When it Rains, it Pours

| January 8, 2016 | 2 Replies

When it rains, it pours. I mean that literally and figuratively. We seriously got dumped on from the skies of El Nino on Tuesday and Wednesday. And my water vessels were already full.

When it Rains, it Pours - rain in pails

Rain in vessels

As the rain came down here and blessed Southern California, an old friend in Tennessee was taking flight, after a few years of debilitating health problems. Steve was loved by many and will be missed. That makes three friends, old and new, that died in the last two months. When it rains, it pours.

When it Rains, it Pours - Stephen Buttrey_Kaye Kittrell

Stephen Cole Buttrey and me after lunch in 2014


“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:21, King James Bible

When it Rains, it Pours

Pea shoot in cover crop

Now, El Nino is responsible for this deluge, but it sure feels like a blessing from above. When we drove through the Los Padres National Forest after Christmas I couldn’t even spot water in the bottom of Lake Cachuma. Too bad it has to come all at once, but we do live in a semi-arid region, and the whole of Southern California would be brown most of the year if not for irrigation. Which is why growing succulents is so rewarding. They need little water.

When it Rains, it Pours - kalanchoe blooms

Kalanchoe marnieriana

I shouldn’t have been surprised that raccoons capitalized on the soft wet soil of my garden to search for grubs. I was royally irritated that they disturbed fresh seed plantings, and I got my revenge by replanting seed and covering with netting. I should take a peek this morning and see if they one-upped me last night. (They didn’t.)

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. – Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1897


When it Rains, it Pours - lettuce

Baby lettuce leaves after the rain

Two more rain barrels came yesterday which I will situate below the main downspout off the back of the house, even though that means cutting into a good section of copper gutter. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?

When it Rains, it Pours - rain barrels

Two new Ivy rain barrels

My master gardener old friend, Dotty, cautioned me that cacti can only take a day or two of pouring rain before they start to suffer, so I take care to move mine in out of a “good-un” as my father used to call a good one (anything from car races, to storms, to meals, to farts).

When it Rains, it Pours - chard and cactus

Swiss chard and Old Man Cactus

Are you hunkered down in freezing weather, or are you able to get out and enjoy your garden? Please let me know, and thanks for reading! – Kaye

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Category: Environment, Garden Musings, Rain, Urban Gardening

Comments (2)

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  1. I saw on the news about the deluge of rain in California. It did say it would take a few years of nice rains to replenish the water from 4 years of severe drought . It would help if more regional vegetable production happenened in the US instead of all the GMO corn and soybeing produced. California should not be supplying the nations vegetables . Now I read that Mexico is competing with or surplanting the organic market here. It IS the result of industrialization and consumer training to buy in stores and out of season. Ahh well. time to turn the herd!!!

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head, Sharon, “consumer training.” Until enough people stand up to break the chokehold that Monsanto, Bayer, Sygenta and all the other chemical companies have on Congress, our farmland will sadly continue to degrade. In California, the big problem is almonds and other nuts and perennial crops. Our soil needs the winter rains to absorb and resupply our lakes, not be used year-round crops that are mainly exported to China and parts elsewhere. Of course, Mexico is where we get nearly all of our out of season fruits and vegetables. It will have to come from somewhere until Congress becomes enlightened that their sole purpose is to elevate the quality of our land and our lives, not make corporations richer. Sick.

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