Friday, July 5, 2013

Rain, rain everywhere; gardens and taking nature for granted

     A drop of water has over  about 5 "sextillion" atoms (a billion is 10 to the 12th power and a sextillion is one to the 21st power). This is what rain is made of and we've had quite a bit of it lately.
     Water is that most unusual element (more technically a compound with its hydrogen and oxygen molecules), with its loose, flowing molecules, refreshing when cool and life depriving when a solid (slow atom moving) block of ice. As part of big groupings we call rain, it can both provide life AND be life threatening if there is too much of it around us at one time. 
     Our current errant weather patterns convey a certain temperamental, whimsical sense to our clouds, lakes and rivers. Should I rain today, flood an area --- or not? This whimsy is frustrating to us humans, who  have not yet figured out how to control this part of nature. We (over)fish the seas, engage in wolf management, preside over the introduction of highways which may or may not compromise the lives of bears, cougars, coyotes, raccoons, think we can handle the Great Lakes. But the bigger question really is how do we peacefully co-exist with nature, a nature more and more out of our control?
     There was so much rain the other night that the TV said a mountain road was being closed due to mud slides. But we are not (normally) in monsoon territory! It is unusual  to have rain on and off all day the beginning of July, so much so that there have been flash flood warnings and they close the public park on 4th of July day!
     The garden plants reach out their fragrant (at least in the case of tomatoes) leaves out toward the sun and then, rain. I read a special native bee is needed to "vibrate" the pollen off the tomato flowers in order to get at the pollen. Bees, sun, rain are all essential for summer garden planting and harvesting, and we probably take them all for granted. But all this rain --- the soil, the plant roots can only soak up just so much water, although I'm not sure a tree can drown. Well, if the tomato plants do get blight/root rot  then I guess this rain will all be too much, even for my well draining square foot garden.
     I am hoping the rain will take a break, the sun will come out and nothing will blight. It's too bad we couldn't just manually push the clouds over Colorado and Arizona, where there have been wildfires lately and nature seems determined to scorch the earth. Such imbalance we see in nature now, and we can't say we are totally innocent in this regard. Is the answer to all this exaggerated rain and drought less CO2 in the air, less warming of the earth overall?

No comments:

Post a Comment