A severe storm has struck California. It promises to bring six inches of welcome rain between now and this time Sunday to the desert. In other parts of the state, it will be a little more severe -- ten feet of snow is predicted in the High Sierras over the weekend, and the northern coast (around Arcata) is told to expect hurricane-force winds; there have been reports of gusts of 145 miles an hour. [Low Whistle.] And tornadoes have been reported in southern Oregon.
I hope folks are okay, but damn, do we need the water here. Not just here, either, but I'm glad we're getting some now. And the rains in early January will mean a very good poppy season in early spring, too. That's how it is in California -- the average annual waterfall is a deceptive term since there are almost no "average" years -- it's either very dry or very wet. Rage against the storm all you like, but the state would have been hard pressed to make it through another year of drought.
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, and germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!
I'm moderately worried that the rain will blow over the willow tree in our back yard. It's tall and I already have wondered whether it needs a trim. Fortunately, the wind is blowing from the south here -- so if it does fall over, chances are less than they would usually be that the tree would hit our house. (Usually, the wind blows from the west, which wound dump the tree directly in the kitchen.) Just sitting here listening to the wind blow sounds nasty.
Actually, my biggest concern here is that our dogs refuse to go outside in the rain. They're desperately afraid of water, both of them. Not that I think it will be pleasant for them -- it's not terribly pleasant for us people. But it's already been something like twelve hours since they last went out to do their business. They can only hold it for so long, poor things. (Sassafras once went fifteen hours, on a blizzard-delayed car ride from Knoxville to Watertown, Wisconsin.)
But when we open the door, they shrink away and look at us like we're crazy. "You want us to go out in that? No way!" All we can do is wait for a pause in the storm and get their fuzzy butts out there for some relief.