God, lawn and me


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Sitting on the kitchen table is a rebate form from the local water company that I can’t bring myself to sign. Admittedly, a tidy slug of cash would be welcome for having replaced a toilet with an aquarium-sized tank with a low-flow version, and for having smothered and replaced a water-hungry backyard lawn with a mix of food and native plants that require a fraction of the water and provide many times the benefits. But even touching the rebate form feels corrupt. What kind of person expects to be paid for an act that is the opposite of sacrifice?

The Dry Garden: “a strong La Niña”

The blue purple band in the center is a building La Niña in the equatorial Pacific. Source: Jason satellite/JPL. Click on the image to be taken to JPL's El Niño/La Niña compendium of Jason images.

Autumn and early winter are traditionally considered planting season in Southern California because nature can be expected to cooperate. As days shorten and rains come, seeds germinate, newly transplanted saplings deepen their roots and established plants awaken from dormancy.

Yet not all years are created equal, and this coming planting season has all the hallmarks of a tricky one.

National Weather Service predictions for a La Niña cycle are becoming less tentative and more ominous. That means ocean temperature trends in the equatorial Pacific have shifted to the opposite of last winter —  a way that augurs drought.

How dry our rainy season might be is unknowable; this brooding La Niña might even produce a

Drought? What drought? So Cal by watering ordinance

The drought affects all of us, but the reactions to it by cities throughout Southern California could not be more different. A linked guide of how different cities and water districts from San Diego to Ventura are tackling it might exist somewhere else, but now it exists here. So far, kudos to Long Beach for having its head furthest out of the sand. For additions, please blog or e-mail me at emily.green [at] mac.com.…

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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