Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not One Bit of Progress

I hate to admit it. I hate for it to be true.
I have made not one bit of progress since my minor pity party post from yesterday.
It's sad.
It's true.
It's pitiful.

Maybe it's a bit harsh... maybe I have made some headway.
For one thing I took pictures around the house.
And I have been in the yard several times, checking drains and raising the roof. Not our roof. Over Joe and Betty's homes is a "protective" shelter and it has become more like a suspended pond as water fills up in the slack nylon. I get up under the shelter and push it from beneath, which causes a tsunami cascade of water to pour over the sides.

Yes, it's been raining.
Yes, there is mud and there are downed trees.
And yes, the rest of the nation must shake their heads and wonder why a little rain and wind can cause such a fuss. Why So Cal must be in the news at all just because of some precipitation.

Well, it's all relative. Consider our dry-droughty rain fall total last year was in the 5 inch range. Five inches es muy poco for a whole year. This week alone parts of our county have seen 2 inches of rain. That is a torrent in relative terms. And the wind has even kicked up a couple of tornados, and wind gusts of 60 mph. 80mph!! So, while this may be typical for some places, it is the atypical nature of these conditions that make it a rough ride, for us weather sheltered folks.

And the falling trees. Always a bit hairy, and, unfortunately, sometimes fatal. Once upon a time, a long time ago, some enterprising citizens thought they could cash in on a rail opportunity by growing timber for the railroad ties. Their tree of choice? Eucalyptus. It grows fast, tall too. So, they planted eucalyptus all over the county, which if you have ever driven around San Diego, you will remember seeing eucalyptus trees all over. Frankly, they grow like weeds. But they do not grow like railroad ties... meaning the lumber was not good for making those ties. So, no quick cash for the entrepreneurs, but lots and lots, of fast growing, quick spreading, good smelling, but local plant obliterating trees... trees that have an extremely shallow root system and tip over in water logged soil, especially in the wind. Also the branches snap like... like eucalyptus limbs. The end.

I have just one more flora trivia... I remember reading that humidity levels could be read by the look of pine cones. Tightly closed pine cones signified high humidity, and the open pines were dry and indicated low humidity. Like the eucalyptus story, I stored this tidbit away... maybe for a rainy day?

So, guess what?
It's true. It's visibly, amusedly true. And I realized it when I stepped out the front door and noticed my pine cone collection not looking like my pine cone collection...

One week ago I snapped a picture of my pine cones. At the time I was thinking of how much I wished it were still Christmas. How I still did not want to sweep away poinsettias, wreaths, pine fragrance, and snowmen dolls, peace on Earth and carols. It was a dry day and the pine cones looked just as I am accustomed to seeing them... open and almost parched in a grey dusted way.

Not today. Just where I left them, with one blown to the ground, they have shut themselves up. They are saturated with water. Just like our yard. Fascinating.

Is she still there?
Betty. Go home. Take shelter woman. Shoo.

I see.
Betty wants boots.
Dear Betty. Those boots are not your size, and think the pink would clash with your golden hue. Go home. I don't have time to coddle you. I have laundry to ignore, and other things to attend to... things left undone since yesterday and last year.


amy smith said...

the pine cones are amazing..
left my mouth wide open.
love you..
hope you don't float away.

nicole said...

My son did the pine cone experiment last week. You can dunk them in a glass of water and they'll slowly close up, then put them on the heater over night and they'll be open again by morning :-)

mtnchild said...

I didn't know about the pine cones ... maybe I did and just didn't pay attention ...

Eucalyptus trees are called "Widow Makers" because of the big huge heavy branches that fall. Most pine trees have very shallow roots too, so when it gets windy, I get nervous - I'm surrounded by pines.


jesus sierra figueroa said...

hola!! me gustaron mucho tus fotos especialmente las del valle ya que tengo familia en sahuaripa y he ido al valle conosco gente de aya y me da mucho gusto que hayas hablado de aquellos bonitos pueblos de nuestros abuelos..
encontre este blog buscando fotos de sahuaripa en google jiji que suerte!! yo vivo en hermosillo y te dejo mi mail por si tu quisieras platicar,, yo si quiciera conocer gentes notables como ustedes jeje .. sino entiendes en español puedo tratar en ingles jiji..ok bye mmm bye

judy in ky said...

Fascinating about the pine cones. I use them for decorations inside my house and I thought they were always open (must be dry in here).
I hope you get your normal So. California weather back soon. We are hunkered down for the winter, but you shouldn't have to, because you are clever enough not to live in the great Midwest. (I would leave here if I could.)

Simone said...

Such a wonderful picture, of Betty looking in through the kitchen door. Well done!