May 1, 2018

A remembrance and a prayer for Nastia today.  Coming home from church, MJ found her strangled in the fence.  Mike found workable soil in the former horse corral and buried Nastia there.  I will miss her, for all the times I cursed her for trapping her head in that fence.

Today is the traditional beginning of the dry season, with no rain expected until the fall. MJ recommended Cadillac Desert to me by Marc Reisner.  Published in 1986 the book is dated, but it tells the story of the effort to irrigate the United States west of the one hundredth meridian. The western half of the country is semi-arid desert, and would not support the agricultural and other development without water.  The book tells in part the obsession of the Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers for dams, reservoirs and irrigation projects that are economically unwarranted, environmentally unsound and in a few cases unsafe in engineering design.

Part of the story was the building of the California Aqueduct to move Delta water six hundred miles along the San Joaquin Valley.  As I breezed through the Delta this afternoon I saw an enormous above ground sprinkler system in a hay or alfalfa field just east of the Rio Vista bridge. Huge sprays of water making clouds in the sky.  MJ reminded me that farmers try to grow rice in the valley above Sacramento.

For all that, I had a beautiful whiff of new grown grass as a sign that full spring has come.

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