116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
As always, but especially in these rancorous times, conversations often default to the weather, which affects us all in mostly noncontroversial ways.
When we can think of nothing else to say, we exchange appreciations of nice days and beautiful anomalies and express hope storms will miss us and needed rainfall won’t.
This past year had its share of meteorological graces, including a January riming that gave new meaning to the word “flocked,” February sundogs, wildfire-smoke-smudged sunsets in July and year-end sunrises that would have been spectacular had they not been so commonplace.
But in my mind at least, 2021 will go down as the year of the pleasant drought.
Iowa teetered on the edge of moderate and severe drought for most of the year, but timely, bountiful rains repeatedly rescued crops from the brink.
Typically generous spring rains did not materialize. Nor did the morels that depend upon ample moisture for fruiting. The snow melted, the ice went out of rivers and streams, and anglers did not have to wait for floods to subside before they could start catching fish.
Pleasant droughts maximize my enjoyment of my two favorite pastimes, fishing and gardening.
Moderate stream flows beckon daily, and game fish can’t resist lures presented in clear, gently flowing water.
As perverse as it may seem, I prefer semiarid weather for gardening. I can fix too dry but not too wet. And I don’t miss muddy boots and the upbraiding that ensues when they get too close to the house.
The dry spring and summer provided ideal nesting and brooding seasons for pheasants, whose sudden, raucous eruptions from cover have enlivened many days in the year’s waning months.
Apart from all the grief and turmoil of the seemingly never-ending pandemic, 2021 was a good year for people able to appreciate and enjoy nature’s comfort and beauty. May 2022 be even better.