Goodbye, soggy July 2021! Surprisingly for a committed winter lover, I’m glad to see the back of the month just gone. July 2021 was the second wettest July on record. That’s pretty wet. I know people who talk happily about ‘dry July’. Not us.
The month reminded me of winters when I was a child in the 1940s. Heavy rain often drenched us on the short walk from the tram stop in Beaufort Street, Highgate to the school gate.
In those days, parents didn’t think to drive kids to school. We made our own way. If that meant catching trams or busses, walking and sitting all day in damp clothes and shoes, so be it! The horrid smell of wet wool in the classroom stays with me after all these years
As our climate changed and the population grew, Perth (Western Australia) began to dry out. Mostly, less rain falls. The dams fill only to the quarter-full mark. Lakes and wetlands have dried up. Ground water tables are much lower.
Good forward planning by successive governments means we now use desalination plants for a secure water supply.
Strict restrictions limit garden-watering to twice a week and then only over night. We’ve learned to garden in water-wise ways, often using native flora instead of lawns and delicate plants. Sadly, though, kids no longer play on lawns under the sprinklers. (Another memory, a favourite way to cool off in summer.) We no longer even use hoses to wash our cars.
Some statistics for soggy July 2021
This soggy July went on and on, with one cold front following another from the Indian Ocean. Icy winds gusted to 110 kilometres per hour. People battened down loose items around their homes, including on balconies, as in our case. Our outdoor furniture is still lashed to itself.
Already August seems as badly behaved as July.
Thunderstorms and teeming rain added to the picture. We should feel grateful and in our own way most of us express our pleasure at so much rain in this often parched patch of land.
But the downside? Rivers, creeks and lakes flooded, causing damage to roads and drains. Over 100 homes in the metropolitan area were damaged and needed the intervention of emergency services. Houses and businesses were without power for extended periods due to damage caused by the storms.
Below are photos from a recent walk in a park close to home.
According to Perth Today,
Perth’s preliminary rainfall total for July was 271.4 millimetres, 7.2 mm short of the July 1995 record.
That means July’s rainfall fell short by 7 mm of the previous record. A miserable record! We experienced rain on 28 days of the month, the highest number of rainy days in any month since 1946.
Things I’ll remember about this month
There were good times. It was fun to wear raincoats, scarves, boots and umbrellas. Walking in the rain reminds me of joyful days in childhood. Splashing in puddles pleases me, as long as I know I’ll go home to a warm house and hot drinks. I’ve become quite sooky lately.
The sound of thunder and heavy squalls, unusual for us, made us especially grateful for our warm beds.
Jenny and I took her three grandchildren, my great-grands, to the Naturescape area in Kings Park. It drizzled and we loved it. That was early in the month, during the school holidays.
The children played on the equipment, explored tunnels, climbed on and over constructions and paddled in a creek. They participated in a massive treasure hunt with clues spread throughout the area. We adults hid behind umbrellas and watched.
On the downside, around the third week of the month, I lost my beautiful yellow umbrella, a gift from Jenny two years ago. Broken hearted, I went back to cafes and shops, but didn’t find it.
John and I managed to smash the glass of the oven door when I thought it needed to be cleaned. Three weeks without an oven for baking and roasting warm, nutritious meals became tedious until the replacement oven came.
Now it’s August and still blustery, raining and chilly. But things must improve soon. Or so one would think. If there’s a lesson here, it must surely be that one can have too much of a good thing. Moderation is the key.