El Nino is visiting us this year with a steady diet of wind and rain. Our irrigation pond filled up what seems a long time ago now and the rebuilding that I did on it this past Fall is holding well. By raising the low side of the pond by a foot I can capture a lot more water before next year's dry season, and the gate I created at the exit to raise the water level to the new brim next Spring is now spilling beautifully. No more winter flows across the lawn!
The rain comes down in heavy bursts accompanied by gales every second day. It reminds me of the description of cyclones and of course these systems are cyclonic in weather terminology. What we experience on the ground is the roar of wind in trees, the occasional thump of falling trees and branches, the rumble of the stream as it leaps down the hill and the pelting rain on our metal roof. I love this time of year!
This is not good for all of course, falling trees down powerlines and thousands are without electricity, basements are flooded and driving is hazardous. I was reminded yesterday as I cleaned the debris from the pond spillway that others find this weather challenging and probably not exhilarating at all - a dead robin was part of the blockage. While waterfowl can fly to the lee side of the island for shelter, the birds of the countryside are stuck where they are amid rain and thrashing branches.
But we are glad for the rain after the long summer drought. We know it is pouring down the many cracks in our rocky landscape and filling up the water-table, seeping down to the roots of even the largest trees, soaking our garden and orchard. We will be glad for every drop during next summer's long, hot, dry season.