In Dominica a constant source of conversation is the weather and this year has been exceptional. While many Northerners are getting consecutive loads of snow we have had more than six weeks of straight sun and shine and not a drop of precipitation in site.
It is common to have a dry season but not this early and not for so long. It is perfect vacation weather but many locals are having to go further from home to source utility and drinking water. Anyone depending on rain water has certainly run out by now. Our cherished number of 365 rivers are slowly narrowing by the day. Luckily for the residents of this valley, River La Croix is still flowing its course as is our most dependable mountain spring.
We are always shifting our systems to accommodate the “extremes” in Dominica. The ram pump that was once washed down stream by intense rainfall has now been rebuilt. The rhythmic heartbeat of the pump chamber keeps our cisterns topped up so that our greenhouse can continue to stay green.
Considering we have solid two acres of tropical plants, the out of doors is left to fend for itself. Lucky for them, most of the ornamental flower roots are tuberous rhizomes with long term stores of hydration. The torch gingers (Etlingera elatior) are stalwarts of the surrounding landscape even under the lingering dusty fallout of Montserrat ash.
More good news about this year’s dry season is that is has brought on an early crop of mangoes, day after day of good hiking, quick dry laundry, and slow growing weeds. We have come to appreciate the heavy saturation of the real mountain dew. Most of all, this is Dominica, and when the sky turns blue you can find us…down by the river.