Monday, January 3, 2011

Rain and the River

Even after all these years of living in California (since 1972 but who's counting?), evidently I must still be considered a mere transplant.  It's been a tad soggy of late, and yesterday morning while sitting in my cozy easy chair glumly looking at another day's promise of rain:

Me: "I'm sick of this stuff*."
Dino:  "We've only had about 20 inches so far this season."
Me:  "Not relevant."

A true Californian is happy and peppy when it rains buckets, stircraziness, mud and icky spots in the road notwithstanding.

At quarter to four yesterday, it looked like it had stopped and Dino proposed that we put our mud boots on and go out for a bit. I was pretty much springloaded by that point so that sounded downright agreeable. He took me out to the lower garden to show me where he's going to put more carpet roses and discuss a particular pathway and what we may want to do there. It was still sprinkling but just a little bit, so we kept going and walked up the road some so he could do a little inspection of water flows and how his culverts were doing. Saw some great fungi - didn't have the camera but suggested to Dino that if he felt inspired, I would not object at all if he were to take a few shots himself. There was one big conk in particular that caught our attention (species not yet confirmed). The rain continued to stay stopped so we ended up walking all the way down to the big river crossing on our neighbor's property to see the Chowchilla. Whoo, we were impressed with its High Muddy Thunder, although we could see that it was still not at the high water mark (evidenced by a visible area of detritus), which had been reached with the big storm of a few weeks ago. Then we walked back onto our place to see the river there, and the spot where we often take our picnic lunches and sit on the rock under the Oregon Ash - entirely underwater.

It was past dusk by then so we walked home in the near-dark. Some of our most memorable walks have been at dusk or later, including one gorgeous end to a long day hike in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, where the moon lit our way back to our camp site. I discovered that my mud boots aren't quite as waterproof as I would like, as tromping through the myriad little creeks introduced some cold trickles to the interior of said footwear.

A couple of short samples of the Chowchilla running big post-storm:


* Family friendly word substitution

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