Sunset on February & Seasonal comparison rain totals

San Simeon Sunset, originally uploaded by wind_dancer.

This was taken last night in San Simeon. One can see the Piedras Blancas lighthouse in the distance, with its light shining. Saying good buy to February. March is coming in like a lion, with wave after wave of rain, this first week.

Season total to-date: 27.5 inches.

The end of February totals for the last 5 years (still haven’t found my calendars for the previous 10 years, but they are here, I know.)
2008 – 45.0 inches
2007 – 17.5 inches
2006 – 30.1 inches
2005 – 59. 75 inches

So, we are still quite a bit below average, at least based on the last 5 years.

Storm Watch, 2/28

7:30 am – last day of February, and rain predicted to begin by tomorrow morning in our neck of the woods, and last for much of the week ahead. Could be a busy week for all of us. This morning’s NOAA forecast had this to say:

OVERALL THE WEEK WILL BE QUITE WET. FLOODING CONCERNS WILL ALSO 
BECOME ELEVATED AS EACH ROUND OF RAIN WILL FALL ON GROUND THAT 
IS ALREADY WET. FINALLY...SNOW LEVELS WILL DROP WITH EACH PASSING 
WAVE. IF THE MODELS VERIFY LEVELS WILL BE AROUND 2500 FEET IN 
THE WORST CASE SCENARIO BY WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND REMAIN UNDER 
4000 FEET FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK.

The Simple Things In Life

  

Moon & Planet, originally uploaded by wind_dancer.

The stars, the moon, the blackness of the nights. Life is blessed. Taken Friday night, 2/27/09. Wish I had a telescope.

And the NOAA forecast discussion is indicating rain beginning in our area Sunday morning, and continuing most of the week, culminating in the possibility of snow at higher elevations by Friday. NOAA posted this:

SNOW LEVELS MAY DROP TO 3000 FEET OR LOWER BY FRIDAY.

Big Sur State Park Closure update

Friday’s Pine Cone has an article by Kelly Nix re the bridges in Big Sur State Park. 

“PFEIFFER BRIDGE WORK STILL IN DOUBT DESPITE BUDGET AGREEMENT”

If interested, read the article, but here I offer you my take, after following this budget fiasco closely for the last month.

Despite the budget, there is real uncertainty about when payments will start up again for many of us state independent contractors. I have had a “mere” $7500 – that’s 2 and 1/2 months of expenses – sitting up in the controllers office for just a couple days shy of a month now, and despite the budget, there is no word on when I will get paid. Not only that, but in May, when some of the budget items must go to the  voters, yet another stalemate may ensue. 

So, at this time, there is no guarantee, and in fact, there is a significant possibility that the Big Sur State Park may NOT open for Memorial Day weekend. All we can do is contact our state legislators and make our voices heard, and I urge ALL of you to do so, particularly visitors who love this place as much as we do.

Kirk Gafill, the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce President is asking all local businesses to fill out a survey about how their businesses would be affected by this closure, and if you have not done so, please fill it out and send it to Kirk.

Those of you who normally stay in the park, if it is not open, come anyway. There are other campgrounds, private campgrounds that will be open, but I suggest you contact them NOW for your summer reservations, because if the state does not open its doors, the private campgrounds will fill up fast. Don’t forget, there are rooms that can be filled too, and if possible, consider a weekday trip, rather than weekend. If you don’t know where to stay, click on the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce link to the right under Big Sur non-profits, and they have links to all the visitor-serving businesses in Big Sur. Our local businesses really need your support after all the loss of income due to the Summer of Fire, 2008.

Now is the time to make your summer plans for your visit, especially if the State Park does not open in time for summer visitors.

Storm Watch, 2/26

Hills & Tree, originally uploaded by wind_dancer.

7:30 pm – A good work day, today, as the weather, while crisp, provided a mixture of high thin clouds, condensation clouds, and blue sky – completely compatible with work. Tonight, the stars are out, but not the usual dazzling display She treats me to. And that crescent moon sunset tonight? Glorious. 

8:00 am – the ground is wet, but there is nothing measurable in the rain gauge. (BTW, Dakota finally felt secure enough to stay out with the others this morning, but only for 20 mins.)

5:00 am – the 4:30 am NOAA discussion has this to “say:” (Friday looks to be clear, so enjoy it)

THE PERIOD FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY 
EXPECTED TO BE MARKED BY PERIODS OF RAIN AND RAIN 
SHOWERS WITH TEMPERATURES DROPPING BELOW NORMAL DUE 
TO CLOUD COVER AND PRECIPITATION.

Dark 30 – very early in the am –
As far as I know, rain never came this far, at least so far, and as nothing much is approaching until Saturday night, I thought I would post a photograph instead. This was taken on Highway 46 on the way to Paso Robles a couple of weeks ago.

Storm Watch, 2/25

5:30 pm – snuggled inside with all the dogs. So good about coming in before sunset. All I have to do is open the door. Nice, although Dakota REFUSES o let anyone else on the bed with us! Okay, weather report from this afternoon’s forecast discussion. It still doesn’t appear that it will have as much impact on our more southern climes. 

