Last Sunday, I drove to a place that I’ve been photographing all spring and early summer. I was looking forward to all of the standing water, the reflections, the sun, the green, and the cows. What I found was meadow where there were ponds. To look back at photos from a month ago even, I don’t see people paddle boarding through the water, but cows looking for green grass in an open field. Such a stark contrast to this spring. But, I shouldn’t be surprised. We had a winter where we went 90 days without a dry day only to have a summer where we haven’t had rain at all. We started the summer with scientists feeling relieved that the rain and snowpack had ended the drought in the state only to now have scientists saying the 90-100 degree weather has reversed that feeling of relief.
Right out, most of our state is burning. Last night, 150 hikers got caught on the wrong side of a forest fire that started in the afternoon. They hiked out today taking a back way where buses met them to take them back to their cars and families. They told stories about putting out fires trying to start around them – all night – fires trying to ignite thanks to the embers floating on the winds towards them. They canceled the 30-year anniversary of Cycle Oregon because there was no way to reroute the cyclists to safe areas without fire risks. This is the first time in 30 years that this has happened.
This spring we were begging for the sun. This summer, we find ourselves begging for rain.