Rachel Carson Recognized It

Painting: “Rainstorm 2015”, by Cen Long (Chinese Artist)

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Last evening was downright chilly after a rainfall that lasted about a half-hour, and mostly was a deluge. It filled and overpowered gutters with water pouring over sides and through section connections. This storm, preceded by roaring thunder and slices of lightening, terrified my dogs, and up at the house, I found Miles tearing the screen out of a bathroom window to get inside.

This is the high desert! It doesn’t rain much, or at least not until this year. That’s my perception after almost 15 years living here. This isn’t Portland or Seattle where everybody learns to live with rainy days. If asked, I’d have said we have one (okay, maybe a couple) rain storms annually. A week ago the weatherperson said there would be several days of rain this week and I poo-pooed it. In fact, forgot that forecast until three days ago when the sky darkened and thunder began. That was day one of rain, followed by two more of the same.

Each rain began in a late afternoon, producing furious moments and periodic hail. Usually, just as I was in the barn feeding large animals. I had to run to the house through the wet to comfort my dogs who were out of their minds. At least, it was cool and sleeping could have been easier but for my nervous, pacing dogs.

Back when I was in high school, my family lived in Southern California. In those days, we anticipated annual “rainy seasons” when daily rains were too heavy for windshield wipers to clear car windows. These episodes would last about two weeks, followed by typical So Cal weather, and provide good feedings to the area’s trees, flowers, and food crops. Soon after graduating I moved away, not returning to CA for many years. Whereupon I learned that the area no longer received annual stretches of heavy rain.

That significant change didn’t make sense to me, but I didn’t bother to explore the science that might have explained. Today, I wonder if it was an early hint of the climate changes we’ve come to know as global warming. Now as we watch weather changes occur, and here in the high desert, what’s new are frequent rains, variations in the numbers and densities of snow falls, and days that seem unusually hot or cool.

The weatherperson says that for a stretch it’s supposed to clear up and heat up, and this time I believe.

Dear Friends: I will start to understand more by re-reading “Silent Spring.” Diana

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