I walked about the yard for a while, to the delight of the black feral cat who ran hither and yon, grabbing bits of dislodged plant life to toss and chase. A woodpecker drummed at a nearby oak for a while, then flew off to find its nocturnal perch as the sky darkened and the first stars appeared. It's so nice to have the sky back after so many overcast days and nights.
El Nino has been kind. Satellite views of California show the Sierra and even some of the mountains int he coast ranges to be capped with much snow, and the rest of the state, apart from the fringing deserts, is green. The nearby reservoir at Oroville has reached its usually capacity for this date, and should the storms continue to arrive will probably reach its full capacity this spring.
However, such a strong El Nino condition in the past would by this date have gotten us much more snow and water than it has brought this year. This year it has brought us what used to be a normal wet year. Unless El Nino conditions become much more common, which is very unlikely, it is probably going to turn out that the drought will come back next year, and remain until the next strong El Nino. And the green of the satellite photos could be lost again. The drought-stressed trees are susceptible to infestation by bark beetles, which kill the trees, and the last three years of drought have already decimated many miles of forests. If the drought returns next year the decimation will continue, and probably accelerate.
But why in the hell spoil it? We've gotten one good year, and if it turns out to have been a fluke in the new climate regime, well, we'll just have to learn to adjust. Drink, bathe, and be merry, California, for tomorrow we retrench!