it’s marvelous – and ominous – at the same time. While much of the United States has been enduring extreme cold temperatures and hard Winter weather, those of us on much of the West Coast (certainly here in Southern California) have been enjoying unseasonably warm weather. I think it’s been in the mid-seventies to mid-eighties for at least a month and we’re now approaching the “dead” of Winter with no end in sight.
Another week of unseasonably warm Winter weather
If this continues, it does not bode well for those of us who live in this neck of the woods. The reason. Drought. According to the California Department of Water Resources, we are now into what may be the third year of drier than normal conditions. They point out it’s a bit too early to conclude this year will be as dry as the previous two, as half of the previous years that started out this dry ended by catching up to normal at the end of the season. They also point out, even if there’s plenty of seasonal rain, it still won’t compensate for low soil moisture and depleted water storage.
So . . . while we’re enjoying the weather here, especially when contrasted to what the Polar Vortex has wrought to our East, it’s important to keep in mind what it means in the long run. It doesn’t matter if you believe in climate change, anthropogenic or not. We are now into our third year of drought in the West, and this wonderful weather may come at a far higher price than I care to contemplate. There’s no reason to brag about it.
All Levels of Yosemite Falls
I was careful not to disclose our location on Twitter recently (well, at least not too blatantly) as I didn’t want anyone figuring out where we lived and coming by and overfeeding our cats or tropical fish. Yosemite Valley was a great place to spend five days camping with two other families, despite the fact the first evening and night were cold and wet. We arrived on Thursday evening and set up our tent in a light, continuous rain – managing to keep reasonably dry. Unfortunately, we immediately discovered we had a couple of minor leaks in the floor and were not able to repair them enough to keep a few small puddles from forming.
Normally, the sound of rain falling can be quite soothing for me, but that night it kept me awake most of the night. It was coming down hard and I was sure the tent would be flooded or something would collapse and we’d be inundated and miserable for the rest of the trip. The following morning I discovered it had actually hailed during the night, which explained the ferocity of the sounds I had heard at times. Fortunately, though there were some leaks in the tent, for the most part we remained dry through the seemingly endless, cold night.
The following morning I was awakened by what sounded like an elephant pissing outside our tent. I heard our friend’s voice and, being tired from my lack of sleep brought about by anticipation of our tent’s imminent collapse during the rain, I chose to ignore it. I learned later the rain had collapsed the center of an older EZup canopy and the only way it could safely be emptied of the large quantity of water it had managed to accumulate was to take a knife to the center and cut a slit in the canvas. Hence, it was actually the EZup that was pissing. There truly are no elephants in Yosemite Valley, I’m pleased to report.
At any Rate, we had a great time and I just wanted to share a picture of the entirety of Yosemite Falls, which I took with my BlackBerry. I can’t believe how good it came out!