Is It Spring Yet?

I’ve had lots of rain fairley often for weeks. Today was nice but we are often dry from mid March on, sometimes from February on.

Then I look at the weather map and find floods predicted for the Mojave Desert and a Winter Storm Watch for the areas south east of me. Where’s my spring?

Storm System Continues To Impact Southern California, Severe Weather Threatens The Southern And Eastern U.S.

A storm system will deliver heavy mountain snow and rainfall to southern California and the Desert Southwest through late week. The heavy rainfall may pose a flash flood risk, especially to burn scar locations. Severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes will be possible from the Southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley, Mid South, and Mid Atlantic through Wednesday.

Kern County Storm Warning

Kern County Storm Warning

Mojave Flood Watch

Mojave Flood Watch

I thought we were promised that Global Warming would bring perpetual drought and warmth… where’s the warm & dry I was promised?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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46 Responses to Is It Spring Yet?

  1. H.R. says:

    Don’t worry. Spring has sprung here.

    We’re getting the ‘April Showers’ which will ‘bring May Flowers’. They’ve been hitting for a few days on and a few days off.

    This morning at about 3:30 am EST, there was a bit of lightening in those April Showers, but the storms should move out by 6:00 or 7:00 am.

    It’s “Koi Pond Cleaning Day” today and it should be dry until tomorrow night, when we can expect another round of precipitation.

    Oh, for years I’ve used a transfer pump with garden hose inlet and garden hose outlet. It usually takes 3-4 hours to drain the pond, depending on how often I have to clear the leaves clogging the pump.

    This year, I ran across a 3,800 gallon per hour pump for the same $80 as the transfer pumps. It should drain the pond in under 10 minutes! I had to build a wire cage around the pump. It’s not rated for debris, but it should handle the bitty-bits of leaves that make it through the 1/2″ hardware cloth I used for the cage. Can’t wait for daylight to try it out.

  2. H.R. says:

    Okay, weird. My comment is awaiting moderation. Been a long time since that has happened to me.

    “Say the magic woid and win a hunnerd dollars trip to moderation.”
    h/t Groucho
    Ah, I think I made a typo in my email address. That’s why I’m in the queue.

  3. rhoda klapp says:

    I woke up sneezing. It’s spring.

    I hope.

  4. Joel Heinrich says:

    It’s in Germany right now. 25°C, sunny and dry. Perfect weather.

  5. Bill In Oz says:

    Here is South Australia, cold cold Winter has pooped in early.And Gore bull warming has disappeared off to parts unknown !

  6. Ralph B says:

    Are you still expected to rat out your neighbor if they water their grass or wash their car? Rat them out for water usage that is, not violating the social distancing diktat. Must be nice to have so many rat out choices… :-)

  7. H.R. says:

    Ralph B – If we had a Ministry of Silly Walks, I’m sure people would be ratting out neighbors who don’t have a silly walk. The lack of having that Ministry is the only thing preventing it.

    There are several species of rats, but the most stark contrast is between the two-legged and the four-legged rats. Nobody likes rats of either type.

  8. philjourdan says:

    @Rhoda – it is spring, not the beer. :-)

    @HR – sounds like the same weather around here, although our thunder boomer was late afternoon. Still, it has been a very regulated spring – mild temps and periodic rain. So a very good spring lawn wise.

  9. cdquarles says:

    It is definitely spring here. Spring has the 2nd most variable weather, where winter is first. It gets less variable as we approach summer. It gradually gets warmer and the amount of rain decreases. That said, we have had so much rain this water year that we would still have an average year if we got none for the rest of it.

  10. p.g.sharrow says:

    @HR; Koi pond cleaning for me as well, Looks like winter is over here as well, a nice day dawns as I type. Need to clear back the pond weeds and see how the fish have survived the winter, The Gold Fish pond looks fine, but they are nearly bullet proof, the Koi are much more of a challenge to keep happy and alive.
    After a very dry and warm February, March has been wet and cold, I’m ready for a warm April.

  11. Bill In Oz says:

    @Ralf B, Here in South Australia we have had no one ratting in my area since 2012. I have a big garden with 50 odd fruit trees. I only get compliments..

  12. H.R. says:

    @p.g. – We have no trouble keeping koi in good health.

