Sunday, February 1, 2009

Theme Day: Paths & Passages

Today's theme on the City Daily Photo Blogs can be interpreted in many ways. The Arroyo Seco is a water path - at least on some days. But with drought conditions worsening in California, we're likely to see less water traveling through here for a while.

I remember water rationing in the early 90's. It wasn't so hard. We can do it again. In fact I'm starting now. Why wait?

I'd appreciate any water-saving tips you have to share. Here's what we're doing so far: we don't pour left-over water down the drain, that's for plants or for rinsing dirty dishes. We wash full loads, of course. We never hose down the driveway (that is sooo passe). Why water the back yard? Nobody ever sees it. And here's an old favorite we can repeat together in public restrooms: "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown...

City Daily Photo bloggers all over the world are participating in today's theme day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

On another note, today's a good day to look at the peaceful world helper, Avaaz.org, and see if you want to participate.

32 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like the water path. It is a kind of canal of hope. If it is shut off then the impending lack of water might, among other things, drive down the real estate prices in California.

Here in Ohio that is about all we see on television -- the water crisis in California.

I wrote in my Memories blog about the roads of my youth and how they were to travel in the winter time.

Jilly said...

A beautiful scene. I've a feeling those little streams of water are called rils in England. Rhils - can't remember how it is spelled.

I save all rainwater as it comes off the roof - goes into massive barrels and I use that to water the garden and to wash down areas. Maybe that could be added to your list. It does rain occasionally in California, doesn't it?! Obviously tho, that's for the future - it doesn't address your current problem.

Petrea said...

Really, Abe? To my mind it's not addressed often enough here. Your Memories blog sounds nice.

Jilly, it's rained rarely in the past couple of years and when it does it seems there's still not enough water to save. But a barrel might be a good solution for one of our gutters that's not draining well!

Saretta said...

Lovely photo!

I remember water rationing in Ca in the '70s! We used to tap the tub when we took showers (5 mins. max) and then collected the water with a bucket and used it to flush the toilet. And, of course, you have to let your lawn die. Hope it rains soon!

Clueless in boston said...

Nice choice for theme day. Water is so elemental to all life and the leading line it provides to the dramatic looking clouds is beautiful.

Vanda said...

If we got rid of all the useless lawns that constantly have to be watered, but never used we could save a lot of water. Seriously, a lot of them could be replaced with astroturf and the owners would never know the difference.

I personally like either drought resistant native plants or fruits and vegetables, that have to be watered, but you get something out of them.

Since we are here, can I rant about leaf blowers? They should be outlawed. They are noisy, very polluting and all they do is move leaves from one spot to the other - usually from someone's yard to the street, dumping it on the city to clean it up. How about picking up a good old fashioned rake, raking the leaves up and make a nice mulch out of them?

altadenahiker said...

(Back in business, P)

I know some people are channeling the water from their shower to their garden, which is a nifty idea.

To save water, I've turned off the auto sprinks (as of last year), and hand water. Nothing I hate more than to see sprinklers watering a yard during a rainstorm. How dumb is that?

Lutsupti, I calls it.

Jim said...

I like your choice, just a trickle in there. I visited CA in the 70s and like Saretta I remember having to ration water. I was a kid, we had to use the same bath water, thankfully I was older so I got to go first, still ICK.

USelaine said...

The backlight on the water contrasts with the dark clouds beyond so effectively. This could be a magazine cover about the issue.

Yup, I'm going to hand watering, by can, for specific plants only. It' getting down to survival of the fittest, and lawns aren't fit.

Keith said...

Drought is such a chronic condition around here. I followed the link, I didn't realize the Arroyo covered such a diverse area. Important take on the theme and a great photo.

Katie said...

Stunning photo, but scary at the same time (and not because of those cool dark clouds). I'm very worried about the lack of rain, and lack of snow in the Sierra. I do hope it's just a two-year glitch, and that next year we'll have el nino back. I agree with Vanda that getting rid of lawns that need to be watered is a good step. I remember the drought in the mid-70s when I lived in Oakland and hearing "If it's yellow . . . " and seeing "Save Water, Shower With a Friend" shirts.

HearkenCreative said...

Yes, I have turned the auto-sprinklers to only water once a week, and if it's a week when we actually have rain, they immediately get turned off. The leftover bottled water is now used to water the container-based herb garden.

Leaf-blower haters, unite!

One effort that I have read about on and off for years is the push to remove the concrete from the Arroyo and the L.A. River. Instead of hastening the rainwater's exodus out of SoCal and into the ocean, rainwater would seep into the ground-water-table, and lessen the effects of seasonal droughts. The only problem is that flood-plains (like much of Downey and other low-lying areas) would be susceptible to destruction by 100-year-floods if we let the rivers out of the concrete. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue, but it seems like we are systemically ignoring our most precious resource.

