I’ve lived in the southern U.S. for most of my life and in central Texas for nearly six years, so I think I can say with confidence that I know what it’s like to live through a drought. Unlike most people who freak out when water restrictions are imposed and they can’t use their sprinkler, or fill up the pool, I tend to take a more relaxed attitude. Of course, if you live where you don’t have access to such commodities in the first place, it’s easy to tolerate. Plus, when you’re as skinny as a stick, the one hundred degree weather tends not to bother you as much.
The one thing that always marvels me are the weeds. I first noticed it when I moved back to Texas from England. In the U.K. everything is a deep, vibrant green and it feels old. Here, you’re lucky to see a patch of green in the height of spring–if we even get the season. I returned in the middle of the summer when–naturally–there was a drought. It rained a couple of times when my family initially arrived. We joked that we’d brought the weather with us, but it quickly petered out. The creek near our house–which barely had enough water in it to qualify–dried up pretty quickly. The sunflowers and other foliage wilted with alarming speed, due as much to the blistering sun as to the lack of water. But the weeds, not so much.
As time went by I watched them. They grew even as everything else shriveled and dried, getting to the point that they were almost to my head. The river when down, the dirt roads cracked, and everything with a degree of sanity was indoors or finding a way to stay cool. But not those blasted weeds. They stuck around for months before they even thought of dying. And when rain did come they were the only thing that seemed to recover much less grow. I learned a valuable plant lesson from it. When it comes to rain–or its lack thereof–weeds are the first to grow and the last to die.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery in this blog post and do not have any artistic claim to it.