Showing posts from October, 2021

Dave Egbert's off-the-grid garden in far Northern California

I follow a lot of gardeners and fellow plant nerds on social media and I'm always excited when I get to meet one of them in person. Yesterday I had the chance to visit the off-the-grid hideaway of Dave Egbert ( @beartrapgarden on Instagram ). We're at my mother-in-law's place in  Mount Shasta  for a few days, and Dave lives in Lakehead, less than an hour away. Here's a Google map that shows Dave's location (red pin). Mount Shasta is 40 miles to the north and Davis 175 miles to the south. Dave bought his property near Lakehead in 2016 and moved there in 2018. It's at the end of a dirt road, and completely off the grid. In the 1970s, a local developer had ambitious plans to create a subdivision of 2-acre lots with log homes but the project never moved beyond the initial stage of creating the 2-acre parcels. Dave's lot is part way up a mountain and he has a view of the mountains to the west, especially in the winter after the black oaks have dropped their leave

The deluge of October 24, 2021

The atmospheric river we were holding our breath for did not disappoint. It started to rain shortly before midnight on Saturday (October 23, 2021) and continued nonstop past midnight on Sunday and into Monday morning. I was glued to the weather all day on Sunday, and I never noticed a break in the action. According to the Facebook page of the National Weather Service's Sacramento office, downtown Sacramento received 5.44" in the 24-hour period from 1 a.m. Sunday, October 24 to 1 a.m. Monday, October 25. That is an astonishing 69.1% of the total rainfall for the entire  2020/2021 water year (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021). All in one day. That's pretty mind-boggling! Graphic from the  Facebook page of the US National Weather Service, Sacramento Office This was a new all-time record for the most rain ever received in a 24-hour period in downtown Sacramento, breaking the old record that had stood since 1880 (!): Facebook post by NWS Sacramento If you think 5.44&q

After the rain, before the deluge

What a difference a couple of days make. On Wednesday (October 20, 2021) we were still looking at a 215-day stretch without measurable precipitation. On Thursday (October 21, 2021) we finally received the first rain since March 20—just 0.19", but heck, I'll take anything. Friday brought another 0.19". That means the total for the current water year, which began October 1, now stands at 0.38".  But things will really  change on Sunday, October 24, when an atmosperic river, possibly category 5 (the strongest), will bring as much as 5 inches of rain in one day. As described in this SFGATE article , an atmospheric river is a “river of water vapor in the sky” that is “300 to 400 miles wide on average and maybe 500 to 1,000 miles long.” It can transport “25 times the water in the Mississippi River as vapor.”  All of that sounds impressive, but also a bit frightening because of the potential for flooding. If we were to get 5" of rain tomorrow, that would be a full two