Zhaxi Zhuoma was surprised to look out her office window and see a pair of Mallards staring back at her as they swam past in what had been the temple driveway to the back of the property. We had water again! Some of you may remember the flooding problems we had several years ago when we had lots of rain. The surrounding fields are kept green and produce hay by means of an archaic irrigation system whereby they are usually flooded twice a month with snow runoff from the nearby Sierra Mountains. It does not usually rain in this part of California much after February and not again until November or December. With our drought we have not had this problem–quite the opposite! Last year we hardly received any water and the year before even less. The neighbors actually bought water to flood our fields a few times to replenish the water table and keep all of our wells in water and provide water for the trees. Two years ago the pond dried up completely and we lost the beautiful koi that had lived there and danced for the Buddha Master when He visited us. No more fish release here like we had in 2010. The lake has still not recovered and is quite low. Cattails and other aquatic plants have invaded and make it not so beautiful as a pond for humans, but a wonderful breeding spot for the local birds. They are everywhere and singing their little hearts out. We are suppose to receive irrigation water until September, which should enable our trees and maybe the pond to recover.
Before the current drought there was too much runoff and it took a while for us to figure out what to do. Many sandbags were filled to try and keep the water out of the temple, but the flooding was never that bad. The pictures below were from 2010.