Documenting Our Misery, Texas Wants Our Drought Photos

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Rather than praying for rain as Gov. Rick Perry might do, the combined intelligence of several of our state's agencies wants us to document our sad and sorry times by taking photos of just how dry we are, and what it has done to our lives.

Got a dry creek bed or an indentation in the earth that used to be a bayou? Texas wants it. Have your pine trees lost all their needles and seem poised to crash down upon your house or fence?

Can you capture how your plants have withered, your lawn already gone into early in the season shutdown mode? Or are there just bare patches of earth where St. Augustine used to roam, maybe the sod you allowed yourself to reinstall after the two previous parched summers?

Or do you have a story of triumph? Maybe a roof cistern that's keeping everything green? Do you empty your cooled off bathwater onto flower and vegetable beds? Is your lawn cross-hatched by all manner of soaker hoses? Do you only wash your clothes once a month?

"This current Texas drought, which started in 2010, has proven in many ways to be our worst drought in history. In fact, it has surpassed the Dust Bowl of the 1930s," wrote Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in a press release today.

And, speaking like a true Republican, Staples went on to write: "We know citizen-led conservation efforts are our best alternative to mandated restrictions that can hurt our economy." He wants Texans to document our hard times for future generations, which may or may not best any I-walked-five-miles-in-the-snow-to-school or I-lived-for two-weeks-without-air-conditioning-because-of-Hurricane-Ike stories.

With 97 percent of Texas enveloped in a state of drought, the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department want you to get busy. Send your photos to the state's Flickr group or post them to Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #txdrought for Twitter and texasdrought for Instagram. Photos should be tagged with date, location and a short description of what we're looking at. Or email your photos to TexasDrought@yahoo.com and they'll post your pix.

And if you have some water conservation tips, we're sure they'll take them too.

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