Along with many other people in the County, we are seriously praying for rain. After a mild winter and a cold but mostly dry early spring, we have had a very dry late spring and summer with a lot of heat. In fact, since April 1 of this year, we have had less than 50% of the normal rainfall. Drought has been officially declared in many areas of southern Ontario and a neighbour who has lived here for 40 years told me yesterday that it is the driest summer that he has ever seen.
Rain has been forecast a number of times in the past weeks and some heavy showers have passed by to the north and some to the south in New York state but we have missed them or only received a few drops. We have received reports of good soaking rains in some areas north of Highway 401 up towards Ottawa and south across Lake Ontario but we remain bone dry. Last evening we watched beautiful, huge thunderclouds clouds drift by to the south across the lake and watched the intense rain showers recorded on radar but had almost entirely clear skies the whole time.
Compared to some people, we aren’t suffering too badly on Morrison Point Farm. We have heard of some farmers who have had to write off large acreages of failed crops. Others have had their wells dry up. Thus far our well is holding up and we have been able to water the gardens near the house but have been careful of the water supply and not tried to water our lawn. So the grass in our newly seeded lawn has mostly failed and we are surrounded by a sea of weeds.
Out in the fields, the grass is turning brown and the small areas that we plowed for garden crops (potatoes and beans) are not doing very well because of difficulty in getting water out there. The goats, pigs and chickens are still able to forage some food from the pastures but they all miss the fresh green new shoots of grass which haven’t been growing for some weeks and the pigs find the hard, sun-baked ground difficult to root in.
Here are some pictures that show some of the effect of the drought:
If it doesn’t rain significantly in the next few weeks, the situation could become quite serious. So we are praying for rain. Would you join us?