Yes, we are in a drought. No this isn't the first one, and based on prior history, it won't be our last. More than the last three years we have been significantly well below the average rainfall for Orange County which is between 10-14 inches. Regardless of the rainfall we receive this year, or even next year, our situation is not going to change. We live in a semi-arid climate and really need to change our day to day living practices to reflect the conditions of our environment. We really wouldn't need to do much - read 'The next drought: Water officials endorse a 'less is more' strategy for the future', an LA Times article by Pete King, for some ideas of what you can do.
Have you ever wondered how much available water there is? And how do they measure it? Is it accurate? I have pondered all of these questions, and so have researchers at UC Irvine. If theses thoughts have crossed your mind as well, please read the following article shared by Don Dunkle, UCCE Master Gardener - Orange County.
How many of you remember those dog days of summer and the simple joy of playing in your inflatable or plastic wading pool? The water was always cold but so delightful. I can recall my sister and neighborhood friends all giggling with teeth chattering, such fun.
Not having a built-in pool as an adult, I have enjoyed a little larger wading pool to cool off in. It is especially fun watching my granddaughter jump in and giggle just as I did in my youth. Mind you, I use the expended water for my plants.
Doing our part to conserve water, we won't be pulling out the pool this year. Looking to find another way to stay cool while enjoying the outdoors we opted for water guns. Being conscious of the water use, we do our very best to shoot towards the plants that could use a little cooling off as well.
If you are looking to use a kiddie wading pool this summer, please check out this information from the CDC regarding the health and safety of use a kiddie wading pool. http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/inflatable-plastic-pools.html
Enjoy the following videos for helpful tips to save water and reduce run off.
Managing the rodent population on 200 acres of open ag fields is not easy task for Center staff, especially when surrounding areas have been developed, or are in the process of being developed. The question is always asked what is the best method? Well, one is to let mother nature take her course.
Holding the recently shed skin of a Gopher Snake, Pituophis catenifer, Chris explained that while it is similar in appearance and posturing to a rattlesnake, it is harmless. One significant difference to distinguish them apart is that the gopher snake will always lack the rattle. These snakes are very helpful since they are attracted to rodents which can destroy crops, landscape plantings, and can potentially spread disease.
Due to the drought, you may see more and more wildlife such as this in your nearby surroundings seeking food and water - especially in the morning and evenings during the summer. Please do not panic, they are a very important part of the ecosystem and will typically not hurt you if you give them space and let them be on their way.