Tuesday, 21 October 2008
la Gota Fria - the cold drop
It is expected every autumn. It may not always come, but it has done the last two years.
The threatening sky is awesome. Over the pale purple bignonia flowers particularly. It is their best time just at the end of the summer. After continual rain for a couple of days even the hose-pipe is embarrassed when the pummeling downpour pauses. It wants to retreat to its base on the wall out of sight.
Soon there will be more strips torn off the yucca. Enough to make a basket.
Then after several days of downpour, a wonderful sight, a rainbow. I carefully note where it reaches the ground and sharpen my spade ready to dig for the treasure.
But I had better wait until dark.
Is it dark enough yet?
What causes la Gota Fria? During the hot summer weather evaporation occurs and sea water is drawn up into the atmosphere. If a cold front moves in above it, the moisture is then trapped and falls as a constant heavy downpour for several days under lowering skies accompanied by thunder and lightning. Dramatic!
The orange flowers of a bignonia shrub end up on the drive where they are stuck, sodden. Then comes the respite when they dry out after some days of sun. Time to clean up!
Restored to the bright days, the bignonia continues to flourish. Next Spring's jasmine will flower just above it at the extreme right reaching out to the wall and window area - where the senior gecko appears! (See photo in previous blog)
The jasmine will flower in May next year. Its perfume is a pleasure we already look forward to.