No, it still hasn't rained here.
I water the garden every day. Every day. And still, when I go to pick a weed, the soil seems dry. The pine trees are suffering. Their needles are starting to turn brown at the top, even though their roots go deep into the ground. There is no amount of watering that can save a tree when the earth has dried out seemingly to its core.
My great-grandfather, A.L., made his living off the land. He had an orchard, and cattle. It's said that he had the largest herd of Red Poll cattle around this area. Red Polls are red in color, naturally polled (without horns), known for easy calving, have a docile nature, and do well on poor soils. The Red Poll is the oldest registered breed of cattle in the United States, coming here from England in 1873.
In order to raise cattle, you need water. My great-grandfather dug a pond for these purposes. Called a stock tank, the clay soil here naturally holds water well. The pictures so far have been the pictures of our walk to that stock tank. I walked there yesterday.
I was surprised to find this pond completely dry. You can see hoses on the side of the pond. In the past year, water had been added, trying keep the pond from drying out, until water became too precious to waste filling a declining pond.
In 2001, this pond (it is no longer used as a stock tank) was enlarged. It is approximately 12 ft. deep in the middle. It has never been completely dry since it was enlarged, and only rarely did it go dry prior to that. The water line should be above the fallen branches, where the top green line starts (approx. 3/4 up the left side of the above photo). In the photo below, the water line should be at the bottom of the trees on the far side, which is a steep slope. (The circle of green water plants in the middle of the pond is irrelevant to the natural water line.)
Deer, coyotes, raccoons, and numerous species of wildlife have long come here for water. Herons would occasionally visit for easy fishing. No more. We wonder where these animals are going to get something to drink.
I'm certain we will get rains eventually, and that this pond will again be full, and full of life. But for now - we can do nothing but wait.