    That said, when they get up to 1-2-3 pounds (3-4 pounds is the $500-$1,000 size) the $@#!& herons come and eat them. Our terriers run the herons off, but they can’t be out at the pond 24/7. Eventually, the herons win.

    Luckily, our housekeeper has a koi pond that is pretty much her whole back yard. She has walkways and sitting areas made from stamped concrete in a slate pattern. There are cutouts for some trees scattered around. The rest is streams, waterfalls small, medium, and large ponds. There is not a blade of grass in the whole yard! It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.

    Anyhow, she gets baby koi every year and is not into the hassle of selling them. She gives us some when we want them and has some other friends and clients she gives them to. Good thing for us because 7″ koi are running $50 around here and the ones she gives us are usually around 10″ +/- so that’s the$80 to $100 range.

    They are great to have around. Relaxing and very beautiful to watch… until they inevitably get eaten.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Nylon fish net is hard to see and a layer of it up high might net some birds and save the koi…

  14. ossqss says:

    @HR, Pellet gun :-)

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    Or maybe H.R. could just get a pet bobcat….

  16. tom0mason says:

    Well, as the old song says It never rains in Southern California …

  17. philjourdan says:

    @HR – I see you have a lot of suggestions about your Koi pond. I do not have one, but my neighbor does. I am passing the suggestions off to him, although we have enough big ponds that the heron do not bother home ponds..

    But I would love to see pictures of your housekeepers setup!!! That sounds like a must see!

  18. ossqss says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    8 April 2020 at 4:45 pm
    Or maybe H.R. could just get a pet bobcat….

    You only have to feed a good pellet gun lead when needed, on demand :-)

  19. H.R. says:

    @philj: We haven’t been down to pick up koi at her place for 6-8 years. This year, we need some. We lost most of them last summer when we had our roof redone. Back when, they only had and usually put on 20 year shingles and… it was 20 years and time to replace.

    Anyhow, when they started the tear-off, they were getting shingles and other debris in the pond. I went out and got the foreman and told him to fix the situation. He right quick covered the pond with sheets of plywood, which stopped the debris from going in, but somehow it caused other problems. probably because some of the asphalt shingle bits had already sunk into the pond and it may have raised the water temp just a few degrees to the point it stressed the fish. I dunno.

    Several weeks later, the fish started dying here and there ’til, by the end of the season and time to close down the pond, there were no fish left. Since we were headed to Florida, we weren’t going to do anything until this year anyway.

    Now that the pond is cleaned and ready to go we’ll be headed down to get the extra koi she has every year.

    I’ll see if I can get some pics. It is amazing. It’ll have to be my wife, though. My flip-phone camera is marginal. If I took the shots, you’d say, “Ooookay. If that’s what you say it is.” ;o)

  20. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – I’d like to off the herons but here it’s a felony or something. In Florida, they’re like roaches. They’re too big and our garbage can is too small to dump the bodies.

    Now if we just had alligators to consume the evidence…

    @E.M. – No bobcats. We have enough critters to take care of as it is. Maybe I should get an alligator for the pond.

    We do put up pond netting for the fall leaves, but not for the birds.

  21. jim2 says:

    Maybe you could build koi dcoys (de-kois?). Craft them so they float close to the surface, but connected by a coiled line. When the heron snatches one, it flys off only to have the koi ripped from its mouth. Or maybe a “spitting koi” that shoot a stream of water at anything that approaches the pond from above. That might be a fun tech project :)

  22. David A says:

    HR, I I’ve near this pond in Encinitas CA. Some of the Koi are very very large. I recognise then from 46. Years Ago…

  23. H.R. says:

    jim2: “Maybe you could build koi dcoys (de-kois?).”

    Okay. That made me laugh. Love me some good word play and that was really good.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    Does the bird stand at the edge of the pond to get a fish? If so….

    A band of insulting rubber with an electric fence wire on top… birdy break completes circuit to ground… non-lethal but effective training and you can turn it off as desired…. Plus, with gopro, a money making video source ;-)

  25. H.R. says:

    @David A – Nice. We’ve had a few koi get to the size of the ones in that picture. Koi get even a lot bigger than those in that picture. I heard recently that at one of the koi shows/conventions (yes, they have those, kinda like dog shows) a large butterfly koi in a glittery silver with some black was sold for a record $25,000.
    @jim2 – Still chuckling about dekois, but you jogged my memory about something similar I read about several years ago.

