Friday, May 9, 2014
Like A Lot Of Water Off A Duck's Back
It's known for Sunshine here. I'm sure that's because the climate is basically a semi desert for six months out of the year. The total irrationality of trying to keep the British Tradition of a perfectly maintained lawn is apparent here. In order to do that, you have to water the yard. About 30 minutes a day twice a week of sprinklers should do it in every single spot. The "4pm like clockwork thunderstorms" are not every day, and not every month out of the year.
Otherwise, the tourists would see white flowers in the sandy sparse soil, and we can't have that can we.
But when it rains here the best way I can describe it is as if someone stood over your head on a really tall ladder and dumped water from a bucket on your head.
Over and over and over.
At the same time someone has an old fashioned metal trash can that they are beating with a baseball bat. Some other person is flashing a spot light in your eyes in time to the baseball bat beat.
It gets entertaining.
After the storms, the bufo toads come out and bask in the sun. Don't touch them, they're poisonous. Make sure you use a flashlight at night for the next two evenings so you don't end up stepping on the, and even when the toads get run over by a car, they're still poisonous.
Followed by that are the Mosquitoes, then a day later the Dragonflies.
The Dragonflies are my favorite. Hovering on the breeze, they'll dive and dance in a ballet while chasing after those Mosquitoes that have already fed on your legs.
Don't worry, they'll all lay eggs before the next storm so the cycle can happen again.
While it rains, you can also see things wash up into your swales. The Swale is the first six feet of "your" property away from the street. I say "your" property because you don't really own it if you have one. The city does, and you are caring for it. They may reclaim ownership later to plant trees or lay sidewalks, all very good things for the property when they happen. It's more of an easement than pure ownership.
After all, walking in the street can be difficult when you have tourists driving around not understanding that you're in the street because there isn't a sidewalk, and you're avoiding the snails that are there anyway.
They crunch under your foot so wear shoes right after a rain.
But every so often you get a bigger storm. A real Gully Washer that will flush everything clean and collect in the swales. That's when the ducks show up. The last rain that came was due to a weather front that caused tornadoes up in the Deep South, Alabama, Georgia, that sort of area. We may be South of that but South Florida really is more like the Sixth Borough of New York City than anywhere else.
Besides, the weather patterns here are different, the winds come from the East so it takes a massive front to get this far down.
Normally. Sometimes they come from the West and that is when you make sure that Toto is indoors and Auntie Em will fret.
When the ducks arrive, you know you have a big storm going on. The homes are built up above the road bed and the swales, so you are dry. You can stand in front of the house and take some pictures. Do be careful though since the Ducks are shy but approachable and don't really like it when a Moose of a Man comes out the front door and disturbs their bath in your driveway.
Rain will stop, it's time for the dog walk. Swales that were almost a foot deep of water will drain within a half hour since it hasn't rained for a week and a half worth mentioning before that. The soil is nothing but beach sand under that grass. Beach sand holds nothing, and it's all a thin veneer of grass on top of it anyway.
It may have flooded, but you'll survive. Just wait a half hour or grab a bar of soap and go stand outside in the storm. May as well have a shower while you're at it. That's what the ducks did.