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Hard Rains 09/11/2015

Posted by zoidion in Climate, Event, Long Emergency, permaculture, Photography, Weather.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Twin Cities ephemera: It was yet another gloriously sunny, mild day–well-suited to starting the process of finding my roots again. After just a few hours sleep, some mysterious internal switch flicked on with a message: time to get outside in the first light, while the sliver of waning Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter (lowest to highest) could afford a celestial greeting.

And so I got to work, hauling, two at a time, about fifteen tall brown-paper bags stuffed with dry leaves  from a few doors down the alley. No sense in letting them disappear when I can use them for compost and winter insulation on garden beds.

There was no hurry in the cool but far from frosty air. It was good, helpful even, to look around at the silhouettes of trees, their forms bared by the winds and shorter days of my week away. It was necessary to let thoughts, recollections, images from my sojourn float through consciousness.

Some were of natural wonder from the gardens of the Smithsonian:


Others were of the nutritional wisdom contained in the three sisters (maize, beans and squash) growing outside the National Museum of the American Indian:


Some were of the ongoing overlording presence of national governments over the affairs of indigenous affairs, represented in the Capitol dome shrouded in scaffolding:


Some were of the marvels of aquatic gardens, viewed from dry land:



But it was difficult to shake off remembrance of more disturbing images, mostly from the Newseum. The section of the Berlin Wall and the reconstructed watchtower topped with searchlight: all white, for contrast with any would-be escapee from the East, the easier for gunning down. The rooms on the U.S. civil rights struggle, its vicious side and, yes, its decency and courage. The 9/11 area, with its twisted section of broadcast antenna from one of the World Trade Towers, and the wrecked cameras of the photographer who ran toward trouble that terrible morning. In another area, the tall wall nearly covered with photographs of journalists whose dedication has cost them their lives. The room with walls covered with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, nearly all of them of tragedies: of accidents, firefights, executions.

Where’s the good news? And where are any latter-day stories about the compromises, the coverups, the failures of fat-cat corporate news? Not at the Newseum. It’s all yesterdays’ sorrows and sacrifices. There wasn’t the slightest hint of anything as truly ugly as the story within the documentary “Truth.”

The motto there is: There’s more to every story. 

Indeed there is.

More and more, in this new age of climate chaos, there’s literal meaning in Bob Dylan’s timeless phrase: “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall.” And more and more, displaced people are on the move: from submerging islands, from Bangladesh, soon from Florida (if not already).

On top of drought and war effects in the Middle East, strange rains are hitting as well.

Two tropical cyclones within a week — unprecedented — affected Yemen and islands offshore. And rare heavy rainstorms inundated parts of Iraq, where water supplies, sanitation and availability of electricity have been undermined by decades of war and economic sanctions. And where millennia of deforestation have fundamentally altered the landscape and its ability to absorb, contain and ultimately use rare excess moisture.

(These are prime candidates for permaculture practices, at small scale, in some pockets apart from the surges of war and streams of refugees. See “The Greening of the Desert.”)

(Both these weather stories popped up on Rice Farmer’s blog.)

These are freak events, but certainly some freakish events could be anticipated by any reasonably competent astro-meteorologist noting the relevant seasonal and lunation charts for the region of the Arabian peninsula.

The potential — the likelihood at some point — is rather obvious: The water sign Pisces on the crucial lower meridian, along with Neptune therein: oceanic Neptune associated especially with flooding.


The core indication simply needed a cosmic trigger: October’s Full Moon. That was the period when the Venus-Mars-Jupiter cluster (in opposition to Neptune) was tightest: within only three degrees of longitude. Crossing the upper meridian of the season chart. And upon the horizon at Full Moon.



“Iraq was hit by multiple days of heavy rain that, when combined with the country’s aging infrastructure, caused major flooding in Baghdad and other areas, resulting in deaths and health problems. In areas of Baghdad where infrastructure is decrepit, streets and houses were flooded with rainwater and sewage. Some areas are still flooded despite days of clear weather following the rains.” – International Business Times

Alas, the ecological and social fabrics were already shredded. And once either or both are allowed to fray, collapse is what follows. Increasingly under weather events. (Watch what happens with South Carolina.)

Hard rains indeed.




1. Mary Louise Turner - 18/11/2015

As usual, I enjoyed your writings, pictures, updates and insights. How long are these hard rains expected? I got the sense that it’s not over. Your photos contain the elements of fire, water and earth – no air. The1st and 2nd photo are fire. That flower is the vibrant color of fire. The 2nd photo are foods considered fire in Ayurvedic medicine. I can give you a quick explanation next time we talk, if you need one. Not many people understand Ayurvedic medicine, but the explanation would take up a lot of space. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are earth – the 2nd picture in 2 elements. The last 2 photos are obviously water. I also agree with you that it was too bad that the News museum didn’t have follow up or good news. I hadn’t seen this museum before. Hope it wasn’t too depressing. The Holocaust Museum about did me in. Too bleak for my sensitivities though was probably necessary. Thanks for the world heavy rains happening updates. Never hear about them on our news. 🙂

2. zoidion - 19/11/2015

Yes, plenty more hard rains, including this week through the central belt of the US. Now, with eleven days left in November here in Mpls, this is already one of the top ten wettest Novembers. FYI — I pick up on a lot of world weather developments from Paul Douglas’ blog (included under “Blogs I Follow”).
My knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine is quite sketchy — I’d appreciate instruction in the basics.

zoidion - 19/11/2015

Also, the latest post at http://cocorahs.blogspot.com (also under “Blogs I Follow”) is titled “The Weather This Week — All Sorts of Crazy.”

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