Rain 0.52" + 1.4"; season total 7.47"

1.4" of rain last weekend. 0.52" of rain the previous weekend at my house.

About 0.55" and 0.42" for each event, respectively, at the San Pedro annex 10 minutes drive away.

This gives a season total of 7.47", which is a low amount of rain.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Water Reliability 2020 - desal is alive and well

At the recent SCESC informational meeting I was given a little information on Water Reliability 2020, a program sponsored by the West Basin Water District (a local water wholesaler who probably sells to your water retailer if you live locally, except for Torrance residents).  The intent of the program organizers was to get a written commitment from me to support a three-pronged conservation, reclamation, and desalination plan that West Basin is promoting to reduce our local reliance on imported water.  Once you commit to support this effort they place your name on their website in a scrolling marquee.  Normally I'm in favor of this sort of corporate environmental commitment, but I didn't sign because the program sounded too good to be true, the description was simplistic, it wasn't the main reason I was at the informational session, and the session leader didn't seem extremely conversant with water issues.  So I didn't ask for more information nor did I sign a postcard in support. Instead I went poking around on the web for more information. I didn't find anything that would stop me from supporting the effort, but read below for the details.

Energy Upgrade California

I attended a an informational meeting called "Greening Your Home With Energy Upgrade California and Water Reliability 2020" last night.  It was put on by the South Bay Environmental Services Center (SBESC). I previously attended a couple Ocean Friendly Gardening workshops co-sponsored by the SBESC and the Surfrider Foundation which I blogged about here, which is how I heard about last night's program.

The SBESC are sponsored by the South Bay Cities Council of Governments and chartered with "serving as the region's central clearinghouse for energy efficiency and water conservation information and resources,


My experience with Annies Annuals

A small order of California Native starts (4" pot size) arrived Wednesday from Annie's Annuals -mostly Stylomecon heterophylla (Wind Poppies).  Juli and I saw some last year or the year before and we've been wanting to grow them since.  I've been too distracted to actually do the work of starting my own seeds this year, so I couldn't resist the Annie's email advert.  I had never ordered mail delivery of potted plants before though I had read Town Mouse's report of good results from Annie's .  I ended up purchasing six Stylomencon starts and onesies of three others just because they looked interesting: Phacelia campanularia ssp. vasiformis (Desert Canterbury Bells), Salvia carduacea (Thistle Sage), Madia elegans (Elegant Madia one would assume, though Annie's doesn't say).

Aside: See Annie's slide show of California native plants on Flickr.(Thanks to the mice for pointing this out)


Sunrise view

It's nice to have a view in the morning. In the far distance are mountains that the sun is peeking over.

My mish mash garden of exotic plants in the foreground will eventually be upgraded to more appropriate native plants .

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Plants seen backpacking

I was backpacking with my son in the area behind Ojai, California last week. We hiked down the Sespe Creek about 10 miles and overnighted at Willet where there is a sulfur hot springs.

The point of the trip was NOT to survey the native plants, but I did snap a few photos along the way.

This was a low growing ground cover that I saw in the shade under a small scrub oak in an otherwise very exposed location. It seems to have passed its peak of growth for this year - much of the more exposed portions had already browned completely. I thought that this bit, though showing some brown, still had an appealing charm. A little bit of web browsing suggests that it is Selaginella bigelovii (Bigelow's moss fern) but I'm not 100% on that ID.

These Clematis puffballs had climbed high up in some trees.  At one point, back-lit by the sun, and hanging high in a pine tree, they really caught my eye. 

 More scenery photos below.