When you live long enough to notice a change in the rhythm of the land – beyond the vicissitudes of drought cycles; remnants of hurricane winds and rains racing up from the east and Gulf coasts in summer and fall; snowy winters and dry; soggy springs and thirsty – you accrue enough experience to know a fundamental shift when you see one.
Is it climate change, global warming, or just the weather? What difference does it make what we call it when the effects demand action?
We find ourselves surrounded by water. A new spring has sprung across the road at the end of the driveway. What used to be an intermittent trickle turned into a stream that needs a stone bank built by VDOT to keep it from washing across the road as it did with the spring floods, one of which took several lives in Ivy Creek at the end of May, only a twenty minute drive from here. This drains underneath the road into the creek, officially unnamed on county maps, that runs behind our house.
It’s all part of a network that feeds into the Meechum River, which debouches in turn into the mighty James, and onward to the Chesapeake Bay. I would love to learn of a local name for the part that wends its way through this hollow. It will always be Hollow Creek to me.
My New Year’s resolution is to learn more about our waterways – and shore up the banks closest to the house! Old stone walls are deteriorating. I have been in delightful correspondence with the Map Division of Albemarle County and have arranged to have several maps mailed to us.
The New Year beckons with its challenges and promise that nothing will stay the same.