Archive for the ‘weather’ Tag
There haven’t been many pictures of horses in this blog lately — just weather pictures. Weather is the big story throughout California. The storms just keep coming. The horses (and people) are mostly standing around looking glum. We all know that we need every drop, and that we’ll be grateful in the spring, but that’s hard to remember when you are wading through the mud.
There is plenty to appreciate, though. The mountains have more snow than they’ve had in years. The air is clear enough to actually see them.
When I hiked down to the river a couple of days ago, the backwater that was filled with water hyacinth, and then dried out, was full of water again. Well, and dead water hyacinth. Anyway, there were five little birds — I think they were grebes — paddling happily around. They hurried away when they spotted me. It looked like they were swimming on a sheet of silver.
We’re supposed to have about a week without rain, and things are beginning to dry out a bit. The tractors are still working pretty much full time, but there is visible progress. Pretty soon I might be able to take a walk without hopping over puddles. There are still plenty for the dogs, who enjoy wallowing in them until they are mud-covered. Then they come in the house and share. I haven’t vacuumed in several days, because, hey, what’s the point?
I’ll start cleaning up tomorrow. There’ll be a few days to get rid of the leftover mud, then it’s supposed to start raining again. I’ll just keep thinking of the drought, and repeating, “I won’t complain. I won’t complain. I won’t complain.”
But I’m afraid I will.
The past few days have been pretty muggy, with a few drops of rain. We seem to be right on the edge of the storms, because we’ve had almost nothing while southern Bakersfield has had heavy rain and flooding. The thunderstorms and flash floods are a good thing — unless you’re caught in one — because they are another indication of a strong El Nino.
Oddly enough, I first heard of El Nino many, many years ago. It was mentioned in a pirate story I read, along with the reason for the name. The warm current came along about Christmas time, so El Nino — the Christ Child. The storms came into the story because they made the pirate trade difficult. Apparently the author had done his homework, because that’s the explanation I’ve heard repeated ever since. In the story, though, it was a bad thing instead of an eagerly anticipated event.
At any rate, blog posts will continue to be sporadic until the weather moderates a bit. Meanwhile, here’s one of my more successful hummingbird pictures.
You can even see his little toenails, if you look closely. Too bad he wouldn’t turn around, but his glittery green back is gorgeous. I didn’t realize for years that hummingbird feet are so tiny they can’t walk or hop, but only perch or fly. Luckily, that’s all they need.
It sprinkled first thing this morning. It looks pleasant outside, but at 10:45 it’s 88 with 50% humidity. Not typical Bakersfield weather.
We might get some more showers. There are plenty of clouds, looking west.
Despite the weather, people were out working with their horses — there wasn’t be long to do it.
I’ll shut down the computer before noon. Thank goodness for cell phones!
Yesterday, Xena and I hiked down to the river to see if it had any actual water in it. It’s been a while.
There was no water in the near channel, but lots of downed trees — mostly dead ones from the burn a year ago last May.
When we got over to the far channel — there was water! Unfortunately, there was also a lot of trash, at least upriver.
Downriver was not so bad. The water was perfectly still, and has probably sunk in by now.
An egret and a heron had quickly found the water, and were hopefully hunting.
As we trudged past the big island, I looked off to the west. It looked threatening.
And it was. We had a thunderstorm later that night that dumped a lot of rain. It was one of those storms in which just as you think it can’t rain any harder — it does.
We’re grateful, along with most of California, for every drop. And there’s more in the forecast. It’s going to take a lot more to break the drought — but at least there’s a dent in it!
I haven’t been able to get out very much lately, so I spent a little time looking through old pictures again. I was looking at autumn pictures, especially, because the leaves here haven’t shown much sign of turning yet. I was comparing other years, and sure enough, things were different.
Here, for example, is a branch on the liquidambar tree on November 8 of 2006, almost exactly eight years ago.
Here are some leaves on the ground, taken at the same time.
Aren’t they gorgeous? Now I think I’ll save this draft and go take a picture of the tree today . . . back in a bit.
I’m back. Here’s the liquidambar today.
There’s one or two colorful leaves . . . but a lot of dead branches and leaves, and a notable lack of pinkelponkers. (If you haven’t read this blog for long, pinkelponkers are the burr-like seed capsules of the liquidambar; at least one name for them. They’re also a word I love to say . . . pinkelponkerspinkelponkerspinkelponkers . . .)
There’s not much color on the ground, either.
I did find one fairly nice leaf.
What does all this mean? Well, that it’s been a warm autumn, for one thing. That the tree has been stressed, both by the drought and last year’s fire. And that we’re a long way from a nice crisp frost.
Also that I have way too much time on my hands lately! Billy is a little better every day, though, so we’ll both be out and about before too long.
It was obvious, as I walked outside last night, that there was a new wildfire in the mountains.
It looked like a big one, and it turned out that it had already burned 800 acres.
The horses don’t care, as long as it’s a good long distance away, and there’s food to be had. The air quality, though, was already showing signs of deterioration.
By the time the “supermoon” was rising, the color of the sky was showing change.
The media are calling it a “supermoon” because it’s unusually large and bright at the full. There are supposed to be three this summer. Funny how the moon always looks smaller through the camera . . .
The grey-lavender color of the sky was lovely. Through the camera lens, the moon seemed slightly distorted by the air currents.
As it climbed out of the smoky zone, it grew clear and bright.
It made for a clear bright night, too, perfect for riding. We had a lot of riders out enjoying the night, the team sorting across the river, and the comparative coolness. It’s supposed to be back over 100 by tomorrow, so everyone’s enjoying the nineties while they last!
Today was pretty dull, as far as the weather is concerned. Gray, hazy, and with such poor air quality that the recommendation was for people to stay indoors as much as possible. So I hunted for some old pictures, in which the weather was much prettier — and wetter. All of these are from December of 2009 — a wet year.
I think of this one as Goldengrove.
Here is a single yellow mulberry leaf.
Two shots of a golden cottonwood leaf — I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. (I cheated — I moved it)
A very small golden leaf . . .
. . . and a whole golden vista.
There’s supposed to be a storm coming in, so the air will clear and it will be nice outside again. I’m sure another ride will be called for!