P71020Something really crazy happened last night. From out of nowhere, a profusion of drops of water started to fall from the sky! It continued to fall for a while, and got everything wet. Soil that had been dry and dusty became rather muddy. As crazy as it sounds, it is not impossible, and actually happened repeatedly last autumn, winter, and into spring. In fact, it was so abundant that the San Lorenzo River filled with all this strange sky water, and flooded worse than it had since the flood of 1982! People in other less arid climates are more familiar with this sort of thing. It is actually no mystery. It is known simply as ‘rain’.

‘Rain’ is like free water. Really, we do not need to pay for it! It falls from the sky, and waters the garden so we don’t need to. It might be the only water that areas outside of the garden get. Some plants out there have been waiting for it since it stopped falling from the sky last spring. Rain that does not soak into the ground drains into creeks and rivers, which flow into reservoirs that store it for later use. (Local reservoirs don’t really save it for later use directly, but use it to recharge groundwater; but that is another story.)

Another advantage of rain is that it tends to get things wet, which makes them less combustible. This is rather useful when forests nearby are burning. The Bear Fire near Boulder Creek is not quite extinguished. In fact, it is not yet contained. This rain should help with that. It probably will not do much for what is already burning, but should slow the already stagnating progression of the fire.

18 thoughts on “Rain!

  1. We have just had 11 ml ( a little under half an inch) of wonderful, much-needed rain last night (20th Oct), with only 60 mls for the previous 4 months (June to the end of September), so we were thrilled. The garden always responds so rapidly with a sudden spike in growth- the effect of all that instant moisture and fresh nitrogen is quite miraculous and it’s almost like we woke to a new garden!

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    1. My aeoniums always respond to the slightest rain. I don’t know why it is any different that getting watered, but they really recover fast from the dry summer. They must like the humidity. Right now, our main concern is the fire.

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      1. Do hope you are safe and avoid the worst of the fires! We are just heading into our fire season. It’s always a worrying time, though we are fairly lucky where we are. touch wood! All the Best, Jane

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      2. Thank you. The Bear Fire is now under control, and only 4 homes were lost! I don’t know if I mentioned earlier but one of the homes happened to be a home that I almost bought back in 2006. The home sold the same day I put in an offer.

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  2. I hope you’ve had enough rain to extinguish the Bear Fire! We are getting spotty rains in the LA area — it’s nice to have damper, cooler air for a day or two, as it will be 99-100 by Monday!

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    1. All the fire trucks from outside of the area are leaving. The fire is technically not contained, but it is not going anywhere either. (I don’t quite understand the difference.) As it burn out, evacuated residents are going home. Only four homes were burned, including one that I almost bough years ago.

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  3. That’s a good sign that the fire trucks are going home. It sounds as if the fire is simply burning itself out, and the local firemen can watch to make sure it doesn’t flare up again. It’s also a good sign that the evacuees are going home, though I really feel bad for the 4 whose homes were lost (glad you didn’t buy that one years ago!). Stay safe!

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  4. I never thought of rain as “free” water, but it certainly is. Water rates over here are very expensive. I actually have a spear pump so do not have to use council/dam water. After 2 sunny days it is raining again over here, but I’m loving it as with the heat to come every drop helps stave off getting the hose out

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    1. Water is such a commodity here that we can not collect rain that falls on our own property! Many of us do. My old well predated the ordinances, so I am able to use it. I am not allowed to take water from the creek that flows through my own property.

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      1. We are encouraged to have rainwater tanks and some new houses now have huge underground rain storage tanks. Seems strange that you are not allowed to collect rain water. Would they fine you for putting tanks in?

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      2. In most areas, the ordinances are not enforced unless someone complains about it. There is actually a lady in Felton (with mental health issues) who lurks around town looking for building code violations, and reports rain water collection systems and tanks. There are also building codes requiring new construction to include drainage basins to catch rain water so that it can soak back into the ground. Because real estate is some of the most expensive in the world, big homes are built on small parcels, leaving only minimal space for these basins, and none for gardening. All these senseless laws are so crazy!


      3. Ick! that is the trend everywhere. We also call them ‘monster homes’. They are so unsightly in San Jose, which used to be such an idyllic city. These homes infest formerly suburban neighborhoods and shade the neighboring gardens. Even though some codes are enforced, no one seems to mind fences that exceed the height limit! I just don’t get it. What are they hiding in there?

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      4. Our area was developed in the 1970’s and I think the homes are still very good. But everyone that gets sold, and usually for $800,000 to $900,000, the house is always knocked down to put up one of those monstrosities, or “renovated” ie extended to fill the whole section. It saddens me to see so much waste. Our house is one of the only remaining original ones in our street and the only house around with a big garden and NO fence…

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      5. I did not build fences around my mother’s garden, but all the surrounding neighbors did! One of them is a well build fence (better built than the home I live in), but I don’t get it. Is my mother’s garden that unsightly? At my home, a neighbor behind me build a monster home, and then complained that I parked my old American car in the back yard where he could see it. I put it there because he did not like driving by it where I had parked it out front! He complained that I dried my laundry on the line (which is actually illegal if it is visible from the front), and finally, as I was moving away, he complained about the color I pained the bathroom for the next tenant. (He could see it if I turned on the light at night if he happened to be looking in that direction). Yet, I never once complained about how unsightly his monster home was!

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      6. Oh that is so funny, I think he needs to get a life and not try to rule yours… wow illegal to dry laundry outside!!! We are encouraged to do it and not use driers to save power. I do not have a drier… I’m pleased our neighbour on one side doesn’t have a fence but they have just moved in and I think they plan to build one soon….

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      7. We can hang laundry, just now where it is visible from the front. We have many weird laws in Los Gatos; and many are inconsistent with the ‘sustainability’ fad that we brag about endorsing. We even outlawed buses for a while. We had our own coach vans to pick people up at a terminal in Campbell (next town to the north). It is pretty embarrassing.

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