ARID — WHERE THERE’S NOT ENOUGH RAIN

This post  is about arid. It turns out, this is something about which I know a little bit.

Arid isn’t a place. It isn’t a special piece of ground. It isn’t always flat or sandy. Arid means just one thing:  the annual amount of rain the area gets is minimal. Everything else is tangential. An area can be arid yet support significant amounts of wildlife including trees and animals. The Sahara was not always a dry wasteland — it was made that way by human farmers a very long ago time.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Aruba, for example, doesn’t have any aquifer. No “running water.” But it does get rain and it has always been part of the Island’s culture to catch all the rain and save it against the days when the rain does not fall. Now, I think, they have desalinization and I have had it for a long time.

72-Valley-Vista-MAR-Phoenix-011216_027

I spent nearly five years at the University of Jerusalem’s Environmental Health Laboratory. One of the most important projects was trying to convince farmers in the northern part of Israel to not use chemical fertilizer. Almost all of Israel gets at least some rain (a few spots, like Eilat, do not), but it is an arid region. The amount of rain expected is typically less than the amount needed to wash away pesticides and fertilizers. To this end, our crew of experts in air, water, earth went out to convince (okay, beg) the farmers to please not use those fertilizers. We offered them alternatives. Insects that would kill the weevils and stuff they could add to the soil to make it more fertile.

They didn’t listen. Before the mid 1980s, the aquifer in Israel died.

72-MAR-Phoenix-Vintage-Perspective-01062015_049

A dead aquifer does not revive. Once gone, it stays gone. After that time, Israel went along using solely the water in the Sea of Galilee for drinking. As the population increased, water use got increasingly dodgy. Finally, many years after they should have been built, desalinization plants arrived and now there is water. It’s a small country, so sending water from one place to another isn’t so difficult. Not like it would be here, in this big half of a continent. Their pipes don’t have to run from the Great Lakes to the center of the hottest part of the south.

Not like the United States.

The first time we were in Arizona, I remember hearing people saying no one needed to worry about the lack of water because “they” would send water down from the Great Lakes.

72-Mountain-Bi-Tonal-MAR-Sunday-011016_008

How did that go? Anyone start those pipes yet? I was glad to see, when we were back last year that the state had done a lot to protect the land. The big cacti are protected and grow everywhere. Arizona is working hard to keep the water they have and use it effectively. A lot of the “fancy gardens” I remembered were gone. Home gardens grow sensible plants — mostly cactus. The air is better, too.

Someone listened and something good was done.

This year has been a good for water. Too good, with a lot of flooding. Still, there has been plenty of rain and the big lakes where water is held for drinking are full.

Until the next drought.

72-GAR-Mountainview-Sunset-OIL-01042016_075

The American southwest including California and Utah is arid. It isn’t arid because “nothing grows there.” Things will grow there if you give the land a little more water. But reality doesn’t change. You can’t keep sending in more and more people to an area with severely limited water resources. Arizona doesn’t even have an ocean from which to draw water via desalinization.

There is a limit to how many people the area can support and I’m pretty sure it has already been breached. This year, there is water. What about next year and the year after that?

ARID | THE DAILY POST

IF THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO SAY

This morning. I got up. Grabbed the door knob. It came off in my hand. It was just another one of those things.

300-door-knob-240217_003

After the election, I spent November in shock. Literally. Shock. Waiting for someone to tell me this couldn’t possibly be true. When December came, I tried to ignore it. If I didn’t believe it, it couldn’t be true, right? I failed. Although almost half the people in this country do not believe in facts, I am not one of them. My not believing simply didn’t work. For me. This year. There are a lot more years to come and you never know. I may discover that simple denial will do the job. Anything is possible, isn’t it?

In January, I thought I was going to explode. I have a heart with a replaced valve and other stuff. I was sure I was going to expire. I didn’t die, so I wrote more. Everyone wrote more. When February came. I continued to write stuff, until the other day, I woke up and realized my brain had died.

180-fishermen-ri-river-ma-240217_067

Completely.  Absolutely.  Dead. As a door nail, though why a door nail should be deader than, say a chair leg, I have no idea.

The weather turned delicious yesterday and we went out with cameras and took pictures. I came home, looked at Serendipity and realized I was very glad I take pictures. Until my brain wakes up, there are going to be a lot of pictures.

So here I am, telling everyone I don’t have anything to say. All I want is a lovely spring that doesn’t include several million caterpillars. Except I know about the caterpillars. They will be back and somehow, I will deal with them, though I am sure I don’t know how. But isn’t that what life is all about these days?

