Sunday, 6 September 2015

Low water: Jeziorki at the end of the drought

As I write, I can hear the rain tapping on the window ledge outside. The forecast for the next four days is rain, rain, rain and more rain. Like God's own mercy. After a hot and unusually dry August, water levels in Mazowsze have plunged. This afternoon, the skies filling with rain clouds, I went out to document what could be the lowest water levels for some time.

Below: the southern pond, from ul. Dumki. The grass in the foreground indicates the normal water level. The ducks in the water can touch the bottom with their legs.

Below: the drainage ditch taking water from the area around ul. Sarabandy to the ponds. Bone dry.

Below: the middle pond - entirely devoid of water, though the ground is spongy. A bit drier, and this would make an excellent full-sized football pitch.

Not an overgrown WWI trench - this is the drainage ditch that carries water from the fields between ul. Trombity and the railway line to the retention ponds. I walked this from end to end - entirely dry (and I was wearing ordinary shoes).

Below: the retention ponds by ul. Kórnicka. Gabions made of stones encased in wire mesh hold the water. But look at the levels...

Below: I added the yellow line to show the usual water level, marked by a line of green moss. This represents a drop of a metre of so. There is abundant bird life here - black-headed gulls, ducks, coots, swans, grey herons, pigeons, starlings, sparrows, marsh harriers and swifts.

Walking up ul. Trombity, I note the heaps of soil excavated from the western end of the ponds - to prevent this area silting up, excavators were brought in last week to deepen this part of the lake. Scores of cubic metres of soil were extracted.

Yet this has had the effect of lowering the water level in the middle pond. In the distance the wooded area that's home to at least two pairs of grey heron.

But the rain continues falling outside, so by next weekend, the water levels in Jeziorki's ponds may have risen slightly. Below: Google Earth photo from March 2015 showing the usual state. Click to enlarge.

The coming weeks as Equinox approaches see the days rapidly shortening, three minutes a day, half an hour of daylight lost in ten days. This week may prove wet and dull, but Poland's Golden Autumn has a habit of delighting.

This time last year:
Around the Czachówek diamond, again

This time three years ago:
Second line of the Metro runs into delays

This time five years ago
Army helicopters in action at Kielce defence show

This time six years ago:
World's largest helicopter over Jeziorki

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