Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Confluence of Waters

Heat runs rampant across the hillsides
Low and fast with reckless abandon
As Stamey strums along free and easy
To the roses on the roadside

Reminding us of better times
When the rains drenched our skins
Breathing effervescence through our pores
And suffusing through everything
Like a confluence of waters

But back in the here and now
Where whirlwind rattles the fallen leaves
Of the live oaks along the sides of our path
Chattering beats to the flute player's lament

The connective tissue tendrils of fate
Stretch and tear down to the core
Like an old hat discarded on the roadside
Or an old log laying amongst dry grasses

This subject has well worn its welcome here
We have grown weary of its presence
Our patience wears thin as the fragments linger
On the edge of reality and all that matters

Enough has been spent here in this furnace
It is pounding home too close for comfort
This well is drying up once more
Still waiting to be flush with waters again

Here's part of an email that I sent this morning to the Water Authority's weather guy in residence. Thought it was appropriate to include it here.

Sounds good ______. I’ll keep that in mind. I’m on vacation all next week, but we can get together after that. I would like to hear your take on the upcoming season. I often look for patterns of historical records to be able to predict the future. It is not so easy as you well know. Here are some observations I’ve seen….. Of course I could be wrong ;)

2013 and 2014 look similar to 1976 and 1977. 1978 was a whopper of a year at 198% water year runoff on the Kaweah.
However, the El Nino charts I’ve been looking at are the most similar to next year being like the 2002/2003 El Nino event which was 99% on the Kaweah.
How’s that for a some waffling?

An average of 14 years to have a high percentage of a wet year:

1916 – 178% water year runoff on Kaweah River
1932 – 121% - 16 years later
1943 – 157% - 11 years later
1956 – 169% - 13 years later
1969 – 292% - 13 years later
1983 – 317% - 14 years later
1998 – 217% - 15 years later
2011 – 201% - 13 years later
2025 - ?

Also, I believe we are in the 16th year of a dry stretch. Yes we had 2005, 2006 and 2010, 2011, but overall, since 1999 it’s been pretty dry. Sort of coincides with the drought on the Colorado River and the Southwest US in general.

We have had some other dry periods of similar length, followed by some wetter periods.

1906 – 1917 – 12 year wet period with an average wy Kaweah runoff of 121%
1918 – 1934 – 17 year dry period with an average of 68%
1935 – 1945 – 11 year wet period with an average of 124%
1946 – 1961 – 16 year dry period with an average of 82%
1962 – 1986 – 25 year wet period with an average of 121%
1987 – 1992 – 6 year dry period with an average of 43%
1993 – 1998 – 6 year wet period with an average of 149%
1999 – 2014 – 16 year dry period with an average of 87%

Maybe we are headed for a good stretch of wetter years? I hope so because our situation is dire!

For your consumption.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Blood Reds, White, and Faded Blues

Dry be thy name
And Dry be thy manner
Life's fine balance tips slightly
On a thorn's brutal point

As the sun rides low on the horizon
It fills our eyes with brilliant fire
Before dipping to rest
Behind hills now standing in the way

This Heat
This oppression of flow
Rubs hearts and hands raw
Removing layers down to deep blood reds

Revealing runs of quartz in the veins
And ant catacombs within
Fissures deepening under pressure
Returning again to the cracks on the surface

We feel it in our bones
Brooding across the plains
Rising up to cleave rock from its hold
To remnants and discards left behind

We sit and wait
For shade and dusk
Bound up and tethered down
With a wrapped up frown upon it all

Then sunset drips into night
As the night drips into dew
Again and again and on
To bring a little hope each morn
For this season to turn anew

But we're shown this is just the beginning
As the dew dries whitewashed in the faded blues
Of mornings in June and denim worn through