Spring

I’m not ready for this. I still expect it to be winter. In fact, we will still—as you can see above—have freezing temperatures in our future. But spring has sprung and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

My left elbow has been barking at me for weeks now and I suspect it is tendinitis. The dreaded “tennis elbow” can strike anyone, even those of us who don’t play racket sports. It’s robbed me of my desire to ski and thus my raison d’être for loving the winter months. Routine tasks like picking up a glass of water with my left hand are currently a challenge. And not much can be done for lateral epicondylitis except resting and waiting.

But spring has sprung and that means weed pulling, weed whacking, pruning, prepping, composting, irrigating and all the other landscape and garden tasks that emerge with the warmer weather and longer days. I’ll need both arms for those things and thus I’m avoiding strenuous athletic endeavors like alpine skiing.

When we go for our daily walks around the neighborhood, which we do rain or shine, we often encounter our neighbors. They almost always want to comment on the weather, especially when the days are warm and sunny.

“Lovely weather we are having, isn’t it?”

“Don’t you just love these gorgeous days?”

“Oh, I’m so happy the sun is shining!”

I bite my tongue and smile and nod. I want to scream “NOOOOOOOO!” I want to shout “I WANT SNOW AND STORMS AND COLD AND WET AND RAIN!!!”

No one wants to hear that. Everyone expects you to happily agree with them that sunshine and blue skies are what we all want and what we all enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong. I like nice days, too. But we have to have winter. We have to have snow and rain and all that because the dry season is coming and we won’t get any more snow and rain for six months. And we all know that California is drought-prone and vulnerable to severe wildfires. So I don’t want it to stop raining and snowing until all our reservoirs are full to the brim and all our snow stations are reporting record levels.

Here’s the state of our major reservoirs:

That’s just a snip. As you can see I clipped off the Southern California portion, but I think the rest speaks for itself. Right now we are a little short of where we ought to be.

Here’s a look at the snowpack:

Once again you can see that we are a little short of where we’d all like to be. The bottom line is that WE NEED MORE RAIN AND SNOW! (These charts are from the California Department of Water Resources.)

Here’s some disturbing news from the DWR director:

“We are now facing the reality that it will be a second dry year for California and that is having a significant impact on our water supply,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The Department of Water Resources is working with our federal and state partners to plan for the impacts of limited water supplies this summer for agriculture as well as urban and rural water users. We encourage everyone to look for ways to use water efficiently in their everyday lives.”

https://water.ca.gov/News/News-Releases/2021/March-21/SWP-Allocation-Update-March-23

I think we all knew the drought conditions we experienced last year were continuing through this year. Despite the many storms we’ve experienced this winter the accumulation did not occur. We’ve had several stretches of warm, sunny weather in between the storms and that melted the snowpack and increased evaporation from surface water sources.

I note that today is Passover and tomorrow is Palm Sunday. Next Sunday is Easter. People are celebrating the arrival of spring. One of my neighbors already has her house decked out with balloons and Easter eggs. I don’t want to be that grumpy old man who complains, but goddamnit, I don’t want to hear any more about “nice” days ahead! I want more snow and rain and “foul” weather.

But I probably won’t get it. So I think we should all prepare ourselves for another long, hot dry season.

Happy spring!

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