The quail, ducks, geese, etc. around our place in Bend had very early clutches. They were all wiped out by the April weather. They all have new clutches that are hatching and doing well. Just watched about 30 tiny quail move through my grass. Haven’t seen a fawn yet, but they are due any day now. We have some very pregnant does hanging around so it should be soon.
I’ve been monitoring a site on Willow Creek (intermittent creek that drains a huge arid watershed that runs through Madras at the north “y” before eventually joining the Deschutes) for more than more than 25 years. During that time the creek had one year without measurable flow.
Or at least that was true until the last three years when it has had zero measurable flow. Even with the late snowpack there is no flow again. My monitoring wells that are set in the shallow aquifer are dry and they are indicative of groundwater conditions in Central and Eastern Oregon. The hydrologists at the Water Resources predict it will take at least three big winters to get us out of the drought and that’s assuming that we don’t have record setting heat waves again. We need all the snow we can get because we need it to infiltrate and recharge shallow acquirers that are depleted. The best case scenario is a gradual warm up with some cool temps mixed in so that it doesn’t run off and head to the Pacific.
As I’ve written before, the weather this April was an absolute Hail Mary. Without it we would be in a critical state of crisis in Central and Eastern Oregon. With the historically wet April we are holding our own but definitely not out of the woods.
There’s lots of great, and concerning, info in this link sent to me by Moman. It’s the May 16th Oregon Water Conditions Report by the Oregon Department of Water Resources. It’s absolutely worth a couple of minutes.