microhydro;

— due to our decreased electricity production in the months ahead, we’ll probably have to shut down our freezer until the rains return sometime in the fall;

— some people with shallow wells aren’t going to have enough water this year;

— the forest will become “tinder dry” as they say, with water-stressed trees and increased fire danger;

I could go on and on about the implications of too little water for our area. Consider, however, that drought is affecting the world’s industrial food-growing areas as well. We’re fortunate that our creeks and rivers still have any water at all, because many other regions have little or none. “Resilience” is not an abstract concept, it’s a necessity. We live on an island on this sphere called “Earth,” and we are about to get a lesson in how to cope with multiple shocks to our too-comfortable, industrial-based, supposedly non-negotiable way of life.


1 Response to “Seven sunny days”

  1. 1 Margy April 25, 2009 at 22:20

    The days have been pretty glorious this week for sure. I finished getting my vegetable garden planted and I even went for a ride in my new floating chair on Powell Lake. I did keep my legs up out of the water, it’s a bit chilly for me yet. I too am worried about the water level. We should be seeing the results of the snow melt on the height of the water in the lake, but it is quite low for this time of year. The gentle rise that began last week came to an abrupt halt a few days ago and has started back down again. If things stay this low now, summer is really going to be difficult for all of us. – Margy

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