23 March 2015

Life in the rain, or should we say climate change?

     If you've spent any time at all in America's Pacific Northwest, you know it rains.  A LOT.

     That's not to say we don't get downpours, which we do, but we get years where it rains a little, every single day, and the skies are gray and clouded for weeks on end.  The joke goes that when the sun comes out, everyone drags their kids out to see it, so that they, too, can tell their grandkids, "I Saw the Sun Once". 

    The rainy season starts on 1 Sep and goes through to mid July. Then it's hot and dry for about two weeks, just long enough to tempt the tomatoes (if you're so foolish as to attempt to actually grow them) into thinking they can finally ripen. They don't. If there was an agricultural market for moss, we'd all be rich as Bill Gates.

   If you suffer from SAD (seasonal affected depression), this is NOT the place for you. I had a friend who had it so bad she was literally hospitalized. They finally moved to Dubai, where I'm sure she will never see a rainy day again.

   I actually like it here, because when the sun DOES come out, it brightens what is already a lovely place. I can see Mt. Rainier from my kitchen window. We don't get a lot of bugs. (Slugs, though, we get thousands of). We don't need air conditioning.  It's really a nice-if expensive-place to live.

     Horse sports do well here. It's temperate enough that we can do just about anything throughout the year on horseback, as long as we don't mind getting wet on occasion. 

    But now, we have climate change, and rising sea levels to think of. I'm two hours from the Pacific Coast, but I live not far from an inlet from Hood Canal/Puget Sound. One of these days, not long from now, I wonder if the water will come to my doorstep from the Sound.

   We are humans. Humans are the most adaptable critters on the planet. So I'm not too worried about riding in a watery environment. I'm sure the riders of the near future will be able to adapt whatever sport they put their mind to. Here's how I envision it:

"From M, sidestroke to K."

Cross Country jumps will be listed as follows:

"Mildewed Meadows" Cross Country jumps:
1.   Water
2.   Water
3.   Water
4.   Water
5.   Stream
6.   Water
7.   Water
8.   Water
9.   Water
10. Water

Stadium jumping:

Polo: (will put a whole new meaning to 'water polo')


    Even today, with the sea level still at reasonable and historical levels,  you can see where riders' priorities lie. Just look at the corkboards in any tack/feed shop in the region and you'll see ads like this:

Upper Crust Ridge
A Premium Boarding Facility
List of Amenities
Individual Run adjoins each  box stall
Daily turnout
Groomed outdoor arena
Stalls cleaned daily
Blanketing and fly masking as needed
Heated wash rack
Organic alfalfa hay and oats
Climate controlled tack room
Rider's Lounge
Parking for horse trailers
Barn Concierge on duty 24/7

And then you'll have this:

Dilapidated Dell Horse Boarding

Box stalls
20 acre pasture turnout
Outdoor arena
Stalls cleaned (when we get home from work)
Grass hay and oats
Tack lockers
Parking for horse trailers
Managers live on site
Humongous indoor arena with lights and bleachers

Guess which barn never has an opening?


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