It’s Wednesday, a travel day. Today I fly back to Socal after a few days in KY. Got to spend time with my Dad, the kids/grandkids, and honored an old friend who died too young. Got to see Hudson on his first day of school (picture above).
And it’s raining today, a nice steady rain with a few claps of thunder. That’s one of the things I love most about KY – the water. It rains a lot, there are lakes and streams everywhere. It’s a plant paradise – everything grows here with abandon, fueled by the warmth and abundant rain. The groundwater is soft, filtered by limestone. Your skin feels great after a shower in soft KY water.
The water situation in Socal is exactly the opposite. It’s a desert; almost never rains. The groundwater is hard, full of salts and minerals. And other than a few native species, plants struggle to live on a miserly 5-6 inches of rain per year.
There are a lot of great things in Socal – sunny weather, mostly temperate along the coast, the Pacific coast itself and lots of inland rugged topography. And when watered, things grow well there too. But water is becoming the weakest link in Socal life. Not enough water for agriculture, not enough water for drinking in some areas, and lack of rain drives the relentless wildfires. Streams have dried up, and aquifers are disappearing. Man-made reservoirs drying up must faster than they can be replenished.
In a nutshell, KY is rich beyond belief with water, and Socal is bankrupt. That makes it strange going back and forth, from one extreme to another. I grew up with no understanding of dry climates; I childishly assumed everywhere was kind of like KY. But after traveling the world, I can recognize that KY is almost uniquely abundant with wildlife and water, four distinct seasons. There’s a reason that the native Americans (the Indians, from my original education) considered KY a sacred hunting ground, to be shared and not claimed.