“The drought is over…”

After taking this photograph of a Southland Sod truck on the Santa Monica freeway in Los Angeles, garden designer Catherine McLaughlin said, “I’ve been trying to get it for weeks without crashing my car. I see it everywhere.”

The California “drought” — if water shortages in a naturally dry place can decently be called that — was declared over on March 30th, 2011 after one exceptionally good water year in the Sierra. However, the part that the Southland Sod company didn’t put on this ad was the line from Governor Brown’s proclamation, “It is strongly encouraged that all Californians continue to minimize water usage and engage in water conservation efforts.”

McLaughlin works for the Topanga-based landscape firm Rodriguez & Satterthwaite, and posted this today on that sustainable design-build company’s blog. Hat tip to Kimberly O’Cain, water resources specialist for the City of Santa Monica, for circulating the

The Dry Garden: I should


In a crowded world, original observations are few. One of mine is that beets taste good with everything — provided that you like beets. Another is that the good people of Los Angeles might be struck dumb if denied the phrase “you should,” with a close second being, “you shouldn’t.” … Instead of recommending that you do as I do this week, it seemed marginally less bossy simply to impart a few of the things that I am currently telling myself to do. Click here to keep reading The Dry Garden in the Los Angeles Times.


‘Irene has a long reach’

August 26, 2011 image of 'Irene.' Click on the image to be taken to the National Weather Service.

Six years to the week of Hurricane Katrina, “Irene has a long reach,” reports NASA’s Earth Observatory. “The storm is large, spanning nearly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from east to west in this image (below). It could intensify slightly in the next day or two. The storm’s currently forecasted track takes it over the Outer Banks and along the U.S. East Coast before going ashore over New England.” Click here to be taken to NASA, here for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. UPDATE: Click here for the Washington Post’s live hurricane tracker.

To be fair

A friend of mine once summed up his bitching about an enemy by laughingly declaring, “I talked her down so bad that I made her look good.”

Today in Las Vegas City Life, investigative reporter and columnist George Knapp talks down Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Pat Mulroy so bad that he makes her look good. For years now, Knapp has been the most consistent, the most outspoken critic of Mulroy’s plans for a 300-mile-long pipeline into Nevada’s Great Basin. Usually his reporting is good. It’s always rollicking. It is has been widely reported, for instance, including by Knapp, that a new study on the cost of the pipeline suggests that the ultimate price far exceeds earlier projections, that instead of $3bn it might cost $7.3bn, or even $15bn including financing.

This would buy a lot of conservation or water trades.

But is it by extension a

‘Irene’ in 3-D

As Hurricane ‘Irene’ intensifies in the Caribbean, NASA offers this perspective revealing “an area of deep convection (shown in red) near the storm’s center where precipitation-sized particles are being carried aloft. These tall towers are associated with strong thunderstorms responsible for the area of intense rain near the center of Irene seen in the previous image. They can be a precursor to strengthening as they indicate areas within a storm where vast amounts of heat are being released. This heating, known as latent heating, is what is drives a storm’s circulation and intensification.” For more, click here here to be taken to NASA’s Earth Observatory.

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