    A fellow had acreage and a large pond; 1/4 acre? 1/2 acre? The details are very fuzzy now since it was so long ago. Anyhow, Canada geese were ruining his pond. He rigged a motion detector to a couple of small water cannons and a CO2-powered “cannon” that made a big boom.

    When they landed, they got subjected to bursts of strong jets of water coming from several directions and a kaboom! It worked like a charm.

    I think I’ll look into that idea. Motion detectors are cheap and lots of models readily available at Home Depot. I think all I’d need is a kaboom! making machine. Thanks for bringing that topic up. It’s really quite doable and cheap nowadays. You’re right. Why not?

    Now I’m headed off to search for cheap BOOM machines. I already have a bunch of CO2 cartridges.

  26. H.R. says:

    Okay. I’m back and there are a lot of CO2 and propane cannons to choose from. They also are a bit pricey @ around $250 and up. It seems they are used at outdoor concerts along with fog machines and laser shows.

    I knew I’d find a lot of them as soon as I saw the first dropdown autocomplete suggestion when I typed “CO2 can” was CO2 cannons; top of the list. I had no idea.

    I like the idea of propane cannons. I’m sure you’d have to change the propane cylinders a lot less frequently than CO2 cartridges. Maybe just put one in at the beginning of the season. There’s probably some DIY videos out there on propane cannons and I could make one for a lot less than $250.

    So now I’m off to look for DIY propane cannon videos or blog posts/articles. This is looking to be fun.

  27. p.g.sharrow says:

    @HR, Propane Cannons ! Not sure if having you as a neighbor would be fun or Dangerous! Maybe both 8-) Try not getting arrested …pg

  28. Ossqss says:

    @HR, your use of a motion detector may be a very good one. Simply use a typical flood light with sensor and hook up a siren/horn to one of the screw in fixtures and put it on test mode. Test mode is on a short duration and range is adjustable. Use of a tripod would make it easily moved when using an extension cord for power.

    Or take the easy way out ;-)

  29. Ossqss says:

    Not even sure where to put this, so here ya go if interested in a 30 day free use trial.

  30. p.g.sharrow says:

    @HR; not sure what you are planning on but, keep in mind that harassing water fowl is a Federal Crime, so be careful about EcoLoons in your neighborhood!.

  31. H.R. says:

    @p.g. – Well, instead of a propane cannon, maybe I’ll just have a loop recording of “Shoo! Shoo! Scram! Get the hell out of here!” played a few times at max volume through one of the outdoor speakers that are disguised as rocks.
    Dang! I just remembered we had a similar conversation last year about the herons eating our koi. My wife is ordering a few things we need online, and she said, “You want me to get a floating alligator decoy for the pond?”

    That was brought up last year and I clean forgot about it. That should work and keep me out of trouble with the neighbors, the law, and tree and polar bear huggers.

    All is not lost, though! I can still use a motion detector tied to a motor that runs a loop of 80# mono hooked to the alligator decoy. When the heron lands, the motor will start up and the alligator will “swim” towards the heron. The herons can only work one end of the kidney-shaped pond because our lotus takes up the smaller end of the pond. So I know where to park the alligator and where to aim it.

    “There is no problem too simple that it can’t be over-engineered for maximum complexity and entertainment.” ~H.R.

  32. Power Grab says:

    @ HR:

    D’ya think there’ll be a chance to video that activity?

  33. H.R. says:

    @Power Grab – With my flip phone? Are you kidding?

  34. Steven Fraser says:

    Boulder colorado is forecasted to have its first-ever-measured, below-freezing-high April 12 this weekend, with snow and a max temp of 27F. Brrrrr.

  35. Been raining in San Diego for a week now. We’re loving every drop of it! Fill up the ground! It’ll be dry enough soon enough!

  36. Steven Fraser says:

    Spring seems to have arrived in DFW, but mildly. Exception: Precip. This year has been tip-top-rainy, with. Total Avg. diff. Last year
    SINCE JAN 1 16.01 9.17 6.84 5.37

    So, 174.6 % of average. Hoo-Rah.

    What is yet-to-be-seen is the Tornadic activity, and large, pop-up storms, the ones that drop the big hail. Those will appear as general heating of the region proceeds, and as the cold/dry and warm/wet aor masses continue to interact through the spring and early summer.

    Have a great week-end, everyone.

