We waited for the power to go off, planning to cook dinner on the top of the gas stove, lighting the pilot with matches like my grandma did and thinking about how much water we would use before the well shut off. (The pump needs electricity to get the water to the house.) Then I cleaned and filled the oil lamps. The power never went off.
We waited for snow.... the wind came first, then the rain..... and then some hail. All morning we watched the weather have its way, whipping our farm into a frenzy, frightening our pups who stayed under our bed almost all morning. It didn't snow.
By noon the rain stopped and the sun filtered through the dark clouds.
and.... Where do you suppose all the little creatures and insects go when it rains so hard and long? I imagine them in many places. Maybe under the porch watching and waiting for a sign that it's safe to venture outside again.
As I walked around the garden, straightening things that had been tipped over by the wind and were out of place, I passed the ceramic toad sitting in the pot of lavender.
Oh, the poor little lawn. Not enough water in the summer and most of it died, then too much water in the winter and now the lawn is a muddy mess. We are discussing the idea of a deck that will take its place. I'm tired of the lawn. It's nice to have one but it's not practical here in the dry foothills, with a well that doesn't give us enough water to keep the lawn alive in the summer.
I could hear the creek down in the canyon. It was roaring. I brought the dogs in and told the Prospector that I wanted to drive down to the river and take some pictures. I grabbed my camera and a warm coat and off I went.
As I drove down the hill, I saw little water falls and rivulets everywhere.
Mokelumne River a few miles away. All this water ends up here...
I LOVE THIS RIVER! So I'm giving all of you who care about the beautiful places in this country a gentle heads up. Please read what is going on with this river in the name of supplying more water to other areas of this state. The Foothill Conservancy is trying very hard to have this river designated as a WILD AND SCENIC river. This would protect the river from being damned with bigger reservoirs and controlled by folks that have no interest in this river except for the wasteful water uses that are prevalent in this state.
As I stood on this old bridge, by myself, looking up river and down, the beauty of it all really hit me. My grandson has run like the wind across this bridge.
I've stood here and cried, laughed and had many Ah ha moments standing over this river on this bridge. My family has picnicked on this river's beaches and I've brought friends here to see its beauty. This is a friend that comforts me and I can share it with others. That is why I want you to read THIS.... please.
I don't want this bridge to disappear beneath an expanded Pardee Reservoir. I don't want any of this to happen....
- Flood the entire Middle Bar reach of the Mokelumne River, destroying the river for whitewater recreation and stream fishing and gold panning.
- Flood the new whitewater boating takeout and parking area below the Highway 49 Bridge.
- Mokelumne Electra Run east of Highway 49 in high flow periods, leaving a dead-zone bathtub ring the rest of the year.
- Inundate the historic Middle Bar Bridge, restored by local governments just a few years ago, cutting off a critical emergency route for local residents.
- Inundate the historic and cultural resources of the Middle Bar area, including a sacred place where the Miwok people gather willow for baskets and cradleboards and teach their children the Miwok language and culture.
- Result in eminent domain proceedings against local landowners.
- Require construction of a new Highway 49 Bridge.
If you live in Northern California this is a big deal. Our rivers are at risk. I know how important water is. I live with the threat of a well going dry every summer. That's why we are getting rid of our small lawn. When I see folks with big huge manicured lawns down in the flat land and the automatic sprinklers are on and water is running down the drain in the street, I want to sneak a few big cows in there and let them loose in these front yards. I want to bang on their doors and yell at them. Is that where the anger starts?
Water is a scarce resource here, as it is in many western states, and I don't think that we just need to make our reservoirs bigger to accommodate folks that don't know how to conserve their resources.
Anyway, this is my request. Turn your water off when you're not using it. Do full loads of laundry and then, when you have a free day, take a drive to a nearby river and really look at it .
The river is rainwater. The river is melted snow. It is a precious commodity and it's not going to last forever. Our rivers will tell you this story if you listen. Just think about it. Please READ what happens to rivers when folks want more and more water.
It rained today. It was beautiful. The River is happy.... for a while.