 

BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF ARE HINTING THAT THERE COULD BE STRONG
WINDS SAT NIGHT INTO SUNDAY ALONG WITH SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF RAIN.
HOWEVER...THERE ARE STILL SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE MODELS

 

2:00 pm – this posted on the NOAA forecast discussion, apparently after or around the time of my last post. This potential may be only for areas north of us, but those of us in Big Sur should monitor this:

THE POTENTIAL IS THERE FOR A SIGNIFICANT SYSTEM OVER THE WEEKEND...
PARTICULARLY SAT NIGHT AND SUNDAY. ONCE AGAIN...THE MODELS ARE NOT
IN AGREEMENT WITH THIS...HOPEFULLY THE 12Z ECMWF HELPS WITH THE
DETAILS.

10:00 am – Correction, there is a 40% chance of rain for tonight, then slightly less chance for the rest of the week, including Sunday. At least nothing significant is being reported for now. A little breather, an opportunity to dry out somewhat, and catch up on other aspects of our lives, which for me is about 2000 doggie kisses and hugs!

5:00 am – Now that my beloved Dakota is back, I will return to the usual programming. The winds have been significant all morning, but no indication of rain.

There is only a possibility of scattered showers in the forecast for the rest of the week, although potential rain on Sunday. And CHP is reporting no incidences at this time.

Have a great day, everyone. I certainly will, now that I have found my dog.

Blessed and Humbled

I am so blessed, and so humbled. Dakota is ALIVE!

I found her locked up in a storage trailer. No food, no water, but safe from mountain lions and the rain she hates.

I am pretty deaf. Dakota helps me hear. She wasn’t here to help me, and she hasn’t trained the others. I will wager that will change.

I am blessed and I am humbled. Personally, I don’t like drama, I like comedy. Dakota is back, and that is what is important.

To all of those drawn into my drama, I apologize. And for all my friends who supported me through a very tough time, I am more grateful than you can know.

But more than anything, my blessed Dakota is with my physical being, as well as my spiritual one.

Damn, life in the wilderness can be dramatic.

Weather, 2/24

Gorgeous blue sky, this morning, and I understand we MAY have good weather the rest of the work week. Let’s hope, anyway, as it certainly helps my mood. There is a slight chance of showers, Wednesday through Friday, but I could really use a break from dismal.

The pack and I are doing well. I want to keep my remaining three close, indoors, and under my watchful eye. It would not be fair to them. Instead, I just poke my head outside every 10 minutes or so, and check on them as they bask in the sunlight. They are all staying very close, thankfully.

Also, while I posted it on the announcement page, just a reminder that the BSMAAC meeting scheduled for this Friday has been postponed to Friday March 20th. See announcement page for the rest of the schedule for this year.

Healing …

… is a funny thing. Tonight, I find myself smiling at all the wonderful memories I have of Dakota, almost as much as I cry. I remember what happened on Saturday morning, and realize that she was a warrior dog, protecting her pack. 

And the pack is busy reassigning her various roles. Believe it or not, Dakota, after just a few times watching me, took over the role of picking the ticks off her puppies, Miranda and Bear. Now, that role is mine, once again. Miranda, the female, has taken over Dakota’s job of sleeping in my bed. The problem is, Miranda snores. Dakota did not. Bear, her male puppy, is the only one who has the warrior’s heart, like Dakota. I am waiting to see if he assumes the role of protecting the pack. And Gideon? Well, Gideon is like the male lion. He is mostly for show. He is loving, and beautiful, with a lion’s mane. But courage? Protection? Those aren’t his strong points. He is more of a clown and people-pleaser. He would take over the bed routine, but with his long hair, I prefer the only other short hair in the pack besides Dakota.

It helped me tremendously to find my favorite photograph of Dakota. Now, I can see her whenever I choose. It also helped to have received SO many expressions of care and condolences from my friends, near and far. I treasure the understanding so many of you offered in private emails. 

Some may think that my loss was not great. “She was only a dog.” I never heard from those people. I heard from “dog people” who know that these pets are like our children. These loses are monumental.

But tonight, finally, I can look at her photograph, which is now my computer desktop, and smile at the love and beauty and laughter she brought me. Her spirit lives in the memories I have, as Sandy so eloquently put it in her poem. 

And maybe, as Diane said, when it is my time to go, she will be there to greet me, with that smile of hers — oh, yes, she smiled — and that wagging tail, and that gentle pawing she did when she wanted my attention. I am so very lucky to have had her share her joy with me for as long as she did.

Thank you, everyone, for your support these past three days, and I promise, more joyful — or at least factual — posts to follow. And thank you for allowing me to publicly express my grief in this blog. 

And damn, I might have to post more about my other three dogs, too, and friends, and family, and music and art. You know, all the things that matter in life. It is just too short. Give a fur kid a hug for me, will ya’?

Storm Watch, 2/23

11:00 am – Rain seems to have stopped. Received an additional .50 inches, for a season total of 27.5 inches. CHP reports no road problems in Big Sur, but a friend, who drove north from the Deli reports that there are many standing water puddles which will cause one to hydroplane, if one is not careful.

8:00 am – It has continued to rain most of the night. I received .75 since last report for a season total of 27 inches. CHP website is reporting no problems on Highway One in Big Sur at this time.