Cultural Shift

We must have been having terrible weather lately because I received a couple of emails (even one from Oz) asking how we’d fared with the storms that have hit Canterbury recently.

Well thanks for asking

We’re fine

We had a one day wonder

The consummate divaricate, wiggiwiggi, Muehlenbeckia astonii

Then we had a week of sun and frosts

followed by a bit of wet

looks like the 8″ culvert is blocked

after that a week of sun and frosts

During which there was a whole day knocking in steel ‘Y’ posts

followed by another bit of wet

and now we’re finally getting the sort of frosts that usually start in June.

That’s the air temp, not the frost temp. The frost was more like -10C

I’d really like to know how it is that frosts dry up puddles overnight!

It’s part of the human condition that we keep adjusting our idea of normal to match changing conditions, that’s Cultural Shift. The classic example from the 20th C. was the size of fish. When I was a kid a 5lb snapper would be let go as a tiddler. By 1990, 2lb was a good fish and 10lb would have a good chance of winning the annual surf-casting competition.

Surf casting at Birdling’s Flat, Banks Peninsula

Cultural Shift with weather seems to happen really fast, the reality in Canterbury is that we’ve just had two very dry winters, so dry that we haven’t had water over the 8” culvert for just under 3 years,

and it seems a lot of people, especially the media, are thinking this is the new norm, what the locals call a green drought. Now we’re back to average everyone is grizzling about how wet it is, but this sort of flooding is normally a 3 – 5 times a year event. Then in Christchurch, ever since the big earthquakes it doesn’t take much to get flooding, a combination of some suburbs that are one to two metres lower, streams that are narrower and the Avon – Heathcote Estuary got higher near the outlet. That all adds up to even poorer drainage than what you get from building a city in a swamp, should’ve built it like Venice.

Christchurch and the Avon – Heathcote Estuary from the Summit Road on the Port Hills

So for those that were wondering if we were affected by the bad weather,  Yeah ( the ground is a bit waterlogged) thanks for your concern

groundwater

but really  – Nah.

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3 Responses to Cultural Shift

  1. Mike Pole says:

    You gave me a mental image of Christchurch with canals and semi- submerged buildings. It will happen, at least the latter…. This latest round of flooding got me wondering what was going on in the big floods of 1863. Was there a blocking high behind it, a ‘river in the sky’, cyclone? I guess the hydrology experts could model what the runoff would have been had the Arrow basin and surrounds still been in forest.

    Like

  2. Mike Pole says:

    And heavy, heavy rain here again…..

    Like

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