Water woes again


rice irrigation in Arkansas

Thirsty rice requires a lot of water. Here in LA, most of the water for rice comes from wells. Those wells are pumping like crazy now, just like they were in June 2009 when I first shot this picture. Click on the picture to see the original “Water Woes” article and pictures.

Here in LA (lower Arkansas), in the early months of the summer of 2009, many of us were convinced that the heat and drying conditions were experiencing were world class, off-the-chart, bad. Little did we know what was lying in store for us three years later in the summer of 2012, so this week we are sending you back to our June 28, 2009 post to compare notes. You may also want to peruse the original Corndancer Photo of the Week treatise and pictures on the same subject.

Our current conditions of day after day of 100 degree plus temperatures, sparse, if any rain, and blistering sun make those days in 2009 seem like a minor inconvenience. The truth be known, many of us observe these untoward phenomena from air conditioned comfort with our fingers crossed that the faithful old a/c, however burdened, will hold on.

Despite our griping, our exposure to the elements usually consists of a sweaty traipse through a torrid parking lot to a vehicle, the interior of which could be temporarily leased to a local bakery. We open the door, mutter naughty mutterings regarding the oven-like conditions and shortly thereafter whisper a small thank you to the Almighty for letting the air conditioner blow a north wind in our grateful faces. Things could be worse.

Oh, and by the way, just in case you did not notice the new page on this site in the main menu above, see our new page on Photo Manipulation.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Water woes and meandering through the Delta


Mother Nature has dealt many farmers here in the Delta a lousy hand. Never-ending spring rains delayed planting or drowned what had been planted. Now that the deluge is over the dry spell has begun. We started this story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. Click here and find out how this all started … and see a couple of additional pictures.

While this center pivot irrigation device has the appearance of a turbocharged praying mantis ready to pounce on you, its purpose is much more kind.

While this center pivot irrigation device has the appearance of a turbocharged praying mantis ready to pounce on you, its purpose is beneficial. It is making certain that the young cotton plants at its feet survive to become your next shirt, sheets or “drawers.”

It’s not as if irrigation is not an expected and  predictable function of the process. It’s just that the requirements for it have started earlier. Most of these fields have been prepared in the non-growing seasons to accommodate irrigation. The landscape is sloped to allow irrigation water to flow where it is needed.

Your future pilaf in the making —  a rice field is being topped off. It is necessary to flood these fields. Nothing new there. The rub is, planting is way off schedule due to the relentless spring rains.

Your future pilaf in the making — a rice field is being topped off. It is necessary to flood these fields. Nothing new there. The rub is, planting is way off schedule due to the relentless spring rains which pummeled us a few weeks back. The well  is powered by electricity. Many other irrigation wells are powered by internal combustion engines.

A non-rigid plastic pipe (below) is attached to the rice well above. The pipe snakes out through the field. Where water is needed, operators punch holes in the pipe to get the results you see above and below.

rice irrigation

Flexible plastic pipe has mostly replaced rigid metal pipe as conduit for irrigation waters. Plastic pipe is less expensive, deploys faster and is reusable and/or recyclable.

The communities in this agricultural area are old. In some cases, not much is left to give evidence of the early inhabitants. The exceptions to that rule are the churches and cemeteries. The grave below is marked with a “Woodmen of the World Memorial” tombstone. It wasn’t long ago that I saw a TV commercial touting the benefits of that organization. The stone almost looks like it could have been an ancestor to R2D2.

wood men

The Methodist Church in the background, has no cornerstone or other evidence of its age, but the graves tell the story. Mr. C.W. Barner lies under this stone. He was born April 15, 1888 and died April 18, 1919.  A number of graves in the cemetery are much older than this one.

Giving you the bird

 I leave you this week by giving you the bird. The redwinged blackbird was perched in a healthy stand of corn near Cornerstone, Arkansas. I stopped to look at the corn and the bird. He staid put until I got the shot and then departed.

I leave you this week by giving you the bird. The redwinged blackbird was perched in a healthy stand of corn near Cornerstone, Arkansas. I stopped to look at the corn and the bird. He stayed put until I got the shot and then departed.

Thanks for dropping by. Pray for rain.

Joe