By Dennis Box
That darn water.
For thousands of years we mostly upright humans have prayed to it, started wars over it, killed people in it and with it, built fancy huts to be close to it and tried to figure out ways to get out of it or get it more of it.
Whether the water is falling from the sky or spraying out of the ground, it is sure to be unpredictable, complex and nearly always perplexing.
In my experience, I have found when I want water to fall from the above, the sky is as all blue and happy. When I need blue skies looking at me, black clouds suddenly fight each other to fill the spot directly over my head.
I suspect someone up there has a twisted sense of humor.
Plumbing is another tale of water woe for me. I can’t tell you how many $20 books I have bought telling me in simple steps how to stop the dopey waterfall from my pipes. Why do guys pictured in those books always looks so smiley and clean? Every plumbing job I do ends up as a mass of black, smelly foulness, and or course endless leaks. Sometimes the pipe waits for me to leave and go to bed before it starts gushing.
There is something about this formless element that can be piles of fun for many or mountains of misery.
Droughts are no joke. We may live in the land of rain, but the current drought that Journal Reporter Anna V. Smith wrote about in the last edition will likely be costly to farmers and shoppers in grocery stores. The agriculture industry in Eastern Washington and in many places on this side of the state are taking a hit, and some may not recover.
Anna’s article correctly noted aquifers can become underground puddles after long dry spells. Those below the surface lakes are a fascinating subject and guarded by the Department of Ecology like the state jewels.
There is a long history of droughts plaguing civilizations, and there is no crystal ball available to say when it the rain will return.
Forecasting rain and other weather things is one tricky business. At least forecasters today don’t face boiling canola oil with rosemary seasoning if they get it wrong like in some earlier hair-ball administrations.
For anyone looking for excellent and reliable writing about the weather go the Journal’s website, www.sanjuanjournal.com, and under the blogs tab you will find Cliff Mass’ blog. He is a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences. Anytime I really want to know weather magic for a story, I call Cliff.
He currently has a good piece on El Niño and what the winter may look like for the Pacific Northwest and California, which is drowning in drought dust. Mass also links to a Amar Andalkar’s discussion of snowpack during an El Niño.
Despite the dry spell we are in, once it rains for five consecutive days, most of us won’t be able to remember the last time we saw the sun or recall there was ever a drought.
There is only one thing I truly like about warm weather. It makes my stupid lawn stop growing. I never water it or put anything on it to make it green or happy, and still it grows like psycho grass.
Every morning I walk out and glare at it, daring it to grow. I come home at night and it looks like someone has poured Mr. Green Jeans on it.
I am pretty sure that just about the time my lawn finally get thirsty enough to stop growing for a few days, the humorist in the sky will send in the clouds – don’t we love farce.
That darn water.