Sunday, 2 October 2016

Low water mark

Here's Jeziorki, after a record dry September. Dry - and sunny. Look at this - poppies in bloom in early October. Today's top temperature in Warsaw was 23C.

Here are the retention ponds on ul. Kórnicka, the white lines on the gabions showing the water level from spring 2014. The bottom is still too wet to walk on, but another few weeks of drought and it will be possible.

And the south pond is also dry - drier than this time last year, with more of its surface walkable than ever before. Again, the white line marks what was the water's edge. I'd have been standing up to my knees in water, up to my ankles in mud. Two winters of poor snowfalls have left the water table lower than I've ever seen in 19 years living here.

September 2015, looking north towards ul. Kórnicka. You can make out the water...

But  now - looking the same way, zooming in somewhat - and the water's just not there. In the spring of 2014, all of the vegetation in the foreground would have been under water.

So I figured the Vistula must be at a low level too right now... today I rode down to the river at Obórki, where the Jeziorka meets the Vistula. It wasn't.

And this is how the river looked in late September 2012, photo taken at exactly the same place.

So - the Vistula won't be drying out anytime soon, but on the local level, we are concerned - for the vegetation and the bird life - will a dry pond be able to sustain our swans, herons, egrets, ducks, gulls and coots? It's a local issue. On the one hand, climate change - warmer winters, less snow - hotter and drier summers. On the other - development, better drainage, new houses...

Autumn is looming. The weather forecast for the next few days is wet, with 36 hours of rain predicted to the end of tomorrow and a wet Wednesday. Interesting to see whether the ponds will fill up before the winter sets in.

This time five years ago:
Łódź to Jeziorki by car in four hours
[See how Poland's road network has improved!]

This time six years ago:
What's new on the manor?

This time seven years ago:
The funeral of Tadeusz Lesisz

This time eight years ago:
Socialist realism in the boardroom

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