Sunday, 28 September 2008
Little Eddie has a look that reflects my mood right now. The ground she's sitting on was a grass lawn last year and now it's dirt and roots. The tropical sun often kills off the grass in the summer months but not the roots, and the grass has always recovered by this time of year but not now; my garden has hardly any soil left at all, let alone grass.
Local climate change is to blame I think. This winter we had tremendous rainfall that broke several records. My area received something like 50-inches of rain in a wild four days last February. I can't tell for sure because my rain gauge was underwater and then fried by a lightning strike (yes, it was an electronic gauge, I won't make that mistake again). For the first time since I bought my house, the garden flooded. Even the great storm of 2000 didn't flood it (25-inches of rain in 24-hours here on that unforgettable day, one place got 37-inches which is really hard to imagine). This year's flooding was followed by an extreme drought which is continuing as I write this.
Several people I talk to that have lived in the islands all their lives say that they have not seen weather like this before. Droughts have happened before and I live a few miles from the wettest city in the USA, so meteorological extremes are not uncommon, but the one thing they all seem to agree on is that the Big Island rarely experienced thunderstorms yet now gets them all the time during the winter - and some of then are quite intense, just ask one or two of my unlucky house guests.
I can attest (somewhat) to the thunderstorm experience - they didn't happen until a few years ago and since then my house has been struck by lightning several times. I've even see a tree in my yard explode. What a sight that was!
The winter floods washed my soil away and replaced it with moss. The summer drought has killed the moss and everything else with it and left my yard with little soil and lots of exposed lava rock. I think I'll be busy next spring trying to fix this but at least will have a few months to read the odd gardening book before then.
Then again, why am I whining? The sunset was wonderful this evening and the sunrise will be even better, and whenever I get fed up with the garden all I have to do is look around and take in all the beautiful sights of the island.