Beau January 8th, 2008
Last night was non-stop severe thunderstorms, with tornadoes scattered across the state. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in some towns who lost loved ones, were injured and sustained so much damage. The storms were heavy here, but we were fine. I stayed up late watching the lightning and listening to booming thunder, hail coming down and the very heavy rain. One lightning bolt hit across the pond with an enormous boom… I jumped out of my chair and the young Labrador leapt off the ground, staring at me as if wondering, “What the heck was THAT!?” Then hail stones almost an inch in size pounded the window in the young boy’s room… I sat on his bed as he sat bolt upright. I told him it’s just the storm… he fell immediately back asleep. Both he and his Mom slept through the night, but I’m aflicted with being a light sleeper. Every boom and the sound of heavy rain kept me half awake until early morning.
We received about 4 inches of rain over the course of 8-10 hours last night. A lot of rain, but more amazingly- most of it runs off the 30+ acre watershed that leads to the pond. The pond had been 4-5 feet low, but the water rose what appears to be 2 feet from the rain! It was amazing to wake up and see how high the water came up. If one “acre foot” is the amount of water that covers one acre to a depth of one foot (43, 560 cubic feet), then based on the ponds size (1.4 acres), then we could have received almost 122,000 cubic feet, or about 900,000 gallons, or 3,454,655 liters of water runoff into the pond over one night of rain! That’s a lot of water. You can see that the water is brown colored from dirt and debris washing in. This is the narrow part of the pond where the small “hollow” channels the runoff into the pond.
This stump is my “rain gauge” to help estimate the water depth changes. I should be more scientific and put a real post in the water with depth markers… but that would look funny! Maybe I’ll disguise one somehow. But yesterday before the rain this stump was on dry land… weathered roots exposed with grass all around it. During the rain last spring, this stump was actually under the water for a few weeks.
I don’t like to see so much rain and runoff… it erodes the slopes and makes it difficult to keep the grass growing. But we needed the water, and I do like to see the pond fill up over the winter. Looks like I’ll get my wish now, and with the spring rains it should be full by May.