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting… the linked images have changed. Normally I downliad and image then upload my own copy. The links were anniying to that process in sone way (active images tske you off somewhere else…) but ig looksvlije the direct URL changes over time…

    So looks like I’ll need to use screen shots and Gimp editing from here on out for them.

  38. gallopingcamel says:

    I love all that talk about koi ponds!

    Back in 1978 my boss was John Cottrell who headed STC Submarine Systems Group. As one of his “Division Managers” my task was to make optical fiber for long haul applications. John was a lateral thinker who set up several innovative businesses which he dished out to his subordinates. He put me in charge of a fish farm based on tanks that were built to store and test the 1865 transatlantic telegraph cable. There were 14 major tanks, each of 500 tonne capacity and dozens of 20 tonne tanks.

    We grew carp, eels and trout in Greenwich (London, UK) using water from the river Thames. We went commercial with Richardson “Super Trout” which grow at a prodigious rate and are very tasty.

    In 1986 I received a golden handshake from the parent company (ITT) which enabled me to become a major shareholder in “Sea Street Salmon” located in Eastport, Maine the most easterly town in the USA. We grew salmon smolts which were worth $25 per pound back then. The venture failed but I am ready to take another crack at it if any of you have $500,000 to invest.

  39. gallopingcamel says:

    Here is a link to a related discussion from many years ago:

    One of the interesting things about Richardson trout is that you can get more 1.2 pounds of fish for every pound of food. That sort of thing does not matter if you are raising koi but it is of critical importance if you are raising salmonids.

  40. David A says:

    Heck of a rain ending yesterday in San Diego, Encinitas specifically.

    We had 4.79 inches in 24 hours, and a bit over 5 in 25 hours. Very rare for Southern California. Wife and I took a drive to look at the waterfalls. flowering into a local reservoir. The 24 hours ended with 1.37 inches in the last hour.

  41. Steve C says:

    Well, Spring has certainly sprung in the British Midlands this week. Most of the year to the end of March had been generally cool, windy and wet, but this last week has been very pleasant, with temps getting up to the 70s Fahrenheit in the sunshine and just a light breeze.

    The leaf buds on the lime tree outside my sitting room window (I only have to look up from the keyboard ;-) just began to unfurl last weekend, and through the week I have been watching its branches first enveloped in slight greenness, then more and more positive greenness, until now, a week later, it’s heading for halfway to its summer finery and looking downright luscious, somehow more 3D than when it’s only wearing its branches. The local birdies are still visible in there as they pop in and out, and their sap is evidently also rising. Alas, the blossom on next door’s tree now hides the magpies’ nest just behind it in his other tree. Boo!

    Much the same (of course) along any of my “exercise walk” routes – I usually go into Nottingham city centre just to look at the deserted streets and spaces, but there are plenty of green areas “in and around”. Trent Bridge is having a few million spent on a wash’n’brush up at present, as its paintwork was beginning to look a bit faded. The guys doing the job have slung a rather impressive scaffolding platform from above for access, so I take in Trent Bridge at least once a week just to be impressed by that. I like a nice bit of civil engineering. Near the city-centre Nott’m Trent University, I’ve been watching the construction of some mighty underground tanks & pumping gear, to upgrade the city centre flood control. “Normal surface will be resumed” later this year, by the look of it, when I’m sure the students will reclaim the space and never even think about the 20m drop underneath …

    And with my normally respiratorially vulnerable metabolism still cruisin’ at its normal altitude, I still wonder why this killer virus hasn’t noticed me (not that I’m complaining). The developing figures seem to indicate that the Iceland survey wasn’t far out – “mostly harmless” – so the lockdown can’t end too soon for me.

    Happy Easter to one and all!

  42. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:

    Given your “out & about” I would guess your Vit-D level is not compromised, then the “street people” will be having other nutritional deficiencies and drug / thermal / stress challenges to their immune system. Just those 2 differences will account for alot.

  43. philjourdan says:

    @David A – a bit late for it, but we had that back in 68. It washed out half of I-5 (the Santa Margarita). But that was in March. The normal rainy season in SD is February and March, so yea, April is rare.

  44. w.w.wygart says:

    Chiefio, you are just never happy are you? A little relief from the last few fire seasons and what are you doing? Complaining. When the grapes are covered with mold in Napa – then we’ll worry.

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