flood, drought and irrigation

well here on the isle of Lewis we have gone from incessant rain to no rain, in the last week most of the rest of the UK and Ireland seem to be getting a lot of rain, I’ve been home 3 weeks now and the only rain was a little last Sunday (3rd), I’m not complaining, I’m loving it, when the year began I was optimistic, a new year, a new start perhaps the constant rain we had been having since last summer would at least slow up but it didn’t the lower part of the garden was flooded again, I started to feel it would never stop and this would be our weather for ever and ever, I still find it hard to believe it has stopped,

before I went to Egypt I read that the majority of the population lives along by the Nile and that this was the only green area as the rest of Egypt is desert, crops are grown, gardens are watered, all with water from the Nile river, here is an irrigated area we stayed near when I was on the felucca trip on the river,

it looks lush and green, here is an area by the river that is not irrigated,

very different isn’t it, the water is pumped by floating pumping stations which were located by every populated area we passed along the river,

some of these photos were taken from the river so from a distance, the bright green is the crop on this land,

we stopped here for lunch one day, I often saw people in these little boats moving among the irrigated areas, the black shape is a water buffalo resting,

an irrigation ditch not in use as the crop has been harvested,

look at that sandy soil, imagine growing in sand like that and not just your leisure garden but growing for food and extra to sell, to live, irrigated area growing a crop of water melon,

further along were these plants I don’t know what they are,

as well as the sugar cane I mentioned in an earlier post there are lots of bananas grown,

the ditch at the front of my house is dry, during this dry spell and with the lovely long light we have, it doesn’t start to get dark until 11 pm, I have spent a lot of time in the garden so apologies for not doing much blog reading, happy gardening,


©Copyright 2012 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

9 responses to “flood, drought and irrigation

  1. I can’t imagine the sun light until 11 pm….9 pm is the latest we go…I would be out too but between the bugs and the humidity it is too much….we have this type if irrigation in the SW US where they grow tropical crops in the desert…glad to hear your weather is lovely


    • Donna before I moved here I had not know such light, it’s one of the things I love about living this far north it counters the dark winter, I find it amazing that anything can grow in sand even with water, our weather isn’t hot or even very warm so not too many bugs and so long as there is some breeze the midge isn’t a problem, I do love hearing the buzz of the bees and such as I work, Frances


  2. I remember flying over the desert and seeing the green strip on either side of the Nile; it is difficult to imagine a whole civilization growing and flourishing in such hostile conditions but it also gives a lesson in sensible use of a limited resorce. The UK wastes so much water, far more than it actually uses. The water companies need to have more incentive to repair broken pipes and invest! Great post, Christina


    • thank you Christina, I too saw the green strip as we entered Egypt from the north and the flight travelled down to Luxor, difficult indeed and they don’t have as much access to modern irrigation equipment as western countries,
      I agree about wasted water here all company owners and shareholders think of is money, Frances


  3. paulinemulligan

    So glad you are having a dry spell, I think we all have to be responsible where water is concerned, hot countries seem to have the right idea, channeling it where necessary, its amazing all the crops that can be grown in otherwise arid conditions.


  4. I remember during our honeymoon back in ’86 we were in Oban (Scotland) and it was around 10 p.m. and still completely daylight… We were just having our supper in a restaurant overlooking the harbor and we got so confused with it being like mid-day outside, our sleeping patterns got all discombobulated! Nevertheless, we loved Oban and wish we could go back there.


  5. It’s funny, when I think of Egypt I think of desert and pyramids. I was somewhat surprised by the lush tropical growth in your first shot. What a complex system they must have to keep those fields irrigated.


    • your impression is probably due to that area getting the most publicity Marguerite, I knew little my self until I first saw the holiday advertised in the late 80’s, and that complex system has been used for thousands of years, being update when money and technology allow, the rest of Egypt is desert and what I saw not pretty desert but flat sand and black lumps of very old volcanic rock, though there is an area in the west of Egypt with amazing rock formations in the desert, Frances