Thirty Days in the Garden: A Fraction of Rain

April 25, 2021 rainfall (source

The promised rain arrived today, but it didn’t amount to much. Most of the news outlets are recording it in fractions. San Jose’s International airport recorded a trace.

We were home most of the morning but ran errands around 2. The seagulls pictured below flew inland during the storm, so I snapped a pic. Perhaps I’m presumptuous and the seagulls bank at Chase?

It’s all I’ve got as proof that a small amount of rain fell to the ground. Yawn.

I recorded a short video of the front garden with my phone. It’s looking pretty under the grey skies.

Video of the front garden today

Here are a few other pictures from the garden this week:

Mystery plant near mirrors

I hung these thrift-store mirrors on the fence two years ago to fill the space and reflect the garden. Something self-seeded (or returned) in front of the fence, and the plant is now taller than the mirrors. It requires further investigation, but what a surprise.

Spring garden under welcome grey skies

I hope you’ve had a good weekend.

Poetry and Rain: A Bit of a Ramble

rainy day

Mouse doesn’t understand why I’m outside in the rain


Dancin’ In The Rain

So what if it drizzles
And dribbles and drips?
I’ll splash in the garden,
I’ll dance on the roof.
Let it rain on my skin,
It can’t get in-
I’m waterproof.

~Shel Silverstein


The promised rainstorms arrived in earnest late last week. What a welcome relief. Locals refer to these tropical storms as the Pineapple Express. They arrive from Hawaii, drenching us in warm rains, instead of the colder storms that push down from the north. You would never know it was February.

I reveled in the refreshing, cleansing rain and I’m sorry to see it go so soon.

The week ahead promises record-breaking heat in its place. I find it disorienting adjusting to this new normal.

Poetry is Dead

[The opinions that follow are not necessarily those of the blogger, nor do they reflect the opinion of our funder.] Funder? Oh I crack myself up.

On the drive home yesterday, my youngest son mentioned his school assignment: find and memorize a poem for a poetry slam. Both he and his older brother think that poetry is dead. “No one writes Greek poetry any more, Mom.”

I happen to like poetry. I defended my opinions and pointed out that the songs they love are poetry set to music. They weren’t convinced. The conversation ended when we got out of the car. Clearly I was outnumbered. But today when I rediscovered Silverstein’s poem the memories flooded back. My boys may have forgotten all those years we snuggled with a good book (including poetry), but I know that all that early reading laid a foundation deep within their brains. I read to those boys every night, many an afternoon, in book stores and in libraries. The backseat of the car always had a stash of books and I kept tiny books in my purse.

Poetry isn’t dead. It’s merely on an extended holiday, along with the rain. In the interim, I’ll drum my fingers to the rhythm of “it’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.” Across the room, my son’s Beats™ go on.

All or Nothing: Rain in San Jose

rain on the street

Over worked storm drains send rain water down the street (that’s our curb garden on the left)

San Jose received about six inches of rain last year, marking year three of our drought. A more typical rainfall averages 12 – 18 inches annually. With that in mind, you can appreciate how welcome our recent storms have been. Unfortunately, the past 24 hours brought rain in the other extreme. Here’s what Accuweather had to say:

A Flash Flood Watch and a High Wind Warning are in effect for the San Francisco – Coastal North Bay including San José. Moderate to heavy rainfall and high winds are expected with flash flooding possible across northern California.

mid day rainfall

Mid-day rainfall

The public should closely monitor weather forecasts and take precautions. Driving conditions may be very poor at times during this severe storm.

stranded car

Stranded car. Police on the scene, help on the way

Several area schools closed for the day and we were all encouraged to stay home if we could. My husband worked from home and to my relief they cancelled a business dinner in the city due to power failures and flooded streets. I’m glad he is close to home on a night like this.

A few of the storm drains on our street backed up for a few hours, but otherwise it’s been okay. The North Bay, about two hours from here, took the brunt of the storm which continues till early Friday morning. It’s been an interesting day.

Downed trees and power lines are the biggest safety risk in storms like this. I learned something new today as well. After several years of drought, large trees shrink their roots in an effort to conserve water. When heavy rains hit all at once, trees are at greater risk of falling. I never knew.

This beautiful pine tree shades our garden year round and provides shelter and exercise for the squirrels. The tree grows in our neighbor’s yard at the corner of our shared fence. An arborist thinned the tree canopy just three weeks ago. At the same time they declared the tree healthy and in sound condition. What a relief.

pine tree pruning

Neighboring Pine Tree Gets a Trim

Californian’s enjoy moderate weather year round, so this is a big deal for us. Other parts of the country experience heavy snowfall, tornadoes, hurricanes and bitter cold. We simply suffer the occasional heat wave and of late, this confounding drought.

My hope is that the rest of the Bay Area weathers the storm as well as we have, and that we can appreciate this gift of moisture for our rain-parched state.

Wherever your are, I hope you’re safe, warm and dry. Cheers to you.

Eudora: Greek Goddess of Rain

When Life Gives You Lemons...

It rained today!  The real deal, too, not just a sprinkle.  I can’t remember a time when so many of us welcomed a cold, February rain.**

If my plants could talk, they would be singing the praises of Eudora.  Their blooms, buds and branches relished every drop.

Thirsty Cyclamen

Camellia Buds

Lavender Reflections

Perfection at the end of a Branch

**San Jose’s arid climate averages  just 15 inches or rain a season.  To date (2/13/12) we’ve recorded a mere 2.78 inches of rain, only 30% of normal.