A big storm late in the season can wash away the anxiety of a dry winter. This storm nearly did that when it dumped 0ver five inches of rain on us this past week. We're still below average for the year, but the late surge should keep the creeks running strong and the wells producing all summer long like they should.
Taking photos in the rain can be difficult because of weak lighting but after having endured a winter with little to no rain I felt myself drawn outside into the storm to watch the land fill up with water. Of course I brought along the camera.
Old Man's Beard, sometimes incorrectly called Spanish Moss, is actually a combination, or symbiosis, of fungus and algae. Also known colloquially as Beard Lichen or Treemoss, the proper name for the plant is Usnea and can be found all over the world. It is edible and high in vitamin c though the taste leaves something to be desired. In a pinch it can be used to treat surface wounds as it contains Usnic Acid, a powerful antibiotic. Besides all that, it gives the bare oak trees an archaic quality that is almost mystical, especially in the rain when it soaks up the water and turns a pungent shade of sea-foam green.
Heavy rains also bring the creeks up. With just a few inches Putah Creek below the house was running muddy and fast.
The good storms never come quickly. This one took a few days to build up before it finally made landfall; but once it did, it stuck around, saturating the earth for a whole week with the steady precipitation