December 2, 2007

Patterns of drought

Dry as dust. Click on photo for a larger view.

In much of California last winter, it just didn't rain. Even when parts of the state are in the middle of a drought cycle, our hills here in SoCal always turn green in the winter -- or they did until last winter. Next-to-no-rain, with all that entails, can be a scary, expensive, miserable thing. [Ask Atlanta.]

Compare this blog's header photo with the photo at the top of the post. Both photos were taken the same day. The ranch in the header photo is twenty miles from the ocean, and as green as you'd expect for its location, but the photo of the farm at the top of the post was taken inland: fewer than twenty miles inland from the ranch in the header. Given the time of year [early May] that land should should look much more like this:

Green as grass.

The pasture above is on Anna Guthrie's place in inland San Diego County, but last spring it was as parched as the ranch at the top of the post.

Was I happy when it poured buckets for the better part of 24 hours last week? I can't begin to tell you how happy. Mudslides and rockslides are a pain, but drought is in an awful category all by itself.

West of Big Bear Lake.

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