"...endangered by climate change and manly and shit"

On The Public Record is back with a three part commentary on California water issues.  Recommended reading.
Are farmers in the SJV more deserving of my sympathy than the failing restaurateur down the street being squeezed by food prices? He and his family work 14 hour days too. Do they deserve my sympathy more than Syrians drawn into a civil war started when Syrian farms started failing from drought? Do SJV farmers deserve my sympathy more than migrating birds that are starved of food and resting places as they migrate this fall?

...You could [write about] rugged resource extractors on boats that their grandfathers built, idled by drought, pulling up to some nostalgic ice cream parlor in the Delta. The story could be the exact same, only with mournful ship bells clanging for atmosphere. That group is the direct competition for water with growers, equally picturesque and endangered by climate change and manly and shit. Why care about one and not the other?


Artemisia douglasiana

I planted the very smallest bit of Artemisia douglasiana (California Mugwort)on this slope adjaent to my driveway earlier this year.  It's gone crazy.  Here it is towering over the two year old Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud) and the Agapanthus (slated for removal).  Mexican sage in the background.

The brown flowers in this photo are all A. douglaisiana.
Up close they look like this. 


Grasshopper on Arctostaphylos refugioensis

This grasshopper looks like he's sleeping on a young Arctostaphylos refugioensis (Refugio Manzanita).


Fox and coyote?

While camping with the Scouts I camera trapped these two critters.  I thought they were the same animal, but one of my leaders pointed out the time difference in the photos and suggested one was a coyote and the other a fox.  The motion in the second photo makes it so blurry that it's hard to tell.  I'm leaning towards thinking it's the same animal both times.

Fox: (?)
 Coyote: (?)

A skunk, a raccoon, and about 60 cats

I set up my new game camera in the side yard and I was gratified to find that it works! I had about 100 photos over the course of more than a month, but only 1 skunk and 1 raccoon in that time.

Here's the skunk's tail
A good shot of Ricky Raccoon (aren't they all named Ricky?)
Just one representative cat photo (of the tens in the camera):


0.10" rainfall; New weather year and a tropical storm gives us an early start

Sept 1 is when the "weather year" starts for the upcoming (2014-2015) season and we had an early rainfall on 9/8/2014 to kick off the year. This is the earliest that I've recorded rainfall since I've been keeping records. The next earliest was 2007-08 rainy season when I started on 22 Sep. All others have been in October. 8-Sep 0.10" Update: An earlier report of 0.07" in this blog post was taken from a nearby weather station. Actual accumulation in my back yard was greater. Just shy of 0.10" was what was left in my rain gauge a couple days after this storm came through so that's the total that I'm using in my updated report.