It’s been raining–a light rain, but for about half an hour now it’s been a timid, yet delightful visitor. The Los Angeles region is anticipating back-to-back storms, a promising potential of more rainfall to Southern California than we’ve realized since March 2011.
We are repeatedly reminded that this doesn’t mean the drought is over. I think we get that–but pardon me while I enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
Now that NASA is partnered with the California Department of Water Resources to better manage the state’s resource future and assist in navigating the current drought, I’m curious what more we may learn about weather patterns and assessment implications for the future.
There has been so much hand wringing, and I begin to wonder if in time we will learn how to adapt. California has never had an aggressive water harvesting plan. But that’s another story.
One need only look to the ancient Harappans, the mysterious culture that once existed along the Indus River and is theorized to have disappeared when regular, seasonal flooding subsided and the region suffered agricultural failure.
Of course, that was 3,000 years ago. I have my fingers crossed that California’s fate will be a little brighter.
So in a spirit of optimism I left home this morning with my three-year-old barely used umbrella. I expect the next few days it will get good use.
Unfortunately not everyone is whooping for joy. Do you recall my photos of last month’s Colby Fire?
Residents of Glendora and parts of Azusa are currently on stand-by, notified of a multi-agency alert system prepared to warn residents if evacuation becomes necessary. 2,000 acres of the San Gabriel foothills were severely damaged by fire last month, and officials are not taking this lightly.
Citizens and emergency officials recall the horrific damage to this same area in 1969, when there was actually more damage to property from mudflows than from the previous year’s fire.
For those of us who live in the San Gabriel Valley, these mountains are a majestic and a panoramic backdrop to every occasion.
The mountain range, named after the Spanish San Gabriel Mission, is geologically active, trapped between two plates. and in fact, much of the larger Los Angeles metropolis is built on millions of years of accumulated mountain sediment.
I adore these mountains and I am always learning something new.
For instance, I only recently learned that Scottish-American naturalist John Muir, not only loved the San Gabriels, but played a part in lobbying President Benjamin Harrison to create the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve, the first such reserve in California. Muir and others, in response to accelerated logging and vanishing forests and streams after gold was discovered just a few miles from my home, was a strong figure in preserving the San Gabriel Mountains.
Muir was a tireless champion in protecting California wilderness areas. He is well-known for his activism in preserving the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and the founding of The Sierra Club. But his reach was far more extensive, and as a national treasure, is often referred to as the “Father of the National Parks.”
There is so much more to this man than could be included in even a series of in-depth blog posts, so I leave it to you to discover more about his contribution to the preservation of wilderness in the United States. He left behind wonderful writings of his discoveries and his ecological thinking, and he truly was a fascinating individual.
I will include more about Muir and his connection to the San Gabriel Mountains and local politics after I have the chance to read a book I have requested from my local library. I’m eagerly awaiting, “John Muir: A Naturalist in Southern California.”
I am quite certain that after reading this book I won’t be able to contain myself. I’m already finding dozens of surprising and interesting connections to names and places at the local level. Even with John Muir high school in Pasadena it really didn’t occur to me that Muir’s extensive social and political ties had extended this far south.
I always like to leave a little “extra credit” for the interested. This video is a hike through the portion of the San Gabriel Mountains, Big Santa Anita Canyon, where gold was discovered in the 1850’s at the lower end of the canyon. The discovery didn’t amount to much, but is responsible for many of the trails that exist today.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the rain lasts long enough to do us some good. And that sandbags hold back the mud. Mother Nature is remarkably capricious at times!