Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cabin Life: Considering the Drought

It’s dry.  Too dry.  I dug a hole the other day and it was like digging in a sand box.  A foot down and the dirt was still bone dry.  I only remember one other drought like this, when I was at Paul Smiths.  Doc Kudish pointed out to me that the leaves on the trees were actually wilting.  The same thing is happening now, and there’s even a few that are starting to change color.  And it’s not because it’s been cool out.

Both of the spring-fed streams that run through the property are dry because the water table has dropped so low.  There are no blueberries, which is a shame because wild blueberries are hands-down one of the greatest foods known to man.  We did get some rain earlier this week, and it was much needed, but it’s not enough to make up for what we haven’t gotten over the course of the summer.

There haven’t been as many fires this year though.  In 2002 there was more than three hundred and twenty fires all over the Adirondacks.  I was listening to NCPR one day and they had a story about a huge fire out west that had burned thousands of acres and hundreds of millions of dollars of property.  They then switched to local news.  The story was that there was a seven acre fire threatening a lean-to.

We’ve got it pretty good compared to a lot of the country.  Almost seven million acres burned.  It’s hard to believe that the acreage burned nation wide is the same as the entire Adirondack Park.  Just imagine if about one-third of New York State was on fire.  Luckily it’s not, and I guess that’s something to be happy about, even during this drought.

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Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.

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