Jul 27, 2006

Pennies From Heaven

This lovely little flower is an oleander bloom. Oleander is native to the Mediterranean region, extending eastward across southern Asia to China. Oleander is a drought tolerant plant that is commonly used around here in landscaping, it is especially useful for making hedges because it is a dense plant with multiple stalks. The plant is poisonous if ingested which makes it unsuitable for families with small children. To some it is an attractive and practical ornamental. To others it is a noxious weed. It is so hardy that it is difficult to kill, even if you are trying. My father battled two 10-foot tall oleanders for several years when I was a teenager. He hated them and originally tried to dig them up, quickly realizing that it was going to prove impossible for a guy armed only with a shovel. Technically, he was armed with a kid (me), with a shovel. His part involved shouting, "dig here", while flailing at the plants. He finally hit on the idea of just cutting them down. Periodically he would take a saw and cut them off at ground level, only to see them back to height within the year. Withholding water was also futile. We eventually moved away and I swear we heard mysterious hoots and jeers coming from the lawn as we drove off. We awoke to unusual weather today. It was socked in and raining. The rain lasted most of the day and it was not our usual rain for this time of year. Our summer storms tend to be sudden and violent downpours in late afternoon. This was a steady day-long drizzle, more like winter weather, except of course it was warm out. Even so, it was a welcome break from 100 degree days. The rainfall varied from a couple of inches of precipitation near the mountains to a quarter of an inch at the National Weather Service's official gauge. Most areas of our fair city get much more rain than is offically measured by the NWS. Most of the city is closer to the mountains than the NWS gauge, which I believe is kept indoors at the airport to protect it from the elements. Hence, we get only 12 inches of rainfall offically. And I think we all know what wet weather means. That's right, it means the smokers at my building crowding together at the back door like a herd of frightened sheep with cell phones, yamming and stinking up the joint, while trying to stay dry. Evidently they fear getting wet more than fear getting cancer. It makes a guy wish he had a fire hose handy so he could test the negative effects of secondhand water on morons. Whoops, mean Merle is out of his hiding place. "Get back in your hole, you devil!" Bad Merle: "Make me!" Good Merle: "I control you buddy." BM: "Do not" GM: "Do too" BM: "Moron" GM: "Be civil" BM "Double moron" ....anyway, This is a photo of the mountains north of our fair city shrouded in the clouds. The highest of these peaks is about 8700 feet above sea level, or 6000 feet higher than the city. This is nearly same shot without the rain and without the zoom. Best wishes, Merle (the good one). BM: "Are not" GM: "Don't start" BM: "Shut up Sissyman" GM: "Don't call names. How would you like it if I called you a monster?" BM: "I'm not a monster, I am a maniac!" GM: "See what I dealing with here?" Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong and sometimes just full of it. Tag:

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