It's not the end of the drought. The rains that came during the last few weeks, and the rains that are forecast for later this week,,, they're not enough to make up our rainfall deficit. However, it has been enough to start making a visible difference.On my drive to work this morning, though it was just before sunrise, the change in the countryside was obvious. Trees have leafed out and are standing fully erect. Pastures have turned from brown to green as the seeds that fell last summer and fall take advantage of the moisture. Everywhere you turn, it is easy to see the effect that the recent rainfall has had upon our county. Though we are already midway through May, Mason County is just now having its spring season, and residents are breathing a bit easier.As I already mentioned, we are so far behind on rainfall, these small amounts don't come close to ending or alleviating the effects of the drought. Tanks are still dry, or have very little water. Streams are running at reduced flow, and in some cases, have only small pools of water connected by rivulets of flow. Topsoil is damp only a short way down, then the dry earth shows itself once more.Agricultural communities are often a bit pessimistic at heart. We are "glass half empty" folks, worried about getting too excited over good news for fear that the weather will change and all will be lost. I remember as a child watching peanuts grow and flourish. All summer, the weather was perfect and the plants took advantage of the moisture, the sunshine and the rich soil. Then, with only days left before harvest, a hurricane would strike the coast, sending flooding through central Texas and washing away the bumper crop we had tended for months.We in these communities know that God gives and takes. So do those in the Mississippi flood plain.Agricultural projections had showed potential bumper crops this year for corn, cotton, beans and sugar cane throughout the basin. And then a combination of snow melt, rainfall and widespread runoff combined to produce a wall of water that threatens to eliminate all of the crops in the low lying areas. Months of work and toil will be erased as the water rises and washes away everything in its path.But, we have to remember that these are the cycles of our planet. Drought and flood. Heat and cold. Windy and still. The earth is a living, dynamic planet, constantly changing and moving. We can predict conditions based upon statistics and norms; but, those numbers have peaks and valleys that produce the median. When people see the hill country, green and lush with streams flowing everywhere, it's difficult to make them remember that such conditions are one of the peaks, not the mean. Our average rainfall clearly illustrates that there will be times when the entire countryside turns brown and bursts into flame when storms produce only lightning. Yet, we all keep hanging on during the toughest times, knowing that when we come out of the worst of times, the waiting was worth it. We look about us, as we do right now, and we see the potential of our landscape. We know that if we can manage to survive through the hard times, this country that we love will reward us many times over.Like it did this morning on my drive to work!It’s all just my opinion.