11 November, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night...

No really - it's true!

At the moment it's thundery and raining quite steadily. This is a blog-worthy event since Australia is in the grip of the worst drought in 1000 years.

It's weird really. Where I grew up was never hugely affected by low rainfall. In fact I remember our backyard almost becoming a swimming pool at times. I remember sitting on our front verandah and watching the storm clouds coming over. It seemed like it would storm every afternoon in spring.

I've lived in quite a few different places. Some that had a slight amount of snow in winter and good rainfall. Because of the climate there, the town had planted many English type trees (please don't ask me to name them, I have no idea). It made for a stunning autumn though.

I've also lived in a couple of other places that were quite rural. Not outback, as such, but not too far off. Places where rain was a big talking point. Places, mind you, that had long lived floods, because the land was so flat. The flooding would take a long time to arrive and then just as long to leave. I was a radio announcer during one flood and I remember reading flood reports for weeks!

One place I lived in, had dam levels down to just 4%. As bad as that was, it was fascinating because a town that had been flooded when the dam was built had been uncovered for the first time in many decades. It became quite a tourist attraction to go see the dam and the old town. It was quite amazing to walk on the dam floor and look up at the walls and see the markings of the different water levels of the past.

Water plays a big part in the day to day life of Australia - I'm sure it does everywhere really. So, a simple storm can be a big thing sometimes.


Elizabeth said...

I once 'toured' a street in North Carolina that had been devastated by a flood. It's unbelievable to think how much damage water, something we take so for granted in our everyday lives, can cause!

Here in WI, we were fortunate to see rain, sleet, hail, snow, thunder and lightning yesterday. It was a crazy day!

Here from Michele. : )

caramaena said...

Thanks for visiting elizabeth. Sounds like that was a wild day for you yesterday.

velcro said...

it rained here last night too, and this afternoon the sky took on the grey quality of snow, but no chance. FB would love snow. He is desperate to build a snowman and throw snowballs.

Charm School Reject said...

In Chicago we had everything BUT snow.....it was ridiculous. I was running through sheets of rain to get to the train station (without an umbrella of course!). It was beyond ridiculous....but at least the hail waited til I was in the car (I cracked the window to smoke and got hit in the eye with it though, which kinda hurt)

Steve said...

Those trees you're talking about would be Elms and Poplars. The Poplars are the tall skinny ones.

Were you up here for the Brisbane floods in '74? That was nine months after we emmigrated to Australia and our house literally went right under water.

Carmelo said...

Geez, things really are different. We had the driest sumemr ever, people were moaning about hose-pipe bans etc, yet drought is just the way it is where you are sometimes. Brits complain too much.

R2K said...

No more rain, please.

caramaena said...

velcro - heh, I'd love to see some 'proper' snow one day and throw some snowballs. One place I lived in did get a little snow but I never managed to see it properly. I've seen it snowing but it then melted on the ground.

charm school reject - ow! Hope your eye's ok now.

steve - elms and poplars sound right. You'll have to take some pics for me when you're there for your residency in April.

I wasn't living in QLD in 1974 but I do have some memories of a big flood where we were living (further south). I've no idea if it was the same flood but it feels like the right time period. Was your house a Queenslander style? Getting flooded out is a bit of a rude introduction to Australia!

carmelo - our state government just increased the level of water restrictions and the latest report indicated we were actually using more water after they were raised!

r2k - send it our way :) We can use it!