NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 1, 2013

How dry we are, but how beautiful

This has been a peculiar summer of seasonal contrasting weather results.

I know, I know — ice caps are melting and the tides are rising, but ...

Hay Street’s Quill’s pond has been steadily shrinking for lack of substantial rain. So have reservoirs everywhere.

Nothing is new about the pond depth’s shrinking. It usually does during middle to late summer before its heavy rain refueling. But, here we are in November and each day it shrinks a little more.

Given that the street side banks of the pond were lined with hay bales during the resurfacing of the street and drain construction, the sighting angle of water depth was difficult.

My eyeball measurement indicated an average depth being down to 4 or 5 inches or so for much of the pond, with the surviving swan finding comfort in the deeper water at the westerly end.

It’s not uncommon for the easterly end to have no water, but that usually occurs earlier than November.

Despite, or maybe because of a lack of rain and winds, this has been one of the most extended periods of spectacular colors.

I can’t recall a more brilliant red than our backyard maple sports with no leaves fallen.

Obviously, something’s out of whack with the weather hereabouts, but I’ll take it.

As for the downside of dry conditions, Yosemite firefighters had to battle record-breaking fires for most of the past month because forests were dry as tinder. Fires out that way are not unusual, but this one was.

No, it’s not because of the melting icebergs. The North Atlantic did rise about 2 feet, but scientists maintain that melting icebergs haven’t produced anything like that, and they are trying to figure what happened and why even as the condition is retreating.

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