Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nature, Doing Its Job

The whole world burst out of its proverbial house house yesterday and enjoyed the sun. Hahamongna Watershed Park was flooded with bikers, hikers, horses, dogs and mountain runoff.

The other day on The Sky is Big in Pasadena (not a misnomer, by the way) there was a discussion about whether or not the past week's weather was unusual. Seemed like it was, but one commenter reminded us that a winter deluge is the norm. It's just that during our years of drought we've become accustomed to winters bereft of rain. Last week's storms weren't enough to end our drought, but they helped.

The flooding at Hahamongna Watershed Park is severe enough to have permanently altered the landscape. Trails we knew are gone and will not be back. What remains in their place is as beautiful as what we'll miss.

And the infrastructure held up. The Devil's Gate Dam did its job. So, I'm told, did the Pasadena Water and Power workers who've been running the joint in 12-hour shifts. Kudos.

Inspiration for the photo: John Sandel.

32 comments:

Dina said...

Lots of good news here.

I wish Israel would learn from California. Our recent flash floods caused so much damage. Some of it could have been prevented.

cieldequimper said...

Hello Petrea, this is a beautiful photo of an ever changing world.

I loved your leaning towers of Pisa yesterday!

Colleen said...

Spectacular photo, Petrea. You nailed it. Yesterday was amazing.

Virginia said...

Winter deluge. Yep that's what's going on outside my office window right this minute.

Your photo is stunning P.
V

Petrea said...

Dina, it sounds like our climate troubles are similar--drought, and now all this rain and flooding. California's had a lot of experience with this so we were prepared. What made this year different was the Station Fire last fall. We usually do have fires, but this was the biggest and baddest ever and our workers have had to deal with massive amounts of runoff.

Merci Ciel, nice to see you!

Thanks, Colleen. It was. We stayed out twice as long as we meant to and really wore Boz out. He loved it. There was much dog joy.

Nature will do her thing, won't she, V? Long after we're gone she'll still be doing it.

altadenahiker said...

Love the reflection. Looks like a a 19th C painting.

dive said...

Whew! I'm glad you're safe, Patrea. The BBC news over here said that after the fires stripping the hills of vegetation your rainstorms were going to wash you all out to sea.

Beautiful photo.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Los Angeles always looks great after a good scrub. Case in point: you've turned what I consider a swamp into something bordering on bucolic.


All the locals have such beautiful photos up today. I wish I'd gotten an earlier start. That snow melts fast.

Petrea said...

Thanks, Hiker. I took a zillion shots but John pointed me to this one.

Hi Dive. We thought we were going to get washed out, too. Some geologists say if it didn't happen with this storm it's not going to. So, "whew."

It's a swamp, PA, and swamps are beautiful, but the photo's misleading. Get close up to it and as you know, the man-made debris becomes visible.

ben wideman said...

Incredible photo, Petrea! Thanks so much for the nod.

Chuck Pefley said...

I remember driving through SoCal in 2003 during a typical February storm. Tough going at time! Glad the recent deluge has passed. Beautiful scene today!!

Petrea said...

We get our puddle shots so rarely, Ben. Gotta take 'em when we can. You're welcome.

Vanda said...

We need the rain. I keep telling myself that. I went hiking in Griffith Park yesterday - for the first time all week. There were lots of people around - popping up like mushrooms after the rain.

Katie said...

Stunning photo, just stunning. I know CA needs the rain, but I'm glad to hear that these storms haven't washed you out. And nice of mother nature to stop crying for a moment to let you get out and enjoy the fabulous views at the Watershed, so you could take this photo!

TheChieftess said...

Fabulous photo P!!! It literally took my breath away...I would never have thought that there was a body of water in this area that would reflect our beautiful mountains!!!

Not only is the occasional deluge normal for California...so are the droughts...after all, we actually live in a bit of a desert...and you're so right...the one thing out of the ordinary that has raised so many concerns is the worse than normal Station Fire....I think kudos are in order for the city departments responsible for preparing our mud endangered neighborhoods so well that there was minimal damage compared to what could've been!!!

wv: uningess...I just like this one and think it should really be a real word!!!!

