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Canada Geese on the Big Pond

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStanding in Water

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Canada Geese have returned
to the Big Pond
for winter.
We are glad to have winter temperatures.
Last winter was warm.
Last summer was not only the hottest summer
in the U.S.,
Oklahoma was the hottest state—
for the second year in a row.
Our drought deepens,
as we enter its third year.
Climatologists say the drought’s end
is no where in sight.

Watching the Canada Geese
is revealing.
Some of the Canada Geese
stand on thawing ice;
some stand in water,
showing us—
to our horror—
that the pond is only an inch or two deep
in some places.
In 2011, near the beginning of the drought,
the 8-acre pond was dry
for five months.
All the fish died;
turtles and snakes
moved on.
After rebuilding the pond dam,
and building a canal to better catch
the run-off from the prairie,
the pond filled again—
despite the fact that our annual rain fall
is less than half of normal.
We have had only small amounts—
1/4 of an inch at a time—
in the last several months.
The state experienced its driest
May-December (2012) on record.
And our part of the state
is the driest.
Many farm ponds are dry.
Farmers are hauling water
to cattle,
or selling their cattle,
because there is no winter wheat pasture
either.

I was visiting on the phone yesterday
with a friend in Tennessee.
All the time we’ve been in a drought,
they’ve had extreme amounts of rain.
This week,
it rained for three days.
Though there is no stream
on their property,
their back yard is a gushing river.
School was out,
because of flooding.
And as we spoke,
her children came in
to get their swimsuits.
Swimming,
in their backyard,
in winter.