Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wednesday Vignettes: Changes in the Weather

After weeks of unseasonably warm, dry weather, we had a sudden shift this week with our first real rainstorm of our all-too-short rainy season.  I heard the forecasts for days before the event but chose not to put a lot of stock in the possibility as such chances of rain frequently fail to materialize.  But this storm system gained strength and, just after midnight on Monday, we heard the first deep rumble of thunder, followed shortly thereafter by pounding rain.  Rain continued at intervals, off and on, until Monday night.  In my location, we collected an inch of rain in total.

Every time the rain stopped and splashes of blue sky appeared, I feared that was it.  Late Monday morning, as the skies appeared to clear, I took my camera outside to catch the raindrops sparkling in the sunlight.

Regrettably, my photos don't capture the shimmering light my eyes saw in the Callistemon or the Leucadendrons in my back garden

Even if you can't see the sunlit raindrops, I expect you can tell just how clean the foliage was

The south-end succulent garden also looked clean and fresh

and a few plants, like the Agave 'Blue Glow' and Hymenolepsis parviflora shown here, did glisten

However, the oddest visual effect was the steam rising from the cold, wet surface of this patio chair as the warm sunlight caused the water to evaporate

Within perhaps half an hour of my jaunt through the garden with my camera, the clouds were back, followed by pounding hail, an unusual event here.

I took this photo through kitchen window when I realized that it was hail, not rain, pummeling the roof and the patio furniture outside

The hailstorm lasted maybe three minutes but the ice left behind hung on for considerably longer, even when the sun came out again


The hail wasn't limited to the patio.  I found it all over the garden.

Only one of my three rain tanks, the 50-gallon one, is completely full but the 160-gallon tank is almost 75% full.  In addition to what flowed into the tank from the roof surface on the north side of the house, I collected rain from a chain hung on the east side of the roof in plastic trugs, which I then transferred to that tank.  The largest, 265-gallon tank, is harder to calibrate and is fed off the smallest roof space, our garage, but I'd estimate it's 25% full.  All three tanks were empty when this storm moved in.

If you buy yourself a rain tank, I recommend getting one less translucent than this one.  It had accumulated some algae at the bottom so I added a little bleach to it.  I plan to let the rainwater sit a week or so before using it in the garden.

Yesterday was cold (in terms of how we evaluate "cold" in coastal southern California) and I only did a bit of garden cleanup.  But, to celebrate the clean air, I took a couple of photos, starting with the sunrise.

The clouds on the horizon made this sunrise look almost like a volcanic eruption

I ended the day, with this shot of the mountains to the east, covered in snow, and the last full moon of 2020 rising as the sun set.


The title of this post was inspired by a song that sprang to mind as the result of our weather roller-coaster ride this week, Changes in the Weather by Barefoot Truth.


For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. There is nothing like a decent rinse to make a garden sparkle. Your Callistemon is huge.... I never realized. I imagine it is glorious when in full bloom. Kudos for collection the rain water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Callistemon ('Cane's Hybrid') has peachy-pink flowers and is supposed to get 15-20 feet tall. I don't think I knew that it got that tall when I purchased it. My husband is none too pleased with it and has suggested I move it, claiming it blocks his view when he's reclining in his chair in the living room. I told him to sit on the patio if he wants a different view of the harbor ;)

      Delete
  2. Wonderful photos and such a stunning sunrise. Your garden looks wonderful in/after the rain, yet somehow it always looks drab here! :D

    All the best for 2021!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The sunrise and sunset pictures are gorgeous. So glad you got a full inch, and wish I could send you the rain we’re expecting over the next few days. I hope you didn’t get damage from the hail. Your garden looks amazing in the sunshine and sparkling with raindrops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be wonderful if we could distribute rain a little more consistently across the country. Our rain is usually limited to the fall and winter months but it's been paltry this season. Even with Monday's storm, our season-to-date total is just 1.2 inches of rain.

      Delete
  4. Lime gold foliage against gunmetal clouds is such a spectacular pairing when the first sun strikes thru.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The contrast does enhance both, Diana. The sun and clouds both played games of peek-a-boo on Monday.

      Delete
  5. Oh yes, I can see the plants looking perky. Funny you got hail and while I am reading this ice is coming down here. Brrrr. The picture of the steam off the chair is wild.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The temperature at ground level was about 55F here when the hail started but obviously it was a LOT colder at cloud level! I think this is only the second time we've seen hail in the 10 years we've lived here. I don't recall a single incidence of hail during the 20 years at our old house, just 15 miles away.

      Delete
  6. Hooray for rain!! You can tell how much the plants loved it. The hail, not so much though, I imagine. Hope you get more soon, so you can fill your big tank as well. Happy New Year, Kris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy new year to you too, Anna! I've heard that even short hailstorms can cause damage, particularly to stiff-leafed succulents, but luckily our event, which I'd estimate lasted about 3 minutes, doesn't seem to have caused any lasting damage.

      Delete
  7. So glad for your rain Kris. I know how wonderful the sound of thunder can be when you are in the midst of a drought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems we're always in drought, just beyond drought or proceeding into drought her, Cindy. Rain is always welcome, even when proceeded by spooky bumps and bangs.

      Delete
  8. One inch is wonderful and so much water collected - yay! I bet both you and your garden are very happy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The garden usually responds quickly to a decent soaking with rain, Eliza. Irrigation systems are no match! It also comforts me to have a store of water on hand, especially when the tanks have been empty for so long.

      Delete
  9. Your garden is so gorgeous! I just cannot get over it and that view! Happy that you got some rain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angie. I'd have liked a more open ocean view rather than the harbor view but, as the former would have added two or more million dollars to the cost of the house, I've decided I'm quite satisfied with the view we got ;)

      Delete
  10. It’s amazing, the difference that rain makes to a garden, much more so than water from hoses. I’m so glad you had some rain Kris, and your garden is looking even more wonderful than usual!
    I was surprised to see the mountains with snow on them. What a beautiful view.
    We’ve been having a lot of rain here, and more to come next week, we’re told. La Niña has been kind to us, and we celebrate while it lasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that La Niña means more rain for Australia and less for Southern California and vice-versa with respect to El Niño; however, some pundits claim that the effect of La Niña is more variable, at least with respect to Southern California. I'm just hoping we get a lot more rainstorms like the last one before our rainy season comes to its usual abrupt end in early spring.

      Delete
  11. Gorgeous sunrise! I hope the hail wasn't too damaging to your soft succulents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't found any obvious evidence of damage thus far, Loree, although I admit I haven't conducted a very comprehensive evaluation. It's been cold out there! By which I mean we've had temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s ;)

      Delete
  12. So wonderful to end the year on a good weather note. Hopefully the hail didn't damage your succulents too much. We received a massive snow fall just before Christmas but now with clear blue sunny skies it is quite lovely to look upon. Wishing you a Happy New Year and an excellent gardening season Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rain was a wonderful late Christmas present, Elaine. The hail was a surprise but it doesn't seem to have done much harm. Best wishes for the new year!

      Delete
  13. How wonderful Kris! You and your garden must have both been singing with joy 😄

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!