Monday Smiles – 7/20/2015
You probably know that Southern California has been suffering through its worst drought in over a hundred years. The sad truth is, that up here in Anaheim Hills, no one was suffering at all. Lawns continued to green because they were being watered just as often as the always were. There were small increases in the cost of produce but in a community like this, I’m sure hardly anyone notices. Several month ago, the water company issued mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering, limiting the operation of sprinklers to two days a week. I have adjusted my sprinklers accordingly and my lawn now sports areas of yellow and brown. Interestingly, not another lawn in the neighborhood is showing similar changes. You don’t suppose everyone could be cheating, do you? I’ve also been gradually changing occasional plants into drought-resistant succulents that the local nurseries are now featuring. The truth is that my floral bowls look better than ever with less care and watering. It’s amazing what happens when you use plants appropriate to the climate.
This week, tropical storm Dolores has moved offshore of the Socal Coast courtesy of a strong El Nino condition, an abnormal warming of the Pacific waters. It rained lightly here Friday night and Saturday afternoon, a steady rain fell for three or four hours. We carried umbrellas to the theater in Laguna on Saturday Night but the rain had tapered off by the time we got out of the theater. Footloose, the Musical, by the way, with our friends, Ron and Linda. A very nice production. Sunday, after spending the morning under cloudy skies at the park, I stopped on the way home to pick up a steak and some veggies to grill for dinner. By dinner time, I was standing at the barbeque grilling in the rain.
We accumulated about an inch of rain over the weekend, which is the most rain the area has had in July in 127 years. July is our driest month, usually. As always when there are sudden rains here, there were flash floods and mudslides. A bridge was washed out on the main route from Los Angeles to Phoenix, the 10 Freeway. Naturally, the newspapers were all over the problems the rainfall caused instead of noting that we desperately needed the rain. In fact, most of them took a few lines or headlines to remind us … as if we didn’t know … that the inch or so of rain wouldn’t make so much as a small dent in the drought conditions. At least The Sun, the home newspaper of San Bernadino where the North and Pine wildfires were raging, took time to note that the rain helped stop the fires’ advance before diving into a description of mudslides. The LA Times did note that the July storms offered a preview of a robust El Nino but devoted more attention to the disasters future storms might bring than the possibility that they’d end the drought.
My Mom used to say Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth. A rainstorm in the middle of a drought is a gift, whether or not it brings some difficulties with it or not. My poor thirsty lawn already looked greener today and there were a few more blossoms on the succulents in the pots in our yard. The air was clearer and the sky was full of real clouds, not those wispy things that usually pass for clouds in July here. There is a promise that the drought will end this winter as more storms roll in. And, as my wife, Muri, often says … I love a rainy night.
It’s Monday … I’m smiling.