This rainy season has been an extraordinary surprise. We were given a poor chance of rain again this year but storms nonetheless started piling up in January and kept on coming. There was another strong "atmospheric river" late last week, which was followed by yet another one this week.
|This is the view from my back garden last Sunday morning looking out at Angel's Gate, the entrance to the Los Angeles harbor. The clouds were sitting atop the ocean and the harbor was invisible.|
|This photo was taken from the back garden looking northeast. There was a little blue sky visible from this viewpoint but it quickly disappeared. In the background on the left you can see the refineries spitting out their pollutants.|
After years of severe drought, bemoaning the cold, damp conditions seems almost sacrilegious but I admit I rejoiced when we finally got a bit of sun and blue sky yesterday afternoon. The soil is saturated, my rain collection tanks are full, and we've tallied more rain this season than we've had in several years.
|I've recorded 18.65 inches of rain since our 2023 "water year" began October 1, 2022. That's well above average for our rainy season in my location. Other areas got considerably more. Our rainy season generally comes to an end in early April.|
With the last storm, my area is no longer considered in a drought status.
|Before the last storm, we were still in the "abnormally dry" category but the western portion of Los Angeles County is now drought-free|
Unlike me, the local critters had no trouble whatsoever with the damp conditions and cloudy sky.
|I refilled the bird feeders and activity in the garden picked up dramatically|
|Three house finches monitoring the action at the feeder from the nearby Arbutus 'Marina'|
|Two finches, a mated pair perhaps, later moved to the feeder pole|
|The white crowned sparrows were also active at the feeder. This one was surveying things from the Ceanothus below the feeder.|
|Of course, once the feeders were refilled a squirrel showed up. I took this photo from inside my home office but I swear he knew I was looking at him.|
|He's quite the gymnast. These feeders are set up to close the seed portals when anything heavier than a small bird attempts to eat from them.|
|He eventually gave up but managed to jump from the one feeder to the main pole, where he climbed atop the cage surrounding the central feeder|
|He clearly found something to eat but I couldn't make out what it was|
I had an unexpected visitor come up our back slope by way of the canyon below as well.
|This is Luna, a champion escape artist. She and her family moved into a nearby home off a spur road months ago. She periodically gets out their gate and into the canyon and from there seems to end up on my back slope and ultimately in my back garden. I now have her family's number in my cell phone.|
In addition, I've had near daily (or I should say nightly) visits by what I suspect is an entire family of possums. They're less destructive than raccoons but nearly as annoying. Although the invisible owls have reduced the local rabbit population, those voracious creatures are still paying periodic visits.
There's a ninety percent chance of yet an atmospheric river moving through from Monday into Wednesday. For the first time I can remember in the last ten years, I don't think I'm going to save the "extra" rainwater that flows down my rain chain. I've nowhere else to store or dump it given how saturated my soil already is. However, our current drought status shouldn't stop the state and local municipalities from furthering their efforts to capture and store rainwater. The present abundance won't prevent future droughts - and one year of heavy rains isn't sufficient to restore our aquifers either.
Best wishes for a pleasant weekend. I'm hoping for more sun!
material © 2012-2023
by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party