Dry Spell

When I was last in El Paso, a frequent stop on my reduced world tour, the town had suffered 118 days with no rain, previously alluded to here.


The flight out, usually, passes along the south edge of the Monahans Sand Dunes state park. I think the motto was, or should be, “Surf West Texas.”

Been there. Interesting place, but from the air, it makes it more understandable, miles and miles of sand dunes. The defining, northern terminus of the Chihuahua Desert does include the West Texas Wastelands. Really, that’s part of the “oil patch.” Also part of the area that was recently subjected to fire.


I’ve written abut the vagaries of the weather before. Included it in horoscopes as illustrations. The current drought conditions just further this.

The difference between San Antonio and Austin is similar to the difference between Dallas and Ft. Worth. Strangest of bedfellows, and on occasion, not really neighborly.

The Texas “oil patch” includes the Permian Basin, home to another odd couple, Midland and Odessa. Which is still located at that northern edge of of the desert. Pecos, TX, home of the first rodeo. Odessa, home of the first bar with a rodeo arena built in (Dos).

The odd couple of San Antonio and Austin, though, San Antonio monitors the fluid level of the Edwards Aquifer. It’s on an electronic billboard, downtown. Mentioned on the news, each evening. Bexar County, San Antonio, there are water restrictions.

As much as I crisscross Texas, in Lubbock, there’s a local beer named for the strata and underground formation that bears water, as much as I bounce back and forth, it’s still strange that Austin worries about the lifecycle of certain endangered salamanders while Bexar County worries about the life of the aquifer itself.

Too young to recall any of the great droughts, except in song and history books, my first real exposure to water rationing was with Sister in the Bay Area one summer.

“If it’s yellow, be mellow.” (Don’t rush to flush.)

Last year, a long dry spell was broken by a hurricane, which, I was lucky to fish ahead of.

I first moved to Bexar County when there was a the wettest six months on record – ever. Flood, drought, fire. Always an extreme.

But then, that’s living in Texas.

I started this with mention of El Paso’s drought. The same, only different.

Their annual rain fall is 6 inches. I recall one year when that all came on one day.

That was news.

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