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