Monday, October 30, 2017

Water in Perry Creek Long Past Usual

The last time I wrote (And once again, way too long ago.) we were in the middle of the wettest year our property has seen in the 20 years we've owned it. The 1997-1998 El Nino year we got right at 68" of rain. That is almost twice the normal 35". This year we finished with right at 80" of rain. That's good for several reasons.

Our mountain fissures and aquifers have replenished from the drought. The creeks and rivers were well above their usual flow. That helped make for some outstanding photo opportunities. Here's one place we've never seen like this before.

This is on Ostrum Rd. between Shenandoah Valley Rd. (at Sobon Vineyards) and Fiddletown. Usually in the winter this might have a babbling brook look, not this river. It wasn't here for long, but what a pretty sight while it lasted.

The water table is once again normal and the forecast is for a normal rain this season. Living in the Fair Play Appellation (AVA) we know the grape growers and wineries are quite satisfied with the water and overall weather the past few months. The harvest for some wineries is still going on with great yield and the quality seems excellent. That's one thing we have to wait on for almost a year for white wines and years for the robust reds.

At the bottom of the hill from the B&B is Perry Creek: what a show it put on for months and months. The sound was incredible, the roar of water 24 hours a day for months on end. We've never heard it like that. Here's some photos that give just a little hint of what it was like in Perry Creek.

Perry Creek divides our property almost in half. The right side of this photo is "the other side", where we haven't been for many years. The Miner's Dam creates this pretty waterfall.

This crevasse is about 20' deep and 3' wide with it running the width of our property.

You can get to these granite outcroppings from a couple ways once you get to the creek area. No matter which way you go, its pretty and an enjoyable little hike.

....'Til Next Time.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Water, Water Everywhere

When last I wrote (which has been too long, by the way) we were in a drought.  At that time, we had received about 30 inches  of rain on our property.  Our average is 35 inches, so that really wasn't too bad.  We weren't having any issues with our well and our vegetation was fine.

What a difference a year makes.   We have now received slightly over 71 inches of  rain on our property since the season began (7/1/16).  Before we built Lucinda's we put a lot of thought and effort into ways to control and direct the water on our property.  We have French drains, and culverts on each side of  the property that direct the water to Perry Creek.  Although the weather is warmer and the frequency of rain has decreased (it's not raining every day), the season is not over yet.  We normally get a fair amount of rain during April and into May.  A favorite saying in the Foothills is, "It is not Spring until it snows on the Dogwood blossoms."  In fact, it is not unusual for it to rain ( or even snow) during one of the El Dorado Winery Association's Passport Weekends.  Or, it could be sunny and warm.  This year, Passport weekends are April 22 and 23 and 29 and 30.

While we are all very happy that our creeks and rivers are swollen, and our wells have been replenished, the wet weather has brought some problems.  Most of the roads in El Dorado County have been impacted.  The least damage is a few potholes.  More seriously, there have been several sinkholes and culvert failures.  Mt. Aukum Road (E16) between Bucks Bar and Pleasant Valley is closed because of a culvert failure and resulting sinkhole.  The County has received a bid to repair the road and  hopefully it will be open in the next month or so.  Once that is fixed, there is another culvert failure on Bucks Bar, which may cause some delays when being repaired. 

This is taken from the dining room window.  In the lower right, just off the edge of the picture, is the opening to the culvert on the east side of the property.

Our trees and bushes are starting to bloom and we are looking forward to a good wildflower year.  The grass is growing and the trees are starting to get their leaves.  As I write this, Jose, our yard guy, is trimming the dead wood, cleaning up downed branches (future firewood), and looking for poison oak.

If you plan to visit the Foothills this Spring and Summer, particularly Fair Play, I think you will find our area particularly beautiful as a result of our rainy winer and spring.  Enjoy the drive to  our little village and enjoy your stay.

Hope to see you soon.