We had an unexpected surprise this week…something we haven’t seen in a very long while: rain!
While the rainfall total is but a drop in our drought bucket, we are so grateful. It delivered a much-needed assist to the firefighters battling the massive King Fire in El Dorado County, about 70 miles from us. After two weeks and thousands displaced, the 97,000 acre fire is now 87% contained.
The garden soaked up every drop and enjoyed a few consecutive days of cloud cover.
In response, it spewed forth tiny frogs,
and a host of mushrooms…one of the gifts of our bark paths when the days are darker and there is finally moisture.
You’ll remember Moses from my Say Goodbye To Summer post? Well, your good wishes worked. He went home this weekend –
joining Carly Simon, Loki, Gordon (below right with his new sister, Sophie) –
Casey, Reacher and Ginger (pictured left with her new sugar-faced sisters).
Patsy Cline and Coki went to foster. Curious about the names? You try being original after rescuing nearly 8,000 dogs!
It was another good weekend for adoptions. Heard among our volunteers: “We have lots of open kennels.” Quickly followed by the arrival of seven (at last count) more.
Seven adoptions; two fosters…a drop in the bucket that keeps being refilled. But, like the rain, we – at Homeward Bound – are grateful for each and every one.
There is a saying that God made rainy days so gardeners could get housework done. To heck with that.
We had two storms move through this week. While they didn’t put a significant dent in our drought situation, the rain did bring welcome relief to our thirsty trees and gardens.
Paired with warm temperatures, the flowers, leaves – and weeds – are exploding.
So, a showery – sometimes rainy – day was not going to deter us from enjoying the early spring celebration, or getting a jump on weeding. Maria and I arrived early to find the daffodils, tulips and rosemary blooming, the willow tree leafing, and the lawn freshly mowed for the first time this year (thank you, Rob).
The rainy day also brought a welcome guest. Tigger went home a month ago as a foster. We do that when a dog is being medically treated to carry the cost of care for the family, and to ensure that all will be well before an adoption is finalized.
When Tigger went home, he was suffering from still uncontrolled diarrhea. For that transgression, he had been surrendered to a shelter where his fate would be clear. The team brought him to Homeward Bound.
While he improved with medications, he needed to be in a stable, home environment. After a month with his amazing new family, his health is back on track, and his weight is up by six pounds.
Clearly surrounded by love, he is a totally different – and completely doted upon – dog. His adoption was finalized.
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…”It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Rain. Glorious Rain.
A Pacific storm – an atmospheric “river” we refer to as the “pineapple express” – dumped a more than generous amount of rain in Northern California setting a record in Sacramento for most rainfall in a 24 hour period. It helped our nearby Folsom lake to rise nearly 3 feet in a single weekend, and the Sierras above us were topped with more than four feet of snow. While we are all soggy and practically swimming in it – we are rejoicing.
Homeward Bound might well be renamed “On Golden Pond.” Our banks have overflown…
And our parched Memorial Garden is a bit under water.
But what a glorious sight it is.
All the dogs got out despite the weather…
and Rocky, Lisa, Zoe and Eleanor managed to get adopted by devoted families that made their way to us despite the downpour.
The trees are practically bursting with joy.
“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” ~ John Updike
These Pacific storms – which have been absent all winter – typically deliver about a third of our annual rainfall. While this one only puts a dent in our deficit, it is a welcome gift and a hopeful sign of good things to come.
So many have shared a prayer and a rain dance for our golden state. Thank you.
“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.”
Saturday, the skies turned dark, thunder clapped, and we were treated to a brief downpour – unseasonable for us this time of year. The garden is loving it.
With the cooler temperatures and extra drink, everything burst forth in bloom.
The light was different and the colors more subdued – but beautiful bathed in warm grey.
Love the sound of these wind chimes in the rustling trees. My idea of church.
I’m really pleased with how these drifts have developed.
Inspired by something I saw in Fine Gardening magazine, and purchased as 3″ plants from Digging Dog Nursery, they have grown to full size in one season and now provide a bridge from Ina’s Cottage and California gardens to Maria’s Herb and St. Francis beds.
I was very pleased to meet this gentleman as well.
His name is Renji and he is a total charmer. Wish he were mine! I suspect he’ll be scooped up quickly.
I heard a story on the radio today. Jerry Saltz, an art critic for New York magazine was talking about Jackson Pollock, the painter. When he made his first famous drip painting, he supposedly turned to his wife and asked: Is this a painting?
That’s how I feel about these. ‘Are these photographs?’ Or simply disasters?
I dunno. Something made me save them from the ‘delete’ folder. Maybe someday, my disasters will be as sought after as Pollocks’ drips. A girl can dream.
The sun will be back tomorrow…and you know where you’ll find me.
Walking dogs between rain storms provided a chance to spend some time in Homeward Bound’s other eight acres – beyond the Memorial Garden. Here are a few vignettes from the pond which has overflowed its banks, and a very soggy landscape. This is what winter looks like in the Sacramento Valley. Good thing dogs can paddle!
“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” ~ Roger Miller
Day three of five, of pretty much non-stop showers, punctuated by downpours.
The garden is a pond at the moment, but at least the water is in the paths – the beds having been built up with soil and mulch.
Everything seems humbled and bowed in the garden;
no point in putting things right with the fiercest of the storms due tomorrow. We’ll just wait, watch and deal with it when it clears.
But the rain will not dampen our spirit at Homeward Bound.
The feeders, walkers, cleaners, groomers and more were still out in force – covered in muck. We walk in the rain; the dogs don’t seem to mind.
Even Santa put in an appearance! Annually, he takes time out of his busy schedule for holiday photos of the dogs with homes in support of dogs without…rain or shine.
Many thanks to our photographer Eric Schuman, who’s much-better photos will grace our holiday album.
A full, wet, windy day of juggling pups leaves even Santa tired!
This is what the moon looked like a couple of nights ago. (I’m not very good at moon photos, yet – but the sky is what I really want you to focus on. You’ll see why.)
It’s a good thing I dug the Dahlia’s up.
Because this is the result of the first two out of three storms we are experiencing. Our poor Homeward Bound Memorial Garden. Not to mention the soggy doggy runs.
They call it the “Pineapple Express,” or “atmospheric river” – a much more descriptive term, I think. Warm air and moisture move in from the Hawaiian Islands, and dump all over the Central Sacramento Valley and Sierras. What melts in the mountains travels downhill to us, compounding the wet mess.
I can hardly wait to see what the third, and strongest, has in store for us. Does anyone have an Ark?