Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Drought (Part I, no doubt)

A dry August, day after day of blue skies, the heatwaves are abating, we've moving into late summer. Statistically, August is the second-wettest month of the year after July; this year there's been very little rain, and what rain has fallen has been in isolated thundery downpours.

Not a surprise then, that water-levels have fallen dramatically. Here in Jeziorki, the middle pond between ul. Trombity and ul. Dumki is drying up fast. I walk out most of the way across in my office shoes - the surface is hard enough for me not to subside into the smelly mud beneath the crust.

Below: looking north, the picture is more mixed - there's still water in the far pond. A few more weeks without serious rainfall and an east-west crossing on foot will become possible; should the drought continue into mid-autumn it may become to stroll through the reed-beds.

Below: stock media photo to illustrate 'drought'. Except this time it's at my back door.

Below: at the northern pond, there's still water enough for the swan family (which I photographed earlier this summer - see how the cygnets have grown).

Below: across the tracks - daisies in the stubble.

Below: not far from ul. Karczunkowska - good gosh - it's giant hogweed - barszcz sosnowskiego - the killer plant from Russia. This particular patch was notified to the Straż Miejska (urban wardens?) two years ago. It's still here because this is a privately-owned patch and the authorities don't have the power to walk in and eradicate this invasive and toxic weed.

I shall no doubt return to the subject of this drought; three years ago, the lowest water levels ever recorded on the Vistula occurred in late September.

FOLLOW-UP 2016: the hogweed patch has been comprehensively ploughed over, no sign of any re-infestation as of May.

This time two years ago:
Warsaw's ski slope at Szczęśliwice

This time last year:
On the road from Dobra, again

This time two years ago:
August storm, ul. Targowa

This time three years ago:
Warsaw Central's secret underground kebab factory

This time four years ago:
Cheap holidays in other people's misery

This time five years ago:
Steam welcomes us to Dobra

This time six years ago:
New houses appear in the fields by Zgorzała

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