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The drought is broken

I could hear the roar of the normally placid creek long before I got to it. Filled with runoff from nearly five inches of rain upstream, it burst through a culvert pipe onto our property with fire hose velocity. I briefly toyed with the idea of getting a kayak and running its length. I decided, however, that I would not be able to get out before hitting the fence at the downstream property line. Since decapitation was not on the ‘˜to do’ list for the day, I decided to just walk its edge and marvel at the hydraulics. At the nearby pond, water covered the dock and the outlet pipe. The impoundment was well out of its banks and water was sluicing over the spillway. I watched as tiny bream and other panfish I have nurtured flipped and flopped down to the raging creek on their way to new waters – most likely Lake Tobesofkee in Bibb County. I love getting out in the woods and wetlands after a big rain like the one we experienced late last week. I love to study the paths of least resistance runoff water takes to its ultimate destination. This particular walk brought to mind the rain sequence in Walt Disney’s Fantasia. I even started humming the musical score from that segment in my mind. Water ran in rivulets, seams and, in places, torrents. As the groundwater swelled beneath them, two springs gushed as never before in my experience. Also caught in the runoff was some litter from the town upstream. French fry containers, water bottles and hamburger wrappers occasionally rode atop the raging waters and I cursed the outright ignorance of those who had discarded them. After years of drought, it felt good to walk the muddy creek bank. It was a welcome change to have to occasionally tug a muddy boot out of the mire. I thought about how nice it was to go to bed with rain falling and wake up the following morning with it still coming down. This now rare occurrence seemed to be common in my youth. Maybe my memory is faulty or maybe our climatology has changed. I just know that heavy rain seems to be a luxury now rather than a staple item and I miss it. Two weeks ago, I jumped the gun when I wrote the moisture was back in the woods. Now, it is back in abundance and, from my judgement, the drought is broken. Enjoy playing in the mud while you can. The dust will be back all too soon.

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