Friday, May 08, 2015

Westbound Means Drought Bound

Melinda Palacio

Taking time to smell what could be the last of my roses.
Stage 3 Drought Emergency Declared May 5 in Santa Barbara. 

In the span of days, I've gone from torrential rain and a tornado that left me without power for 2 days in New Orleans to the dry drought conditions in California.
Jazz icons

Over the past two weekends, at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, I volunteered at the beer booth and helped raise about $30, 000 for local charities through the Rotary Club. The day I worked the booth was the day the rain came through the booth sideways and everyone got soaked. Luckily, I had the foresight to wear a bathing suit underneath my dress and the water did not bother me. Rain on a warm day means you dry quickly. The throngs of jazz festers, poised to listen to The Who, didn't seem to mind the rain. Most were not willing to give up the spot they had fought for all day to a little rain. One happy young man tried to imagine what Woodstock was like by playing slip and slide in the mud. Little did he care that mud was horse manure. Perhaps he had not read his ticket that read Fair Grounds Race Course, or he was too giddy with music to care. I was glad the mud had dried up during the music festival's second weekend. 
The Jazz and Mud Fest

More rain and mud the first Saturday of Jazz Fest.
After the rain, one goose is undeterred.

A few days after my last sunny day in New Orleans, I drove through a flash hail storm in the Sonora Desert. The freakish storm stopped all Eastbound traffic on the 1-10. The Texas hailstorm caused an 18-wheeler to skid sideways across all possible highway lanes headed East. I was very lucky to be travelling West as I avoided a backlog of drivers that stretched for miles.
Desert hail stops traffic on I-10

Upon m return to Santa Barbara, the city declared a stage three drought emergency. The only winners in this stake were swimming pool owners and installers. Apparently, the swimming pool lobbyists showed up in full force at the meeting May 5 and were allowed to keep their pools and new permits for people wanting to install swimming pools also sidestepped the phase three state of emergency. Some folks chose to grab a permit in case access to new swimming pool permits is taken away. I don't have a swimming pool and cannot comment on arguments made that swimming pools use less water than lawns. I've also given up my small patches of green. 
The California/Arizona Border

The snowstorm in Texas and the beautiful desert wild flowers in bloom on the highway contrasted bleak against California's brown hills and near empty lakes and reservoirs.
Wild Flowers in I-10 median in Texas

My dry backyard in Santa Barbara.

I'm not sure how long I will be able to maintain my garden in Santa Barbara. I've already let the front and backyard lawns die. Now is the time to conserve water and smell what remains of my roses. Without water, the price of food will skyrocket for all states. Pray for rain in California.  

A frequent visitor to my garden.

Some of my plants will survive the drought. 

1 comment:

Amelia ML Montes said...

So heartbreaking to see California in this condition. Here's hoping rain will return and soon! Thanks for posting, Melinda!