Monday, February 25, 2013

White + Wet

Finally! With 2+ straight months of upper low pressure / PDO-driven cold plunges in the Intermountain West, it's been cold but dry down here; only a dusting of snow around New Years' and rain in late January. Until Thursday, I've only recorded .54" of precipitation since Halloween; I know this is Abq's dry season, but not this dry.

I gave up hope after a *6" rain the afternoon before. (*6" rain in Abq = rain drops on paving 6" apart)

The moisture + all this cold air overnight = 3" of wet snow / .31" melted. Photos from 2/21/2013 -
Purple Prickly Pear / Opuntia macrocentra

Closer in - another common name cactus snobs call this one is Black-Spined Prickly Pear, for obvious reasons against the snow.

My several Opuntia macrocentra plants were started from cuttings taken from the roadside just north of the freeway, as well as along a gravel road outside Colonias NM, outside Santa Rosa NM about 100 miles E of me.

Dry snow is worthless in town; this was wet and quite worthwhile. Nice to
see my water harvesting swale, that takes driveway runoff, with water in it.

Texas Sotol / Dasylirion texanum among some planted and volunteer Green Brittlebush / Encelia virginensis

Ahhh! It melted in hours, and the ground is now moist. It feels great to sink in a shovel into it, instead of into dusty granite.

Anyone else getting some short-term drought relief?




22 comments:

  1. Very pretty, nice to see a big of moisture there.

    We keep getting predictions but no rain. The next opportunity is at least a week away.

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    1. Pretty and every little bit helps, even if it is almost March! I have this feeling this will be another 2011...except not just in TX this time...

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  2. So beautiful...and so glad for the moisture...it totally transforms the landscape!

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    1. Yes! And for you, I need to scout out some grass pics with snow on them! (maybe 1 or 2 more snows)

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  3. Oh beauty! Snow on the cactus, love it!

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    1. We are both seeing some of that lately! May as well enjoy it, because we know what awaits...

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  4. Beautiful.
    Glad you got moisture...even if it was frozen, for a while.

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    1. Yes, and another .10" overnight adding to that! Hopefully the melted variety makes it there soon.

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  5. Snow's a wonderful thing. It melts slowly and doesn't run away. Nothing here. Just put the sprinkler on this morning. EVen that is not going to help the parched garden.

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    1. This wet kind is like nature's drip irrigation. I know - I've been soaking everything near the house, but it's only keeping things alive...and most of my plants are very xeric.....

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  6. Told ya it was coming. I kept watching all the satellite feeds all that morning here over So-Cal. Glad you got some moisture.

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    1. That was weeks ago, though! Though if it was a pineapple express, I've never seen one with mostly snow here - usually rain and milder. You're in So Cal for how long?

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    2. Funny, I thought it was just the end of last week. That's the storm i meant.

      2 months - leave April 2nd and come back here June 4th.

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    3. Now, I see the comment you commented on, though I'm still surprised that was subtropical given all the snow and cold - seemed that would moderate it? Aha - it sounded like you were already in So Cal - I was asking since I'm going out there to visit a friend soon.

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  7. Funny you said the 2011 thing...I am feeling the same way...EEK! I hope not though. I need to hand water I suppose....or maybe not. I am bad about watering. Everything is alive....for now anyways... I have been trying to wait on a good rain.Happy you got some wet. Cheers!

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    1. 2011 hit TX worse than NM; 2012 hit NM to Dallas N worse than all y'all. 2013 has the markings of hitting both NM and TX...hoping I'm wrong. Water - even uber-drought can take established plants, so keep them healthy!

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  8. I love pictures of snow and cactus together. So far, we have had a pretty good amount of winter rain and even a bit of snow, which was a nice surprise - but the groundskeepers for the spring training baseball stadiums were hard pressed to figure out to get rid of the snow from the fields.

    I'm looking forward to seeing my deciduous trees begin to leaf out in a couple of weeks though.

    Noelle

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    1. Same here - I guess it's an odd juxtaposition, or a pleasant change? That's wild about the groundskeepers, not to mention the fans from the midwest!

      Yes! Not much longer, even on the early plants for us. Though we have almost 2 months until desert willows, vitex, etc leaf out.

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  9. Awesome photos & glad to see you get some "white wet stuff."

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    1. Yes, 3" + another 1"+ overnight. I hope you got something, as every drop or dusting counts anymore!

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  10. I enjoyed seeing the snow from my,computer screen and not in person, it's much easier to appreciate that way!

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    1. Ha ha - I'm with you! Then again, our 3" wet snow is way easier to take than seeing 15-20" of dry, wind-whipped stuff in Amarillo today.

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