#AtoZChallenge — Xeriscape

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


X is the dreaded letter of this challenge, and frankly I was shocked when I started scrolling through the A to Z tag and found one I’d never seen before almost immediately.

Xeriscaping refers to the conservation of water through creative landscaping.

It was developed for drought-afflicted areas, but in today’s world it is gaining more momentum. It’s in wide use all over the world.

Derived from the Greek xeros meaning “dry,” the term means literally “dry landscape.”

X for xeriscape, Pragun’s Panchtattwa

This is the ideal for our little patch of the backyard. Currently it’s full of weeds that, I swear, are taller than me, but sometime soon we are going to get out there and whip it into shape. (In the meantime, it’s a relief that we have a fence to have our shame.)

2018-02-01 15.28.02-1California has been in a drought for years. Many suburban front yards have jumped on the xeriscaping bandwagon with rock gardens, and those that haven’t, we judge as we drive past. It’s what you do. And though the state is now in a weird drought-then-flooding-then-drought-then-flooding pattern, it’s becoming more and more clear that climate change is only going to make more intense.

Because of the warming atmosphere, the type of storms that produced the record flooding 156 years ago will probably be three to four times more frequent by the end of this century. That means San Francisco and Los Angeles are more likely than not to see an 1862-style deluge by 2060, according to the research published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.

Such a series of storms, involving about 40 days of punishing rain, would become more of a 50-year event — a 1-in-50 chance of happening in any given year, the authors figure. …

The rapid shift last year from a five-year drought to an extraordinarily wet winter is a taste of the whiplash that the authors expect more of. Northern California is projected to see 25 percent more of these dramatic transitions, and Southern California will see 100 percent more.

SF Chronicle

So the drought is likely to continue, in an it’s-complicated-on-Facebook sort of way. Which means I need to find out…

What kinds of cacti and other succulents are cool with both drought and flooding?

#AtoZChallenge — Flood

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 


The flood anniversary, one year on

The flood anniversary, one year on
— Read on boneandsilver.com/2018/04/07/the-flood-anniversary-one-year-on/


It’s kind of funny that I saw this today (I mean floods are no laughing matter, but you know, a coincidence) because it’s pouring in Northern California today thanks to the Pineapple Express.

Which apparently gets its name for being a warm, wet stream of weather coming at us from the tropics/Hawaii. It mostly seems to be hitting Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties in the north bay and along the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco.

There are three ways to get our place from town. Green Valley Rd floods annually, last year they got fish in the vineyards across the road it was so bad, so I’m not surprised that’s already the worst. The road that we’re on crosses a stream, and that’s gotten deep enough between us and the bridge that I can’t see the middle lines anymore. There’s one other road, and it’s starting to get covered. Still possible, and it’s not supposed to rain hard again until 10pm so we’ve ventured out to our friend’s moving away party. Maybe things will be a little down by then, or at least not any worse.

However! On the off chance that we are rained out of our house, we made sure the cats have enough food and water just in case, and we can probably crash at our friend’s place. The house itself will be fine, it’s on really high ground relative to the road, which in turn is higher by our place than where it’s flooded. So that’s good!

Other areas in Northern California that were affected by the wildfires in October have all been shores up in anticipation of winter flooding. Better late than never, I guess? (Not really.) But they really have good monitoring right now, just in case of rampant mudslides, so that’s good too.