In the aftermath of the atmospheric river that swelled the rivers of Mendocino County, many residents are crossing their fingers that these rains could beat back the pernicious drought conditions that have dogged MendoLife for several years.
To provide a visual reference demonstrating the influx of water these recent stores have brought, we present two photographs taken at the same exact location during drastically different precipitation patterns.
Both photographs were taken from the side of Highway 101, looking down on the Russian River as it runs below the prominent landmark Frog Woman Rock.
This photograph was taken on February 11, 2022, and shows a meandering Russian River. A gravel bar is exposed and the blue-green waters indicate a placid flow letting silt settle on the river bottom.
This photograph was taken yesterday, December 31, 2022, from the same location. The photograph’s frame is not exactly the same as the photograph from February, but the large rocks along the banks can clearly be seen in both pictures.
In the wake of the atmospheric river, the water was mud-brown, frothing, and churning. The only rocks that are visible are the gigantic boulders along the banks eroded by floodwaters over centuries. Rocks the size of cars clearly visible in February were nowhere to be seen in yesterday’s turbid waters.
With more rain to come, the Russian River and other local waterways will continue to swell and possibly foretell an upcoming year of plenty instead of scarcity.