Spindrift

We’re enjoying a wintry Santa Ana wind event here in SoCal. It’s warm and sunny with gusty winds about 15-25 miles per hour–not bad enough to cause damage. I hear it’s much windier north of us.

The National Weather Service defines a Santa Ana as “Strong down slope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 miles per hour are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions.”

It makes for beautiful ocean views and a bit of spindrift, spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind. Also one of my favorite words because it sounds magical.

Spindrift.

Even though there were no whales or dolphins this time, it’s still the ocean and that’s plenty to be grateful for.

Skyward: Tail(s) of a Mare

Mares’ tails are my FAVORITE cloud formation.

(This led me down a grammar path: one tail as opposed to plural tails; hopefully I’m using proper syntax and punctuation.)

They’re a type of cirrus cloud known as cirrus uncinus. The name is derived from Latin and means “curly hooks”.

An old weather proverb goes, “Mares’ tails and mackerel scales make lofty ships to carry low sails.”

Cirrus uncinus clouds and patchy altocumulus clouds often mean that rain is on its way.

A mackerel sky is a common term for clouds made up of rows of cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds displaying an undulating, rippling pattern similar in appearance to fish scales. This is caused by high altitude atmospheric waves and can also signal changeable weather.

National Weather Service forecasted our region to receive about two inches of heavy rain along the coast, so everyone should prepare for the inevitable flooding and mudslides in the fireburned areas.

I wonder if the full Wolf Moon will affect the storm’s intensity or the total amounts of rainfall. I bet it will.

As above, so below.

From the Mountains to the Sea

Mother Nature gifted us with rain, wind, hail, snow, and surf.

Yesterday was so windy, it almost knocked me over. Trees and power lines were down all along the coast.

I think it’s astonishing that I can see these mountains sixty to eighty miles away when I stand in the middle of my street right in front of my house. I live exactly three miles away from the Pacific Ocean. It’s a bit hazy and the camera lens is trying as hard as it can to capture the snow capped hills.

After walking up nearly fifty steps to the very top of my garden, this is the view facing east to either Palomar Mountain or Mount Laguna (I can’t tell the difference) where they had about a foot of snow.

The power lines are actually quite far away; they seem closer than they actually are.

These apartments are an ugly blight on the landscape, ruining the mountain pic. This city has zero sense about the value of open space.

I would love to drive up to Mammoth Mountain to ski ‘cos I hear they received eight to ten feet of new snow in the Sierra Nevada, but I had a bad experience driving to Snow Summit and have never been able to shake the fear. I had taken my son skiing for his thirteenth birthday and we had a really fun day together but on the way back home, my brakes went out and we almost crashed. REALLY! Actually, we ran off the road at a Ranger’s Station and we’re lucky to be alive. Highway Patrol arrived and we were towed to San Bernadino and the shop was able to repair whatever brake issue caused the malfunction and we drove home. Ever since then, I’ve been too afraid to drive to the mountains. That was about the closest to death I’ve ever been and it traumatized me. Not my Angel Boy though; he’s fearless, and that’s the way it should be.

After the rain, our beautiful ocean is still a little agitated, and the next storm’s clouds loom on the horizon…

Thank you, Mother Nature.

Search for a rainbow

We’re lucky here in SoCal to have had a couple days of cleansing rain and it’s supposed to continue all day, but there was a break in the storm so I took the opportunity to go for a walk in search of a rainbow.

I didn’t see one, but I’m not disappointed because the sky and the clouds were magnificent.

I’ve been listening to different versions of this song, Feeling Good. Which one do you like best?
Sammy or Simone? I can’t choose.

Fog + real ducks in a fake pond.

I had to get up at the crack of dawn to walk before the devil heat returns.

Lucky for me there’s a deep marine layer and so much fog that it’s impossible to see across the street from my house. The fence around the school is barely visible; that’s how moisture-laden the skies are right now. Normally, it’s possible to see all the way to the lagoon from here, but not today.

It’s an hour-long walk around the lagoon and up the hill, and I hurried to beat the emergence of the fiery ball. All-time heat records were broken yesterday; it’s easier to comprehend nuclear fusion creating a core temperature of 270 million degrees on days like that.