300-ri-river-ga-240217_032

We are living in a world that makes no sense. It’s full of things so horrible, I feel like I should cry while I laugh. So as if Scrotus isn’t bad enough, I’m going to have to deal with Scrotus and a zillion hideous, hairy caterpillars eating every last leaf on about a thousand oak trees.

Is there no justice in life?

EVERY WHICH WAY BY THE CANAL & RIVER

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – February 24, 2017


PICTURES BY  MARILYN & GARRY ARMSTRONG

It was a good day to take some path pictures. First time in a while that you could actually see the steps without the snow mostly blocking everything.

180-bridge-canal-ma-230217_024

180-steps-canal-ma-230217_043

These little steps lead up to the top of the passage. You can't see them well in the summer because of all the brush, but it was visible yesterday. The true sign of an old dam.

These little steps lead up to the top of the dam. They are no longer used. You can’t see them in the summer because of the brush, but it was visible yesterday. A true sign of an old dam.


AND FROM GARRY:

In case you aren't sure, follow the sign. There's a river there!

In case you aren’t sure, follow the sign. There’s a river there!

Everyone was out walking on such a nice day.

Everyone was out walking on such a nice day.

300-high-trail-canal-ga-230217_051

Cee's-which-way-1

YOU DON’T HAVE TO JOIN THEM

72-robert-mitchum-man-in-the-middle-1964-3

It was the end of the movie. A man was undergoing a court-martial. It was unjust and Robert Mitchum, as his defense attorney, was having a difficult time securing justice. Just post World War II, there were a lot of highly placed and well-connected Army brass who needed the accused to be found guilty. Why? Because a guilty verdict would stop any further investigation of what really happened and who was truly involved.

If the story sounds familiar, it is. When important people, movers and shakers — no matter whether they are government, military, or major corporate players, “the truth” is, as often as not, one of the casualties of whatever is going down. Truth, honesty, justice, fairness … mere collateral damage in an endless war in which we are all pawns and the power is in the hands of the rich, powerful, and well-connected.

man-in-the-middle-the-winston-affair-poster-1964Justice is not done in this case, though the outcome could be worse, depending on how you choose to look at it. It’s a British production and there is a sense of frustration and futility that even after fighting and dying, regular people are still taking the hit for those in power.


Thus, at the end of movie, when it is pointed out to Mitchum that they didn’t win, he agrees.

——

But then he says: “Just because you can’t lick’em, doesn’t mean you have to join’em, either.”

——

Maybe, in the final analysis, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes, we lose, but we don’t have to give up our sense of purpose, our honesty, or throw away the things in which we believe. We don’t have to join them.

My team, my beliefs, my principles took a major hit. But don’t think for a minute this means I’m about to passively join the mob of sycophants and “true believers.”

I do not have to join them.

Neither do you.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND CAMERAS WITH PEOPLE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Camera or Photographer


Photographs: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Using these cameras, we took a few pictures.


FROM GARRY:

Marilyn discovers she needs a new battery.

Marilyn discovers she needs a new battery.

And in goes the battery.

FROM MARILYN:


Today, we were out in the world taking pictures. Two young woman, one with a camera, are out taking pictures for whatever is about to come next in their world. I used a “neutralizing” format for the two “almost color” pictures.

180-abw-young-photogs-canal-ma-230217_029

180-bw-young-photogs-canal-ma-230217_031

180-abw-young-photogs-canal-ma-230217_030

180-bw-young-photogs-canal-ma-230217_042

Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge Badge

ONLY A PAPER MOON

We all have songs that remind us of periods and events in our lives. Twenty years from now, which song will remind me of 2017? Maybe this, because it is, after all, only a paper moon … out there, in the dark, blue sky.



It’s Only A Paper Moon

Say, it’s only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Yes, it’s only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It’s a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It’s a melody played in a penny arcade

It’s a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Say, it’s only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Yes, it’s only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It’s a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It’s a melody played in a penny arcade

It’s a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn’t be make-believe
If you believed in me

It’s phony it’s plain to see
How happy I would be
If you believed in me.

Songwriters
KAMMERMEIER, ARNO / HAYO, PETER / MERZIGER, WALTER

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., S.A. MUSIC, NEXT DECADE ENTERTAINMENT,INC.

SNOW – MORE AND LESS

Snow, and then … not so much snow … and finally … tee-shirts, but there’s snow here and there. Of course the tee-shirt weather won’t last, but it’s a wonderful nearly spring time. We got a lot of pictures. Everyone was out with a camera today.

300-bw-commons-2-snow-uxbridge-130217_033

The temperature is going up all the way to around 60 this week and maybe, if we are lucky, it’s the end of winter. So … a few more pictures.