Petrea, is this stretch down south of SoPas or up near Hahamongna? It's beautiful...

Virginia said...

I know about arroyos in the desert because I taught the SW desert to my third graders every year! We should all conserve water no matter where we live! Good ideas.
V

Daisy said...

I despair whenever I see this part of the water channel full of rainwater during a storm because I know it's rushing straight into the ocean. Apart from the water storage ponds in Hahamongna, I don't think there's any other place along the Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles river channels where this precious resource is trapped and stored. What a waste!

Bernie K. said...

That's a startling shot --- it has the airless clarity of a dream. Maybe this is how our aqueducts will look after we leave the planet: nobody to mind the water as it hisses blindly past the empty city ...

Babooshka said...

This image has taken me away from the theme and over to films- Earthquake. I cannot see this waterways without recalling the end of the film,

marley said...

I love the perspective in this photo and the shiny ribbon of water down the middle.

In the aftermath of the floods we had in 2007 we, along with all of Gloucestershire, were without water for two weeks! (due to the treatment plant being flooded and the pipes contaminated)

Top tips from that time. Use dish water to fill the cistern on the back of the toilet, place a brick in the cistern - that saves two litres of water per flush! We have a dehumidifier and used the water it collected for washing in! Steam veg over a boiling pan of potatoes or pasta, only wash up dishes once a day, don't use your dishwater - it uses gallons of water! Have a shower together - that one is fun! Lol! Fill your kettle of coffee machine in the morning and once you've used the water thats your cafine intake for the day done.

Thats it for now - I'm sure some more will come back to me :)

altadenahiker said...

What possible downside could there be to Hearken's suggestion/comment. Break up the cement and let the water seep into the ground. All that rushing water is a disaster for the ocean anyway.

Afyonkarahisar said...

Believe that an image, such as the table. Landscape great. Congratulations.

ben wideman said...

Awesome post Petrea!

Petrea said...

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments today. If I respond to each individually no one will read it! But you're responding to each other so no one needs me to do that.

I hadn't realized this water was going directly to the ocean. That doesn't make sense, does it? The Hahamongna storage ponds Daisy mentions are part of the Pasadena Water & Power system, and I believe PWP can control the flow at a couple of places (even holding it back--we do have a dam). I've seen this done at the "waterfall" beneath the Colorado Street Bridge. (Hearken, I was standing on the footbridge there, facing south.)

Marley, I recall dramatic flood photos from you and Lynn last year. Apparently the flooding in Cheltenham was worse in 2007. Your water saving suggestions are excellent, thank you.

Katie, I remember "Save Water, Shower With a Friend." I was in the Midwest and too clueless to realize it referred to an actual need.

As for lawns: We're letting the back yard go. I'd be okay with letting the front yard go but here's the quandary: like many people in soCal we employ a gardener who comes once a week, and he employs laborers. We're part of their economy and we've already cut back on that (back yard). I wonder if they're planning for the drought, perhaps by learning about drought-tolerant plants, xeriscapes, vegetable gardening, etc. I'll have to talk to them about it.

Ben, I have a feeling you and I and all California bloggers will be posting about this issue quite a bit in the near future. Elaine posted about it yesterday, and previously.

Cafe Observer said...

XXcellent shot, P!
You scored a TD with this.

Mister Earl said...

I haven't watered what few plants I have in years. Do I get water credits? Do I get estrogen credits for posting during the Superbowl?

My word, honest to God, is "supsta." Supsta, that's what you are!

Bernie K. said...

If you feed your plants during the Soopa Bull, you get nitrogen credits.

Susan C said...

I've never seen our LA River look so lovely.

My grandmother used to collect rain water in barrels. We should be doing that and using the water for our veggie gardens.

Mister Earl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mister Earl said...

Susan:

Do you still have any of your grandmother's collection? If so, it must be worth a fortune.

Ms M said...

Excellent photo, especially the dark clouds on the horizon. And love the water path. Good reminder about conserving water. I wish more was done in SW ID about that. They seem to believe the aquifer that provides most of our water will last forever.

Kris said...

Great composition here.

Water saving tips? Maybe people could collect their sweat and filter it for drinking water...

Bernie K. said...

My sister bought a set of antique ice-cubes at a yard sale, but they were defective & didn't last the drive home. She returned them to the manufacturer by pouring them on a rose bush. Is there anybody in here beside me & Earl …??

Petrea said...

Someone's been weaving corn with their air looms.

Vanda said...

We could wear those water recycling body suits they have in Dune (the original of course).