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It's been months of keeping a bucket in the shower to catch water til it warms to water plants. I have moved the hose from the back flush from the sand filter around to various fruit trees.. I only fill the troughs enough to last a couple of days so I don't waste water cleaning them. What's left of the grass is crunchy.
But yesterday I found the most surprising effect of drought- all the fence posts are loose. At first I thought it was because of the goats rubbing along in spots but they are loose in places the goats never go. The ground has just shrunk away from them.

Rain, I need rain.
 

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So sorry there is a drought where you live. It seems many areas of North America are having weather problems. We are okay here in southern Nova Scotia except for the hurricane we had a couple of months ago damaged crops. But yesterday in Calgary Alberta they had twenty cms [ 8 ins] of snow and it isn't quite fall yet. There have been many tornadoes and hurricanes and forest fires and flooding in Arizona also. It seems climate change is everywhere around. Not to forget to mention that world wide weather is upset. Maybe it is a wake up call that the earth has reached its capacity for people and pollution. Just a thought.
 

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Well, it was quick enough to kill nearly ALL the dinosaurs.....

Mon
 
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But yesterday I found the most surprising effect of drought- all the fence posts are loose. At first I thought it was because of the goats rubbing along in spots but they are loose in places the goats never go. The ground has just shrunk away from them.
The ground isn't shrinking, it's rising, loosening and puffing up everywhere in the west where there is drought. Measurements to date show a half inch rise in western states during the past year even where there are mountains.

If it continues apace then loose fence posts will be the least of structural worries. Wait until highways and railroads start breaking up and large building foundations or dams and bridges start shifting or sinking.
 

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But were they so widespread and sudden? Most of the changes we are seeing are happening much faster than previous changes. That leaves too little time for animals and plants to adapt.
Actually most California plants are very drought tolerant, even here where it is so wet most of the year normally. There is probably a reason for it and I think that they are adapted to periods of drought. The coastal redwoods for instance have relatively shallow but dense fibrous root because a lot of the moisture they get is from fog rather than rain. In a dense fog, you will see patches of damp on the roads right under the trees where the fog has been caught by the branches and dripped down to the roots.

According to the link, it seems that California has been in a historic wet period in this last century so it's normal periods of drought have been less.
 

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Maybe it is a wake up call that the earth has reached its capacity for people and pollution. Just a thought.
Maybe you should start your Eugenics program at your house! We Have had more rain than normal, but I don't blame it on anyone, nor do I propose others change their lives, get neutered, or feel guilty. A few years of drought does not register as a blip in the long run, and does not mean climate change. Followers of the climate change religion are like bad psychics, in that no matter what happens, they say its proof that they were right.
Since life on earth began, most of the species that ever existed are now extinct. Almost all of those extinctions occurred before human dominance, industrialization, Al Gore, and me getting air conditioning. Greenland used to have farms. Pennsylvania used to be a tropical shallow lake. I suppose fracking is responsible for plate tectonics, too?


Back on topic, yes the ground moves when it drys out. I was looking at buying a house with cracked basement walls, and spoke to a foundation expert. He said that when the clay soil drys, it shrinks, and that dry years cause a lot of foundation problems. Around here, most houses are on hillsides, and most older homes have basement problems.

Does anyone know if the posts will tighten up when the soil gets wet again? Will the posts be pushed out?
 

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I hope that drought ends soon!
Thank you. If you can spare the rain, just stand outside facing south and fan like a son of a gun. :)

I have seen a few termite wings caught in spider webs- not enough to signal a gully washer but at least some moisture.
 

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Does anyone know if the posts will tighten up when the soil gets wet again? Will the posts be pushed out?
They will not tighten up when it gets wet, the posts have already been pushed up and need to be straightened and pounded down much further while the soil is still fluffy and dry. When the ground has gotten a good soaking the soil will sink down and compact around and under the posts but the posts will not sink down. More post length at ground level will be exposed and if the posts weren't pounded down while the soil was dry the posts in wet soil are likely then to be top heavy and fall over.

