We’re already in fire season.  Four-fifths of Idaho is in drought.  Reservoirs are low across the western states.  This morning I heard a warning during the news on Newsradio 1310 KLIX.  The Sawtooth National Forest is urging caution because so much of the land is parched.

Four-fifths of Idaho is in drought.  Reservoirs are low across the western states.

Locally, one place where you can recognize the crisis is Shoshone Falls.  The picture above is one I took a few years ago during spring.  The picture below is from last Saturday.  The difference is stark.  There isn’t much going across the apron.

Maybe I worry too much about water because up until this point of my life it was always plentiful.  I grew up on a lake.  I grew up a short drive from two Great Lakes and the geographical feature known as the Finger Lakes.  When I was a kid the Allegheny River was 15 miles from our house.

Twin Falls Mayor Suzanne Hawkins told me a couple of weeks ago the city uses less water than it did a quarter century ago.  I’m impressed because the place is now much larger when it comes to population.  Local car washes actually recycle water and I suppose it’s because people here know it’s a precious resource.

Still, I’m doing my best not to waste water and it annoys me when I see it happen.  This morning I was driving to work and passed a large business with a strip of grass abutting South Washington Street.  The sprinklers were on and my car got hosed.  Three times at the same place the last two weeks.  And the pavement is getting a wash.  Some naturally occurring vegetation would appear a better match and wouldn’t need artificial watering.

In the meantime, I pray for some steady rain.  A few weeks ago I dreamed it was pouring and when I woke up noticed it had rained during the night.  A local farmer asked me to keep dreaming.  I wish I could oblige.

Picture by Bill Colley.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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