Thursday, September 27, 2012

Next up: A plague of locusts?

It’s been a summer of rain, earthquakes and brutal heat, which is making me wonder what’s in store for us next.  Locusts, perhaps? 
Just a few days ago we experienced a 6.3 magnitude earthquake here, which probably caused some cracking of plaster around Loreto Bay but no real damage from what we've heard. According to the really cool earthquake app on our iPad, there were also several distinct smaller quakes about 20 minutes after the “big” one and then several more shortly after midnight later that day.  The quakes were located closer to us than we’ve seen before, originating a little more than a 100 miles south of us in the Sea of Cortez.
I was at a neighbor's house during the quake and didn’t feel a thing, but George was shaken awake while taking a snooze and it really freaked him out. It was a first for him, but I doubt that anyone ever gets used to that weird sensation. Creepy!
Flooding from maybe an inch of rain!
This morning we woke to the sound of pounding rain and once again (sigh) the Paseo is flooded and will stay that way for at least several days but probably longer. Homex, the developer that came in and bought up pieces of Loreto Bay a couple of years ago, repaved the road a year and a half ago, but didn’t do the proper engineering so there’s no drainage in the area around us and in areas of the Founder’s Neighbor to our south. Rain and heavy equipment traffic has already worn away parts of the road and it’s doubtful that Homex will repair it. Sigh.
Get out your kayaks!
Water beads up nicely on new waterproofing
And speaking of bugs! For the past month, we’ve been plagued by really aggressive flies that aren’t content with just landing on us. No, these killer flies dive bomb our heads with the apparent goal of getting in our noses, ears and mouths. Yikes! Taking our dog Zoe out for a walk has become a real nightmare as we duck, weave and flap our arms trying to keep the flies away. We’re also seeing monster moths and other strange creepy-crawlies, but that’s normal for this time of year. Happily, though, I’ve also seen a couple of dime-sized frogs in the landscaping in front of our house, which is a nice sight since our house frog, Sparky, apparently bit the dust this year. RIP Sparky! 
After that epic 20-inch rain in August we sprouted several leaks in the house, so we bit the bullet and paid to have the roof terrace and tower re-waterproofed. And it was finished just in the nick of time this past week. Not only do the tiles look much better, we shouldn’t have any leaks this go-around. 
Another huge problem with the rain down here is that the wooden doors and window tend to swell, which means doors and windows stick, or in some cases, swell completely shut. Fun. It’s too bad (and frankly, ridiculous) that the design guidelines down here prohibit the use of anything but wood for doors and windows. There are a few homes that have managed to squeak by the rules and install beautiful clad windows and doors, which look just like wood but are more durable and earth-friendly. 
Considering the fact that this community was marketed as green and sustainable, it’s anything but! Founder’s is an all-electric community, for crying out loud! How green is that? At least here in Agua Viva we’ve got solar water heaters and gas, but many home owners have had to replace their solar panels with regular water heaters because the panels didn’t work.  Sigh. Until those guidelines prohibiting anything but wood are changed, we can all look forward to continue shelling out more money every year to apply possibly toxic stains to all the wood in our homes to keep it from disintegrating. Now, how green does all that sound?

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