Sorry for the absence. More on that soon. Right now, I have the unhappy task of informing you the McCloud River appears to have turned to mud (the following from PG&E):

Turbid water on the McCloud River is being caused by mud flows from Mud Creek. During dry years, the Konwakiton (Mud Creek) glacier on the south side of Mount Shasta is very exposed with the low snow accumulation and the excessive glacier melt begins carving through deep ash deposits on the mountain. This “river of mud” is a natural occurrence during low snow years and has occurred seven times in the past 100 years. The worst occurrences were in 1924, 1926 and 1930, all very dry years.

Mud Creek flows into the McCloud River upstream of PG&E’s McCloud Reservoir (see attached photo taken by PG&E this morning). As the muddy water is heavier, it flows to the bottom of the reservoir and is spilled out of the dam’s lower outlets. However, the reservoir is showing signs of increased turbidity near the surface.

When this happens, it tends to happen for weeks, if not months.

Thus, today’s post is a lesson in both physics and disappointment.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the mountains…

Unfortunately, in addition to a record drought, we’re suffering a near-record heat wave. All my nearby little streams?

Too low. And too hot. Hell, some of them aren’t even trickling.

Which means I’m done with all the nearby little stuff until Fall. (And yes, it causes physical pain to say that.)

Normally, we get a week or two of 100 degree temps. Last year, I think we ran the heat pump in reverse (as an air conditioner) a total of ten days.

This year, it’s been running for the last three weeks. And it’s only July (it normally gets ugly in August).

Given the intense heat and utter lack of moisture in the vegetation (foresters call it “fuel” for a reason), a county-wide conflagration could begin if someone produces a particularly vicious fart (much less a spark from a match or car).

See you watching the skies, Tom Chandler.