These are real ducks in a fake pond on the street where all the paddleboarders park. They built this water feature and have since tried in every way to deter ducks from using it–but here they are. It’s literally feet away from the lagoon which is a natural body of water; how could they expect wildlife NOT to enjoy it??? Duh.

Hello, ducks! Have a wonderful swim. Welcome to Carlsbad!

…and so it begins

Here in SoCal, there are unusual excessive heat warnings for the coast; it could reach 105 degrees today. It was 87 degrees at 8:00 a.m. and now it’s 101 at 11:00 a.m. HOT!

The National Weather Service announced red flag warnings for high fire probability with humidity less than ten percent. The forecast also calls for areas of smoke. High heat records are being broken this weekend. Our desert temperatures could exceed 126 degrees. Crazy!

There’s ash on my car and deck from the fire in Alpine, fifty miles away in the east county. I tried to go for a walk at 7:15 and not only was it already too hot, but my breathing was compromised from the smoke so I had to turn back. As of right now, the (named) Valley fire is estimated to have burned 4,000 acres and is 0% contained. Ten structures have been destroyed.

And then I found this, the first one of the season. The first leaf fallen from the mulberry tree. Autumn in SoCal.

I see a few more yellow leaves up there; soon I’ll be raking them up and the branches will be barren.

Sometimes I hear the voice of my poetry professor and search for a poem to illustrate the bittersweet feelings of the changing season. This is a good one by Rossetti.

Autumn Song
Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?
By DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI

Look up!

Tropical clouds drift into Southern California from Mexico but no rain.

This blue sky was in sharp contrast to the whitest clouds I’ve ever seen.

I think weather is fascinating.

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Still no rain in sight for us; perhaps some elevated surf, but according to NOAA:
A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms, associated 
with a trough of low pressure, extends several hundred miles 
southwest of the southwestern coast of Mexico.  Environmental 
conditions appear conducive for development, and a tropical 
depression is expected to form within the next few days before the 
system reaches cooler waters later this weekend.  This system is 
forecast to move west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph away from
the coast of southwestern Mexico.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...70 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.
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Hot summer day in the garden

Really hot for the beach…

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And probably super crowded, too difficult to maintain proper social distancing, so I’m here:

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with a couple friends …

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and some mulberries that aren’t quite ready…IMG_6688

along with some pretty pretty flowers…fullsizeoutput_df1fullsizeoutput_df2I’m enjoying all the lush and colorful garden because pretty soon no matter what I do, the grass will turn brown ‘cos we probably won’t have more rain until next winter and the dry hot SoCal Santana winds make watering a futile effort.

Rain and sun, wet and dry, shadow and light

The opposite of rain is sun. It rained all week here in SoCal, heavily at times. We received an official total of 6.20 inches of rain. That’s a LOT of rain for a mostly desert climate.

At times, it seemed as if it would never end. That’s the way a lot of things feel. Sometimes, you can endure so much pain and sadness that it seems as if it will never go away, that you’ll never be happy again.

I think it’s like going through a tunnel. When you enter, the light becomes dark and you are so immersed in it that everywhere you look, everywhere you turn–is darkness. It’s so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. Every once in a while, someone might light a candle and you feel a momentary sharp stabbing pain to remind you of what it used to be like, but then the flame’s snuffed out and you’re thrust back into complete and total darkness. Which way is the exit? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel or will I simply stay here in limbo, in pitch-black inky hopeless melancholy? What’s the point of anything?

That was a heavy detour; my mind devolved and digressed and rambled through a rabbit hole of despondency. So there’s that familiar dark night of the soul too, that black spiraling tunnel of anguish.

Maybe I hit replay too many times on Kesha’s Praying. (see link below).

All I really set out to do with this post was share some pics of how much rain we had and how flooded my gardens were, in contrast to one day later, when we enjoyed a shiny sunny blue sky.

When author Alex Banayan interviewed Maya Angelou, it is alleged that she told him to write this sentence on his notepad and to never forget it. “Every storm runs out of rain.”

I hope so. I really do.

Here ya go:

Thursday’s rain…my arroyo seco, dry river bed, wasn’t so dry anymore!

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Saturday’s sun and the birds are singing:

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Kesha Praying