June whoppers – keep an eye to the skies

Oooooh! It was amazing how fast it started coming down yesterday afternoon.

 It was amazing how fast it started coming down yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday Kris Kuyper, with a very negative frown on his face, said it probably not rain in the valley. That’s two boners in a row, Kris, and the first day I had all our bedding on the clothesline!

I don’t know who could predict this weather – maybe Kuyper should throw out his fancy equipment and post his desk in the station parking lot?  I watched this baby roll in for about half an hour before it actually produced anything, but then, ka-BAM! Down it came, even harder than Thursday’s little dumper.

A good roof washing.

A good roof washing.

I’m so glad to have this rain, like a good shower. Everything was really dusty and dry, our sycamore trees were already starting to shed. The ground is hard as rock.

You might remember, I killed large sections of my lawn a couple of years ago, trying to save only those sections around our big trees. Well, the problem being, what to do with that dirt and sticker patch once you kill off the grass. This hot spot was hard enough to keep alive when we were trying.

After I killed this patch of lawn, I had to cover it with this old piece of black plastic to kill the stickers that came along.

After I killed this patch of lawn, I had to cover it with this old piece of black plastic to kill the stickers that came along.

The worst are the barrel clover stickers. You’ve had those in your socks – they hurt my fingers when I pick them out! Ever get one right between your toes? Hate ’em! So, I covered that stretch with black plastic, and  one of these days I’ll pull it aside and rake up all that crap, and do something with it. Until then the plastic stays.

I had fantasized about putting in bark and plants, but that’s expensive, don’t listen to Cal Water or the city Sustainability website. We have enough trouble with drip emitters in our vegetable garden – they get hot and they blow, and you come home to find all the pathways in your garden have been turned into mud slicks. We hand water alot of our landscaping, with either a hose or a can, because it’s not located conveniently, and it doesn’t need a lot of water anyway. But, I’m not ready to put in a bunch more plants I don’t have time  to fuss over, so there’s the plastic.

My husband thinks we might try another tree – the two little saplings we put out there one year just fried in place. The sun really gets hot there, and the dirt is baked to cement. I want to put in a load of gravel, just rock the whole thing, but my husband reminded me that would add to the heat. What to do, what to do.

We graveled the pathways all around the house years ago, and that was smart - makes it easier to keep your house maintained, keep pests away. There's another spot where I've laid plastic to kill trouble weeds - I'll probably extend my selvia and put in some valerian - both are hardy and "drought resistant".

We graveled the pathways all around the house years ago, and that was smart – makes it easier to keep your house maintained, keep pests away. There’s my big pot of echinacea, loving that rainstorm.

My husband laid the little rock wall along the pathway because the lawn was higher than the front porch, and kept eroding down toward the house.  He dug out the path and we graveled it. We found the rock – the previous residents had used  it to line their garden. My husband just started stacking it along the dirt wall, and there it’s been all these years. The crab grass tries to take it over but I’ve planted a couple of plants that have runners like crabgrass, hopefully they will be able to compete. They both have pretty flowers that supply Hummer with some early Spring blood sugar.

Thursday’s rainstorm took us by surprise, but we were looking for it again by Friday afternoon. My husband and son had made a trip to Forest Ranch, and the thunderheads seemed to follow them back down Hwy 32. I watched them pile up over the trees along the east boundary of my yard, the sky  turning blacker and blacker, the mercury dropping on the old Kist! thermometer.

Here it comes.

Here it comes.

Lightening and thunder punctuated the afternoon, the sky lit up like one of those 1950's Hollywood biblical epics.

Lightening and thunder punctuated the afternoon, the sky lit up like one of those 1950’s Hollywood biblical epics.

 

Big raindrops fell on my black plastic, faster and harder. Big thunder bolts ripped across the sky, thunder following with a CRACK!  Little puddles formed, and still the rain kept coming down. Boy I was glad to have a rain barrel and a bucket under the spouts.

Full to overflowing - I'll use this water for my various "drought gardens". it will last me a couple of weeks.

Full to overflowing – I’ll use this water for my various “drought gardens”,  it will last me a couple of weeks.

Ooooo - this water I'll use to wash the mud off my patio!

Ooooo – this water I’ll use to wash the mud off my patio!

These Spring dumpers disappear as quickly as they appear.

The next morning.

The next morning.

As if nothing happened! Only a tenth of an inch, for all that bluster. But everything is clean and fresh and bright.

Sitting in the apartment now, about 5:40 pm – it looks like we might be in for another one!

 

 

 

 

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