Thursday, January 21, 2010

Season Premier

Nature's drama was never as interesting in the cities. Rain meant umbrellas, wet pants, sloshy streets and having to use something other than my bike to get around. Typhoons meant delayed trains and subways, traffic jams, billboards falling on unwary pedestrians.

Out in the countryside, weather is an event rivaling even the County Fair and for the last couple of weeks, there's been talk of nothing but.
"There's going to be several storms, one after the other..."
"It gets worse on Thursday..."
"They say there'll be maybe 12 inches of rain..."

All last week, while Big Dog and I were pruning, I could hear chainsaws around the valley as ranchers cut away dead limbs and other potential hazards. Our neighbors were at our common creek with a backhoe, lifting out fallen tree stumps and other debris from the October Storm. (City people never name their weather events. I can only remember one summer drought in Japan that got a nickname. It was bad enough to cause a major rice shortage and the government had to allow rice imports for the first time. That became known as The Summer of Imported Rice.)

By the end of the week, we were also infected with Storm Watch Fever. Big Dog was forever dashing to the fire station to get more sandbags (and why it had to be 10 or 20 bags at a time, instead of, say, 50 all at once, I'll never know) and lugging them around the ranch to place in strategic and sometime mysterious locations. I wasn't much help, I'm afraid. After stocking up our food supply, in case we got trapped on the ranch, and bringing in the seedlings, I was merely one of those who excitedly waited for the rain.

We're five days into it, now, and I'm still strolling around the place during lulls to check out how swollen the river is, where pastures have turned into lakes, if our neighbors were able to clear the culvert enough to keep the easement road from becoming another creek. It's a watery world out there and everything smells clean, clean, clean.

I am sure the Season Premier of the Storm Series gets a less than open-armed welcome further south. As much as they need the rain, the summer's rash of wildfires means danger of major landslides.

Is there more rain coming? Will the pasture flood completely? Can we keep the road from being washed away? Will the price of chanterelle mushrooms plummet like it's rumored? Don't touch that dial.

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Anonymous Richard said...

Sounds like you are fighting nature. Give em hell!

8:56 AM  

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