Last night I heard something outside, and I got excited about rain because we are so very dry right now. What was falling was a combo of snow and sleet, probably 20% and 80% respectively. The ground was actually covered, but the temp was 42°, so I knew it wouldn't last.
That temperature fell rather quickly in the following hour, but the ground was too warm. I was actually surprised that it lasted at all till this morning so I could take the pictures.
So we got a little moisture, a very good thing. However, the wind is going to be high today (they are predicting gusts up to 60 mph!!) and tomorrow, so its good effects to the soil is canceled. Last year was an amazingly wet year for us, but not this one. We are right back in the drought, big time. The winds have been far greater than usual since fall, and it doesn't show signs of easing soon. We've had two fairly small range/forest fires near here (20 miles or less) in the past few days, and they were driven to spread by the winds. One of the fires was a cholla fire on the high desert, actually a good thing as it clears old, dead debris. However, the winds made it go much farther than was safe. Fortunately, this fire was kept away from homes, etc., so was relatively harmless. The other was in the mountains, causing some evacuations, and again, not causing home damage, threats to lives, etc.
You know how you see those signs when you drive through national forests, often with an image of Smokey Bear, that say, "Fire Risk Today Is: (low, moderate, high, etc.)"? Well, ours have said "Very High" for weeks now, and we are under advisories for "High Wind Warning" and "Red Flag Warning" (fire threat) per the national weather service daily. This stinks. But I knew coming here that these were issues that would be part of my life. I just didn't expect the extremes of the past two years.
Day before yesterday I did something really good for me. No, not the self-indulging kind of good thing, :( but very nice for me, none the less. When it gets windy my metal roof snaps and pops, and not like Rice Crispies! It is L.O.U.D!!! Well, a few days ago I was out with the dogs on a breezy day, and I heard a *pop*, not as loud as when you're inside, but quite noticeable. I looked up and realized that a tree near the house had several limbs hanging over the roof or rubbing the side of the house. Well, DUH!!! Those were "slapping" the house in high winds!!
So while the winds were low, I got out the extension ladder, propped it against the house, later against the tree, climbed up, twisted and turned, reached and pulled, until I got rid of any branches that threatened to hit the house again. I've since found that I missed at least one that *pings* the house, but not *pops* it. So I'm going to have to return to the ladder one day soon, but for now, we aren't hearing those sounds that make you duck before you think about it.
The end result of that is that late yesterday and again today, I am feeling the aches of my activities. It's one of the dues we pay for being allowed to live into older years. My body doesn't work like that on the ground, the twisting and reaching; then when it is confined to the pose on the little rungs of the ladder, it is even more taxing to aging muscles. And before any of you lecture me .... I was very, very careful. I didn't push safety too far. See? I knew you were gonna say that! No, I was cautious, took time, etc., but my body simply takes less stress before it begins to holler at me these days. I'm learning to take things more slowly, to work in smaller blocks of time, and I don't hesitate to ask for help. In fact, I may need a person taller than my 5'7" to reach the remaining naughty branches.
So ... I gotta get busy now. I need to straighten the house and do some work on my photography today. Oh, yeah, and .... shudder .... pay bills. Busy day ahead, and time's flying past! have a good day, all!!
Life is beautiful!!!