Mornings as beautiful as this one have me singing that old song from the musical Oklahoma. Instead of a 'bright golden haze on the meadow,' I have a bright green haze in the vegetable beds. Not as poetic. But definitely exciting. After weeks of rain (and more on the way), a sunny day feels like a blessing. The established seedlings are spreading out and sunbathing, and the germinating seeds just seem to pop out of the ground. Carrots! Lettuce! Peas! all making a break for it in this brief sunlit window of time.
Tom measured the temperature in the greenhouse Sunday - it was 88. On clear nights it's still in the low 40's here, but drunk on sun and 65 degree days, I've removed all the row covers, figuring spring is on the way. Tomorrow the rain returns (and stays for at least a week), which means the nighttime temps will warm up, so everything should be safe. I'm going to transplant more brassicas and sweet peas today, if I get a moment. Homework for my classes is taking far more time than I expected, and I absolutely MUST get a walk in today while it's nice.
There's a dark shadow over everything, however, as we are thinking about the folks in Oroville, Marysville, and Yuba City (150-ish miles north of here) who had to be evacuated Sunday night due to a possible dam breach. Oroville is the highest dam in the United States, contains the second largest volume of water in California, and provides much of the drinking water for central and southern parts of the state. It was built almost fifty years ago and has never overflowed, but it did this past weekend when the emergency spillway was activated. The erosion in the main spillway and now in the emergency spillway is vast; crews are working hard to shore it all up before the next wave of rain comes in. This dam also collects meltwater from the Sierra, so there are months of worries ahead.
We notice the effects of too much water everywhere here. The roads are eroding, there are sinkholes in many well-traveled places, mudslides blocking major freeways, frequent flooding over commuter routes. Kate and I traveled to Sacramento this weekend for a theater competition (perhaps another reason that show tunes are in my head), and the entire farming community around Sacramento is under water. Fields are lakes. Trees are half-submerged; homes are flooded. The Sacramento river is at the limit. Flocks of migrating birds are everywhere: The sky is filled with clouds of ducks and geese, while the rivers and field/lakes are full of herons and egrets. It was something to see and made my driving very distracted.
So we all appreciate these dry days very much and try to get outside and turn our faces to the sun, desperate for vitamin D.
I may not make it to March before starting tomato and pepper seeds, I just can hardly stand to wait. Meanwhile I'm making do with watching my celery seeds sprout. (Not entirely satisfying.) What seeds are you starting indoors in your climate these days?