Wrong place wrong climate

Pay attention to the tall tree in the middle of this guy's lawn.

It looks like a redwood. This one Is just a youngster but it looks like it's in ill health. This tree is located in an Inland S. Ca. community. Probably not getting enough water.

If the owner is lucky it will die soon and be taken down at only modest expense. The alternative is that it gets bigger and more costly to take down (or falls down) in a decade when it finally succumbs to less than optimum growing conditions.

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Don't know or don't care

Hmmm. What's this?

Don't let your dog urinate....

Oh it's just a warning sign about their new sod and it's screwed to this poor Chinese elm. This is a warm summer inland community.

I guess they haven't heard about the drought.

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Rainwater Colander

Here's a "rainwater colander", an inline downspout rainwater diverter, a product I first stumbled across at my Home Depot while looking for a downspout extender to better direct rainwater into my garden. It snaps in to your existing gutter downspout (provided you use one that is sized for your downspout). It's "designed to filter out debris in rainwater collection barrels and systems" including surge tanks and "can connect to a garden hose to water plants directly".
The image shown is Amerimax brand, available at Orchard Supply Hardware and elsewhere for around $10 or less.  This seems to be the least expensive that's readily available.


Rain barrels in other places

I saw a rain barrel a week ago that appeared to be completely justified by local weather and usage patterns.


0.4" rain; 4.56" total

31 Jan 0.40" 4.56" total

Sunday early morning through midday rain brought 0.4" in my back yard.  A quick visit later in the day to the ocean side of the hill suggested even less rain over there based on ground dampness and lack of visible ponding.  What really wreaked havoc, however, was the high winds that blew over a number of trees.

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You keep a knocking but you can't come in.

My brother was watching the house while I was away and caught these photos of a skunk or skunks trying to get back under the house after we sealed up their point of entry.

His triumphant email read: 
Try as they might, they can't get back in. Brent and I
put the lockdown on Pepe Le Pew's house of fun. Too bad
for them. :P 


Surge tanks vs. rain barrels IV

I'm sure I left you dangling in a previous installment with the question of how rainfall intensity affects the usability of surge tanks.  I talked about rainfall intensity without actually answering the question, but we can now get to the answer that I am sure you've been waiting for.

A recent discussion on radio station KPCC asked rain barrel owners what they would do with ALL THAT WATER.  The answer was that their tanks were overflowing, they were too heavy to move, and no one knew what to do with the water.  They were talking as if they were going to hoard it for a hot summer day!  It was a gigantic Duh moment, but they were too blinded by ALL THAT WATER  - all 55 gallons of it - to take a leap to the most logical place which is to reject rain barrels and embrace surge tanks.

Meanwhile, a friend who is an actual meteorologist stopped an earlier post in this blog by to say that most 30 minute southern California rain bands could be accommodated by a surge tank.  That's really the bottom line, isn't it? If you can't flow rain water directly from your gutters to some place where it will infiltrate, then it might pay to have a surge tank type of set up. Let's see if she's right with a little garden engineering. 

It's also nice to make some estimates, since the possibility is that surge tanks needn't be gigantic 55 gallon drums and therefore might be more seemly in the garden.

This post is again mostly stream-of-consciousness garden engineering, which I am pretty sure has a limited appeal.  It may also be wrong.  Therefore you may find this analysis simple or simple-minded.

1.12" rain; 4.04" total

7 Jan 1.0"
8 Jan 0.12"

I think I had a data entry error on the 6th and entered 1.75" when I meant 0.75", so I've fixed that.

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0.75" rain; 2.92" total

This is the first of several El Nino - driven storms that are in the queue
5 Jan 2015 0.75"  (This was previously reported as 1.75", but I think that was an error.  Title and this line fixed 1/13/16.)

Historically, the median rainfall during all of January is about 1.5", additionally, the historic median cumulative rainfall at the end of January is 3.8".

We're definitely headed for the predicted high rainfall winter given that nearly the entire month still lies ahead. 


0.39" rain; 2.17" total rainfall

22 Dec 0.34" AM
This was a gentle evening through early morning rain- the kind that soaks in nicely.
23 Dec 0.05"
Just the remnants of the previous storm.

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0.20" rain; 1.78" season total

19 Dec 0.20" for total of 1.78" this season.

The Santa Barbara outpost also reported 0.20". Usually they have more than us.

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0.20" rain; 1.58" season total

It was cold and windy last night and we had 0.2" before I went to bed.  Clear skies this morning indicate we're all done with this storm. 


Skunks and possums, still trying to cohabitate

I re-stacked the bricks. Silly me. I thought that they had to be moved to allow ingress and egress.Time stamps are accurate in these photos.
Nope.  At least the possums can come and go as they want.