Friday, February 10, 2017


Images by Bill Slavin
 Walking up the street, I see the flowers of our early Spring: daffodils, camellias, primroses, and the tiny pink flowers of Manzanita and Sweet Breath of Heaven. These flowers keep coming back each year, even though they are buffeted by wind and rain, their petals turn soggy and brown, and they fall and become mush in the mud. I marvel each year at their persistence against such adversity. They are a reminder how fierce and gentle Nature can be.

Our rain gauge shows four inches of water since last Sunday. After five years of drought, we have rain.The creek in our neighborhood, fed by water coming from the hills around Mt. Diablo, wanders behind the houses across the street. This year we can hear its roar from our house. Slides and fallen trees result from the heavy downpours that saturate the ground. We have the deluge of rain that was promised last year. The Sierra Nevada snowpack measures over 435 inches in many areas. (The average is 450 inches for the entire year.) We enjoy winter sports again.

California cycles between drought years and rainy years. It is so easy to relax and return to old bad habits. I find myself leaving the water on too long already and I have to remind myself to conserve even with the rain. If you are like me and grew up in California listening to the stories about the Owens Valley (watch the movie Chinatown), the first Gov. Brown's Peripheral Canal, the continual tension between North and South about water rights, and the struggles between farmers, city dwellers, and the fish and animals that also live in California, you know that we are all intertwined, dependent on each other. That's easy when we have abundance. Then it is easy to share. Water makes us feel clean and when it runs out of a faucet, easy to waste. Some people want to lift our current stiff restrictions on water use. Instead, we need to step back and work together to change our mindset permanently to use only the water we need.


  1. Thanks for you insightful words. I have found myself being a bit more reckless with our water too, this is a good reminder that we still need to conserve.

    1. You are welcome. Water seems so ordinary. We need to remind ourselves how vital it is!

  2. Beautiful photos. I wish we could see signs of spring here in Michigan, but it's weeks off.

    Water conversation is not something people here ever think about but it bothers the heck out of me, personally, if a water tap is left on too long. I can't even throw a half glass of unwanted water down the drain. It goes in a plant or back in the refrigerator.

    1. Hi Jean,
      Thank you for reading my post. I'll pass on your comments to Bill! My mom lived in Michigan for quite a while and really loved being there -- winter or not.


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