xt7jh98zct60_29 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. 1957 September 10 text 1957 September 10 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_29/1957_9_10_Bevins_Rain_after_drought_p1.pdf 1957 September 10 1957 1957 September 10 section false xt7jh98zct60_29 xt7jh98zct60 r . "W ’W
. Morning View Kentucky
10 September 1957
Hello Mr. McCarthy, ’
Never, even on magnificent spring days, have I seen more
exhilaration, more excited exultation than that with which the
tree patch and its inhabitants greeted daylight this morning.
It was finally raining.
Cities and industries have their water problems, but only in open
country, where all vegetation, from the greatest trees to the
smallest blade of grass, is excruciatingly thirsty, where the dust
lies deep while birds and small animals cluster about the shores
of shrinking ponds, can the fearful importance of water be really
as the land grows more and more parched through the long, hot days,
a strange panic, like a creeping contagion, spreads through the
air with the haZe of dust, until even inanimate things seem to echo
it, and it tingles raggedly in the nerve centers of men. With
increasing_frequency, people scan the unproductive sky as each day
opens with a hot, dry sunrise and closes with an equally scorching
So it has been here. Our last rain, other than an almost worthless
minute shower, Was on the night of July Fourth. The big rain Which
soaked the Cincinnati area several weeks after that, sending mud into
the Coney pool and converting Covington's 19th Street into a swirling
torrent, brushed us with only zfi a few moments of gentle rain. The
. great storms pouring upon Cincinnati were clearly visible to the

North, appearing so near that one could almost tough the thick ra.n
curtains. Off to the South, other heavy clouds released inches of
rain also.
What moisture we received, checked only briefly the dryness which was
penetrating deeper and deeper into the soil. Mid-august found the
oak leaves sagging dustily limp from the twigs -- even the big thtck,
glistening leaves of the black oaks seemed dull and shrunken as they
closed their pores to conserve moisture. Other trees were as visibly
affected, the maple leaves appearing almost to fold as they
contracted, while along the outer edges of the broad hickory leaves,

, brown, burned patches spread sullenly. Pasture grass became brittle,
and dun-colored and slippery. Only on slopes lying above deep-set

1 ponds, did the dew bring feeble nightly relief and maintain a faint

‘ shading of green.
Many crops suffered pathetically. Early corn which had attained
sufficient growth to Carry through on the July Fourth rain, managed
to do well. Tobacco was scorched and Sad. It had been able to find
more than apple moisture early in the summer, with only a shallow


i -2—
root system. When the rain suddenly stopped, the plants had no roots
reaching the lower levels and it Was too late to build them. EVen

. weeds stood limp and gaSping. Hickory nuts and Walnuts which dangled

. thick and plump from the branches, stopped their growth and dried to
hollow husks as they hung.
In the tree patch, I kept the bird bath brimming. Incidentally,

. instead of perching gracefully on its stem. my bird bath bowl rests
flat upon the ground. Most birds prefer it that way, while rabbits,

. squirrels, box tortoises, and quail find it readily available when
they need it. t
It was a different world by daylight this morning. The great tree x
trunks stood dark with moisture for the first time since July Fourth,
and the rain—polished leaves were already expanding and regaining
their crispness. Maple leaves unfolded until they resembled hands
with wide-spread fingers - nollcnger Were they folded nervously.
In sharp contrast to their comparative silence during the heat and
dryness, the birds are maintaining a constant din -- a positive
hubbub of happiness. Second-nest youngsters, astonished by the
first real rain of their lives, fly about and shout and eat and flap
soggy feathers and drink from all the little puddles and trickles of
water. Young Chickadees pick dangling drops of Water from twigs or
leaves and shriek to each other about it. I am sure all young birds
are drinking much too much Water today. Ground birds seek reviving ‘
insects through the returning green of the patient grass. I watched
young quail march off to their dust bath after dining, only to
stand talking with plaintive surprise upon finding the bowl-like
depressions they had built in the soft dust were now tiny pools of
Nothing is immune from the excitement and luxurious stirring and
elation which lie with a tangible touch across the countryside. For,
while springtime is an awakening from winter sleep, rain after a
drought is a reprieve from death. ‘

‘ Sincerely, ,