Monday, June 16, 2008

Watering restrictions
Far off in the future, I suppose my posts wouldn't be much value for a history student seeing how I don't post too much about so-called current events. Most of that kind of stuff just isn't in my day-to-day focus. But today I will post about something that is having absolutely no effect on me, but is driving my parents and my neighbors crazy. Austin is currently under mandatory watering restrictions that limit lawn watering to twice a week. And then you have to water before 10 am or after 7 pm. Now anyone that has ever maintained a lush expanse of St. Augustine lawn knows better than to water at night. And if you work an 8 to 5, M-F sort of job, that gives you just Saturday morning or Sunday morning (depending on your house number) to somehow get your entire lawn watered before 10 am. Let's hope you have good water pressure, multiple hoses and lots of sprinklers (or a sprinkler system.) These water restrictions are based on an artificial shortage, more to do with a lack of processing capacity than an actual lack of water, though that is changing as we've been rather short of rain lately. And there's no restrictions on the big corporate water wasters, just on the home owner that might have a lawn that's his (or her) pride and joy. To some extent that annoys me even though, as I mentioned earlier, this has no effect on me.

And that's because we don't water our lawn - EVER. It lives or dies based on the rain that comes or doesn't come. Nature is busy creating it's very own xeriscape in our front lawn as grasses and weeds that can survive the current drought thrive and other stuff dies off. Who am I to argue with Nature? She's a lot smarter than me when it comes to that kind of stuff. Besides, I think our lawn, patches and all, is a lot more interesting than that bland expanse of water hungry St. Augustine over in our neighbor's yard that requires so much work. Our lawn is full of diversity, though we do keep it chopped down to "lawn" height which limits some of the fun of seeing which plants decide to take up residence each year. Right now, Bermuda grass is trying to become dominant since the heat came so early while the St. Augustine cowers in the shade. Other years, wetter and cooler ones, will see the St. Augustine spread from it's shady corners to take over the whole expanse. But even the Bermuda grass is having a hard time this year and it looks like we may end up with some spots where nothing is thriving. If that happens, well, that's okay too since that means I'll have an easy time digging some new flower beds in those places.

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