Please tell me there’s been rain in Queensborough

After many weeks of drought, the Manse lawn is a study in browns and yellows. Except, that is, for the bright halo of green grass around our well-watered newly planted elm tree (foreground). In the background you can see Raymond wiping down his red truck, fresh from the car wash in Madoc. A big day at the Manse!

What everybody in Queensborough and area was talking about when Raymond and I were there this past weekend was the drought. It had not rained in forever, and everything was just so, so dry. We heard of wells dried up, and there’s been a no-burning rule in place for weeks. (That means no fireworks too.) The Manse lawn is a study in shades of brown and yellow, with a texture that varies from crackly to crispy. Except, that is, for a lovely circle of green around our recently planted elm tree, which our neighbour and friend John Barry is carefully watering for us every day when we’re not in residence. That tree is the luckiest thing growing in all of Queensborough! (Except for the crabapple that was recently planted at the Queensborough Community Centre as part of the village beautification project; John and his wife, Anne, are carefully watering it too.)

As we drove home to Montreal very early yesterday morning, we hit rain, serious rain. “Please,” I thought to myself, “please let this be falling on Queensborough too.” I don’t know whether it did, though I do know, thanks to my friend Lindi Pierce’s comment on my post yesterday, that the Belleville area got an excellent rainfall, so I am hopeful. But my Queensborough friend Joan Mandzy told me this weekend that several times rain has got as close as the towns of Madoc and/or Tweed – both just 15 minutes in different directions from us – but not fallen on Queensborough itself.

For the sake of our trees and our lawn and our well, and those of all our neighbours, I sure hope it did. At the moment, Queensborough is a dry, dry place … and that reminds me of something else altogether: the long-ago referendum on whether to make Elzevir Township “wet” or “dry” – and they didn’t mean rain. But that’s another story.

8 thoughts on “Please tell me there’s been rain in Queensborough

  1. Katherine:
    Your blog is a little taste of home for me. I grew up in a little hamlet called Blessington (where the general store was built by my great, great uncle), just south of Chisholm’s Mills/Roslin and east of Foxboro. Your Hastings County memories have sparked many fond ones of my own. Thanks.

    • That is so nice to hear, Scott! I thought I know (or had at least heard of) most of the places in Hastings County, but I confess I had to look up Blessington. Another day-trip excursion is in my future, clearly. Is the general store that your great-great uncle built still standing? Open?

      • Hardly worth a trip – it’s bigger on the map than in real life! The store is still open although it has changed hands many times, was rebuilt after a fire and is really a convenience store now rather than what I would call a true general store.
        The one-room school house my father attended is now a stable, the farrier shop burned down decades ago and an ill-conceived road widening a few years ago took out too many mature trees, including two beautiful 100-year-old maples on my mother’s front lawn.
        Not many postcard views in Blessington any longer, I am afraid.

      • Well, I’ll still be interested in visiting; the southeastern part of Hastings County is one area that I’m not very familiar with, and it would make a nice excursion, perhaps in Raymond’s red truck. In my posts I tend to emphasize the prettiest parts of Queensborough; there are some that are not, as you say, postcard views. Though of course one’s perception is always coloured by one’s memories; because the store (is this it, by the way?) has been rebuilt, and those maple trees are gone (that is so sad; a similar misguided thing happened on one side of the road in to Queensborough from Madoc), it may not be as beautiful as you remember it. But I bet there is still some tiny-hamlet charm left. And perhaps I shall be the judge of that!

  2. Another torrential rain occurred early this morning along with a deluge Tuesday afternoon [Sept 4]. And, we had a wet week a few weeks ago. But otherwise, this summer’s extended drought has been quite profound — the swamp at Hazzard’s Corner was almost completely dry last week.

    The exception is the Queensborough millpond! In the summer of 2010, I complained bitterly in the local media when the pond level dropped dramatically [1.5 metres] in early August, despite normal weather in the spring & summer. Quinte Conservation Authority [QCA] eventually blamed this situation on low winter snow accumulation and leakage of the 2 Queensborough dams. A similar event occurred for a week in late July 2011 [I have time-stamped photos] despite a more normal winter and a wettish spring/summer but [uncharacteristically] I held my silence. As for this summer, the pond fluctuated slightly [about 15 cm] on Fri Aug 24 — despite very, very little winter snow, a very early thaw [people were planting their gardens in March] and this summer’s drought [I didn’t cut my grass for 6 weeks]. I’d be interested in QCA’s explanation when I send my observations to them [and the local media].

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