Kris said...

I'd like to give nature a kiss sometimes.

Greg Sweet said...
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HearkenCreative said...

Hey, this is a few days early! I have been thinking how beautiful your "end of the month photo" would be for a few days already, and you popped it on us early.

Wow. Stunning. I've been walking around my house for the last day, trying to figure out ways I could have caught all of that water from the last week and kept it to use later (storage tanks, groundwater-replacing pond, etc.). It wasn't really that big of a storm, but you are right, Petrea: we have gotten used to the drought. What we need to do is start treating water like the endangered species that it is here in Southern California, and find ways to use it as wisely as possible.

Greg Sweet said...
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Greg Sweet said...

I think this is interesting... I (and don't ask me why) flipped the photo: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4071/4301551823_b78904bb1d_o.jpg

Bellis said...

Interesting photo, Greg, though it looks a bit less friendly than when it's right way up. You captured the reflections beautifully, Petrea, and managed to avoid the bright orange line of trash-trapping floats. The water was very high on Thursday evening and a DWP truck was driving up and down the perimeter by Johnson's Field etc. checking it wasn't going to cover the trail. The dam workers told me they get phone calls from the control center in LA telling them when to open the dam and when to keep it closed, so that the LA river can handle the discharge. Did you see PA's 19th January visit into the control tower on the dam? I was so envious!
http://pasadenaadjacent.com/

Petrea said...

Vanda, does it show how we take being outside for granted? Or what weather wimps we are? I had to keep reminding myself: You're from northern Illinois, Petrea. It's only water.

Looks like we've got more coming Tuesday, Katie, but just for the day.

Chieftess, this body of water is only here after the winter rains. It won't be there long, so get on over to the dam and check it out while you can.

I get you, Kris. For all the kisses I get from nature I sure do want to give something back.

Thanks, Loren. This is actually a different vantage point, from right up by the dam. Johnson field is still dry (relatively speaking). You shall have your shot on the 30th. I wondered, too, what we could do to store some of the water. Rain barrels? Underground tanks? Future wars will be fought over water, you can bet on it.

That looks cool, Greg! How does that work, is it on a site somewhere or only at that link?

Here's the direct link to PA's post. I did see it, Bellis, and she and I were both bummed out to discover that they were giving tours a day or two later. I got shots of people going in to the tower. I'm going to link to her in a post later this week (can't tomorrow, Zen Monday.) She has a shot of the orange things you refer to.

I got so many shots at Hahamongna I hope you don't all get sick of it. But it's transformed, and it's such a delight to see water again.

AmyR said...

Kudos to them indeed.

Look at the reflection of that big blue sky. Beautiful photo.

Petrea said...

Thanks, Amy.

Louis la Vache said...

What a nice capture of the reflection in the water!

Petrea said...

Merci, Louis!

Dirk said...

I'm late but must agree: that photo is astonishingly beautiful. You have such a way with light.

What Pasadena Adjacent said is so true. Southern California can get a bit grimy after a long hot summer. The winter rains are what renew it. People there should love the rain, not grumble about it.

Petrea said...

I agree, Dirk. First we complain about the drought then we complain about the rain. Boz is a major grumbler and he needs to get over it. Thanks for the compliment on the photo.

writerphotodeb said...

beauteous, as are you! I still remember that rain a few years ago when Devil's Gate was a torrent. People were piled on the bridge watching it in the rain. Crazy and spectacular. There was water in the basin for weeks.

Petrea said...

I heard about that one, Deb. Spring of 2005. We moved here that fall, so we missed it, but people still talk about the water coming almost all the way up the dam. I wonder if they were exaggerating.

vivapinay said...

What an amazing picture! Its looks remarkable! Like a post card!

Petrea said...

Thank you, Vivapinay! We were lucky to have that view for a short time.