The Drought: Interview with Michael Presley             Some years ago I met Michael Presley at a native plant conference held at the Summerfield Waldorf School in Santa Rosa, CA. Michael presented on how to use native medicinals in landscaping, but the talk was ever so much more. It quickly became apparent that this was a… Read more »

Drought Interviews: Charlie Toledo, Part One: Watersheds in Napa County

Charlie Toledo, Executive Director Even though many of us in Northern California will be receiving more rain this week, California continues to be in dire straights water wise. We must change our ways! We have built large cities in deserts, cities dependent on rivers that are dying largely due to our mismanagement and lack of… Read more »

Nature’s First Green, Afforded by the Recent Rain

Nature’s First Green, Afforded by the Recent Rain The world has become gold green in Napa; the sunrise, magical; the grass so green it hurts your eyes. The drought persists, however. We are not seduced by the greening. This week we will post a series of interviews with Suscol Intertribal Counsel’s Charlie Toledo, who has… Read more »

What a Difference 48 Hours… and 7.5 Inches of Rain Makes!

It’s been waiting all winter for this!     Last week this time we could not have imagined that we would receive eight inches in eight days… and 7.5 inches in the last 48 hours, and still going, bringing us to 82% of our normal for this time of year in Napa. Our small irrigation… Read more »

Rainy Day Meditation on Drought

Patient meditation as lower pond fills.     Two frogs woke me in the night, croaking back and forth right under our bedroom window. Yes, I welcomed them! I haven’t heard them in weeks! It is raining at last! Almost 3 inches these 24 hours and it’s still pouring, periods of heavy rain predicted throughout… Read more »

Finish Pruning and Rain

Pruned vines and the reminder.     Ramon has finished pruning this morning. He always races himself, and this year is his fastest ever, helped by the lack of rain, for sure!  Over the weekend we got half an inch of rain, which will make it easier for the next stage: tying the pruned canes…. Read more »

Drought as Consultant

Drain line into lower pond—waiting. Drought as Consultant We have had no measurable rainfall since December 7, and only 2.3 inches in so far this season. It is easy to feel anxious. Our ponds are effectively empty (the heron still fishes for Ramon’s fish in the larger pond, but he can stand at any place… Read more »


Pond bottom.       It has not rained for some time, so far only 25% of average for this time of year. Farmer’s Almanac said it would be a cooler, wetter winter. They got the cooler part right! This year in northern California is the driest ever on record. Our small reservoir is bone… Read more »

Waning 2013 and Dark Nights

Waning slip of moon, December 29, 2013.     The old slip of moon rose this morning, the Valley Oaks backlit by the beginnings of Dawn. It is the end of 2013, the darkest time of the year. I admit: I love the dark, a time that it is easier to live inward. The plants… Read more »

No Rain

Watering new plantings.     We remind ourselves that many years about this time we have a dry spell and worry: is this drought? global warming? or is it the normal ebb and flow of rainfall, year in and year out? We water new helichrysum plantings this week with overhead sprinklers to help consolidate the… Read more »