“Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Wind, Sand and Stars,” 1939
Presently, the heat is on … full blast. According to the National Weather Service, July 21: “The first six months of 2014 were the hottest January through June on record in California … nearly five degrees warmer than the 20th century average and more than a degree hotter than the record set in 1934.”
July has continued this weather pattern. High temperatures and drought conditions are mostly independent of each other, so beware and be wise when the two join forces.
As we swig down ice water, ice tea or anything wet and keep our pet’s water buckets filled to the brim, our yards thirst for water. After cooling off in the pool, I surveyed my backyard’s landscape. Not good – dead plants, shriveled grapes still on the vine, not-so-green lawn. Wish I could blame Abby for the increasing patches of brown grass, but I’m afraid the real culprit is drought related – lack of water. Thankfully, man and domesticated beast have plenty to drink.
Time to make some changes. We have decided to rip out our lawn and go “au naturale.” Why? Several reasons: water conservation, an attractive landscaped yard and money (lower water bills and financial rebates). No longer is a non-inviting prickly cactus garden your only option. A lush look can be achieved with a variety of colorful “drought tolerant” native plants. Check out The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California website www.bewaterwise.com. It includes an extensive gallery of “California friendly” gardens and a database of 1,000 plants. Plus they offer rebates. Our own CV Water District also offers rebates for replacing lawns with native plants. I’m actually excited to get started. Due to the hot weather, morning and evening work hours will be enforced.
Scorching, blistering, sizzling and calefacient – all adjectives that can be associated with weather for the next seven to 10 days with days over 100 degrees and nights around 70 degrees predicted. Next week we’ll look at El Niño and its 2014-15 influence.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at