We've hit another first with this epic drought -- the Department of Water Resources announced that for the first time in its 54-year history, the State Water Project will stop deliveries to the local agencies that supply 25 million customers, and to 750,000 acres of farmland.
It's called "zero water allocation", and if that sounds awfully academic, then check out this recent Market Report from Good Food, KCRW's great food show. The farmers talk to Laura Avery about running out of water, not being able to grow food, about losing crops to the wildlife being starved out of the barren hills. It starts at the 18-minute mark, and is followed by a discussion of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, the 13-month dry weather pattern Grace Peng has been writing about here on LAO.
"We've never seen anything like this," says Dawn Kantor of Flora Bella Farms in Three Rivers, just east of Visalia. "If we don't get rain, we don't know how we're going to grow food."
Nothing academic about that at all.
You can find Good Food podcasts on iTunes, and listen at their web site here.
A bit of cold and a lot of fog, which is about as wintry as things are going to get here this year, or so it seems.
This is from last week, when the moon rose at sunrise, but pretty enough that I still wanted to share.
It rained here today. For 90 seconds. It was so thrilling and rare I shot a photo through the windshield (just the iphone handy, which wouldn't focus in the raindrops) as proof. Now the clouds have thinned and the sun has poked through and I guess that's that for our winter storm.
I can't recall the last time "extreme" made an appearance in our local fire sign. And alarming as that is, even more worrisome is the lack of public conversation about what's going on with our weather patterns.
If you agree, then check out Grace Peng's post here on LA Observed about the ridge of high pressure that has deflected rain from California for going on 13 months now. Also informative, Aquafornia; Jon Christensen and Mark Gold on LA Observed; and Emily Green's blog (be sure to browse her excellent links lists) Chance of Rain.
Once upon a time it used to rain in Southern California. We called it winter. This being January and the 10-day forecast offering only the slimmest prospect of rain, I thought I'd dip into the archives.
Rain in the city:
Rain at the beach:
Rain in the hills:
Rain on this very day in January five years ago.
I love this one -- Jake's still alive, Maisie's wearing a raincoat, and it's just flat-out pouring.
Also? After the rain.
From the beach we move into the mountains (I just had a fight with auto-correct which, for some reason, wants it to be moutons) where the Santa Monicas say good morning.
In this hottest, driest and strangest of winters, it's come down to being grateful for a skim of cloud cover. (And would you weathercasters please stop talking about our "beautiful" 82-degrees-in-January weather? It's terribly, freakishly wrong.)
These two are always happy.
Also, Walt and Maisie look forward to meeting their new little cousin, Luna, who was just adopted by some friends in New Mexico. Road trip!
In case something about the views from the courthouse in Santa Barbara moves you to mischief:
There are rules.
Not only is the Santa Barbara courthouse home to a most beautiful mermaid:
It's a lovely place...
To watch your friends...
Still 82 degrees at sunset in Malibu and my god, the wind. Had to tie up the wind chimes, tie down the hummingbird feeders.
Ocean empty. No birds, no boats, no rain in the forecast.
Moonrise at sunset. Neat trick.
The (dry, dry) oaks:
The (dry, dry) peaks:
The puppy in flight:
The puppy at rest:
The Muffinhead, hoping PETA is still on her speed dial.
The final details in the remodel, the small stuff, wind up taking as much attention as some of the larger projects so Walt has agreed to make things easier and pose for you.
It's the Surfrider Room, on the top level of the Malibu Pier. Walk to the end, climb a staircase and voila.
One of the best views in Malibu -- that's Surfrider beach through those windows -- used for storage these days.
We are days away from being done with the house and by days, I mean a month or so because the guys work here just on weekends. Still, when you think about where it all started, it's amazing.
The kitchen before:
Basically, it was in a box. On an angle.
So we took down the wall, filled in the doorway, and added a support post.
The original kitchen had that fab dropped ceiling, fluorescent lights, and a huge gold window and a gold sliding glass door.
There was also an enormous amount of wasted space. The spot I was standing when I took this shot is now a third bedroom.
We turned the slider into a French door (we haven't scraped the paint from the door yet after painting it) and replaced the golden window with something smaller so there could be a backsplash against the countertop.
Is now this:
It's a really pretty space now -- the guys did (ok, are doing) such a great job.
Taking a break from my annual weather envy as the snow storms I long for give way to crushing, killing cold. So here's to our Southern California way of winter:
Someone added a string Tibetan prayer flags to the bridge at the Cove where the creek meets the sand. It's the coldest spot on the beach, particularly on winter mornings when the creek bed funnels frigid air down from the mountain.
Once I'd covered world peace, abolishing poverty and the NSA, I'd reserve a prayer for remembering to wear gloves.
New ducks at the lake, a pair of pairs, with reddish feathers and white stripes on their heads. They keep to themselves, cruising and exploring the new surroundings. I'm browsing the bird sites, hoping to find a name.
First light of the first day of 2014:
The sun rose. (The sun, rose.)
The pups played:
The tide moved higher:
And the pups played some more.