You can put it to the proof for yourself. Fill a bucket with dry loose dirt and insert a stick into it just far enough down that the stick will stand upright. Then slowly sprinkle water onto the dirt to simulate rainfall until the soil is saturated. The soil will sink and compact under the stick and bottom parts of the stick that were in the dry soil will become exposed.
 

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And we had terrible heavy flooding rains this June, and again now are overly wet. Been a miserable year to try to make hay, lot of my crops flooded out. I did get beams replanted very late.

A drought like you have in a dry area is really bad tho, I shouldn't complain.

I gypsies we average out between us, and so things are actually 'normal' for rainfall? ;)

Paul
 

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Thank you. If you can spare the rain, just stand outside facing south and fan like a son of a gun. :)

I have seen a few termite wings caught in spider webs- not enough to signal a gully washer but at least some moisture.
If I was still at our last property, there would be rain to fan back (60" per year there)

I now live in a much drier area of WA. We get 25" of rain here and are in the dry season right now. But we are fine due to having springs and a good well (not fed by surface water).
 

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Maybe you should start your Eugenics program at your house! We Have had more rain than normal, but I don't blame it on anyone, nor do I propose others change their lives, get neutered, or feel guilty. A few years of drought does not register as a blip in the long run, and does not mean climate change. Followers of the climate change religion are like bad psychics, in that no matter what happens, they say its proof that they were right.
Since life on earth began, most of the species that ever existed are now extinct. Almost all of those extinctions occurred before human dominance, industrialization, Al Gore, and me getting air conditioning. Greenland used to have farms. Pennsylvania used to be a tropical shallow lake. I suppose fracking is responsible for plate tectonics, too?
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” -- Isaac Asimov

Back on topic, yes the ground moves when it drys out. I was looking at buying a house with cracked basement walls, and spoke to a foundation expert. He said that when the clay soil drys, it shrinks, and that dry years cause a lot of foundation problems. Around here, most houses are on hillsides, and most older homes have basement problems.

Does anyone know if the posts will tighten up when the soil gets wet again? Will the posts be pushed out?
Many people in Texas water their foundations regularly. That's what the experts tell them to do. But why believe the experts?
 

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“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” -- Isaac Asimov



Many people in Texas water their foundations regularly. That's what the experts tell them to do. But why believe the experts?

Well, everyone has knowledge. It's just the other guy that has the ignorance.

I wish I knew whether this year is a once in a long time or is a trend for each year. I generally avoid foundation plantings as the water has always piled up against the cement all winter, to the tune of standing water a couple of inches down. Another year of so little rain, I may have to use that 'reservoir' of wet for veggies.
 
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Another thing is how much more water the animals are using. Partly because of no green to get moisture but also because it is unusually low humidity.
 

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I feel so sorry for you guys in Calif. We've had a long drought here in South Texas too but not as bad as yours. We have to water our foundation to keep it from cracking and moving but at least we have water to use for now. It doesn't last though. When it is that dry and hot, it just evaporates in a day or so and then it is right back to dust. I have worked so hard to keep my roses watered and they look horrible. Thank God we had a good rain last night (this is the so called rainy season) and the temps should start leveling off so I'm hoping for a great fall garden and lots of flowers in a few weeks.
 
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In San Antonio, a very large percentage of our slab foundations are cracked on homes. I have always kept a weeper hose buried about 6" deep around our foundation. When we need to water the yard (clay shrinks a LOT when it dries out) because of the deep crevices, we also water the house foundation. It helps a lot and keeps the doors of the house from getting out of square.
 

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Well, everyone has knowledge. It's just the other guy that has the ignorance.

I wish I knew whether this year is a once in a long time or is a trend for each year. I generally avoid foundation plantings as the water has always piled up against the cement all winter, to the tune of standing water a couple of inches down. Another year of so little rain, I may have to use that 'reservoir' of wet for veggies.
What I find is that a lot of people avoid reading the actual data and instead read digested opinions on important topics such as "whether it is only this year or is it part of a trend" type of questions. Digested opinions are always backed by agendas. Go back to the original research papers and the data, spend an afternoon reading them and draw your own conclusions. Unfortunately, something tells me that a large portion of the populations (even the ones with University degrees) do not know how to do this :(
 
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