Wednesday, June 29, 2011

California's June Surprise

I made a sojourn Tuesday under cloudy skies, across San Francisco Bay, to visit some literary friends in Livermore and the most astonishing thing happaned ...

... It rained like the dickens!

It was the 28th of June.  The first time it has rained in any measurable fashion on that date in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1952.  And in 1952 it was just a whisper compared to this, so the meteorologists say.

This was half an inch: the most rain that has fallen on this date in the Bay Area in recorded history.

Those of you who live in other climates may not know this--but in California, from May to October, there is zero rain.  Nada.  That's why the vegetables grow so big here--all that sun.  And it is why water rights are such an important theme in all those movies about the West. (Remember Chinatown (1974)? All the plot points that aren't about sex are about water.)

That's why we have so many Spanish oxymorons in our place names like Laguna Seca (dry lagoon) and Arroyo Seco (dry creek).

Driving in it wasn't just a shock--it was also a mess.

There I was on my 48-mile journey (each way) over to the golden hills of the Golden State's East Bay.  With a half-an-inch of rain washing down the freeway, and me, hyroplaning along and so surprised I kept trying to photograph it with my iPhone. The challenge of multi tasking.

But as you know, it is always darkest before the dawn.  And every cloud has a silver lining.  I reminded myself there was some good news out of all of this.

First:  I was not wearing leathers nor riding a Harley ... 

Those days have passed for me.  So glad!

Second, and possibly even more important, though the rain was rough on the patio cushions, as I had not  believed the forecast and thus did not bring them inside ...

 ... it was a fine day anyway.

For once, I didn't have to water the tomatoes.

"Let the stormy clouds chase, everyone from the place, come on with the rain I've a smile on my face ... "

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Don Meuler said...

You HAVE been away from the Pacific NW for awhile, haven't you? I'm surprised the cars all around you didn't just stop in their tracks.

Robin Chapman said...

In Portland, I always said the summer was beautiful, during the few weeks of non rain between the 4th of July and Labor Day. In California--it NEVER rains after May! Except this year. What a shock! Now, in Florida, it rains all summer long and one's garden becomes a tropical jungle ... but that, as they say, is another story.

Florida Beach Basics said...

your garden is gorgeous! the rabbit must think it has gone to heaven :)

Robin Chapman said...

Marge, this is my first garden and Ft. Chapman and I am wowed by it too! The bunnies seem to have dispersed for the summer, the elder of their number having gone to Bunny Heaven. So far, only the squirrels have been caught sneaking around my garden and that is a possibly Death Penalty violation!