Shapes of Irrigation

Shapes of Irrigation

In the midst of barren waste, irrigated circles, some appearing fallow, perhaps because there isn't enough water for all this year.
In the midst of barren waste, irrigated circles, some appearing fallow, perhaps because this year there isn’t enough water for all of them.

My seatmate pointed out the irrigation circles in central Nevada—that is, I’m guessing by that time that we were over the central portion. Skus and I have seen them when flying over Idaho and on car trips when we see the long arms of sprinklers rotating from the center and as we drive by we identify the crops. In Nevada, the groups of circles, I suppose each group representing a single farm, are separated by barren mountain ranges and maybe miles of unirrigated land. Whether there’s enough run-off from nearby mountains or they must drill to some tremendous depth for water, I don’t know. Maybe both. These circles, half way through June, show varying shades of brown and green. Perhaps there’s not enough water for all of the fields this year and the farmers leave some fallow; perhaps some crop has already been harvested. I see faint tracks of roads but, often, no town within visual distance of the airplane.

IMG_3796As we approach Oakland and the coastal area, there’s enough water for the traditional rectangular fields and the demarcation of irrigable and non-irrigable lands is clear.  Towns, like fields, are green with tree-lined streets and lawns.  Here, too, there are brown rectangles of fallow, harvested, or waterless fields.

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