Friday, August 02, 2013

The start of August.

Thankfully Tyke got his fur trimmed yesterday, because it turned out to be an awfully hot day. We spent it inside with the blinds closed and the fan going at top speed trying to stay as cool as we could get. Even Gandhi wasn't interested in going outside. I gave Tyke ice cubes to chew on, and he liked that very much, but saved enough for the cool drinks that I made for myself. The ice cube trays that I bought in Texas are coming in real handy.
It is supposed to be another scorcher today, but after that, we will have less cruel temperatures and I am glad for it. Of course, earlier this summer, and in the spring, we were all complaining because the weather wasn't nice enough, and now we've got this. Dutch people are never happy unless they have something to complain about, but I do think we have a legitimate reason now. The problem is, that no one can do anything about it. Summers like these do happen and they always have.
The water level in the rivers and in the Ijssel Lake is starting to drop and needs to be carefully managed so that the land around it doesn't dry out. The ditches that surround the polders are not supposed to get empty, because otherwise the farmers can't spray their fields. We had floods in the same area not too long ago.
The water level in the rivers is very important because so much freight is carried by ship. They are in danger of running aground now. The Ijssel Lake is our main source of sweet drinking water and we don't want to run out of that. We really are a country that carefully needs to manage its water supply and it is always a fine balancing act between there being too much or too little. Our whole existence is built around these two extremes.
Half of the Netherlands would be under water if it weren't for the dunes and the dikes and the water being continually pumped out of the lower lying areas. We wouldn't exist if not for our constant struggle with the sea and the rivers.  The dunes and the dikes have been, or are, increased in height so that they will withstand the higher sea level that will come about in the next few decades, be it brought about by manmade or natural causes. That is irrelevant.  
You can argue about that until you are blue in the face and in the meantime not take any corrective measures. That would be foolish.


Gail said...

May the weather cool and you get just the amount of rain that every one needs.

Rob-bear said...

Sorry about the hot weather; that's very hard on the body — yours and your livestock.

I'm always intrigued by the Dutch love-hate relationship with water, particularly the sea. I recognize that so much of your land has been reclaimed from the sea, and that a violent storm can breach dykes and cause mayhem. But you are a persistent lot, working away at staying high and dry (well, actually, low and dry).

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

Rob-bear said...

P.S.: That looks like a Van Gogh painting. Is it?


Z said...

The English love to complain about the weather too! But after the awful weather during the first half of the year, I'm not saying a word against sunshine.