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After the Rain

June 1st, 2008

It was a bright and wet morning after heavy rain yesterday.  The dew was everwhere over the grass and shrubs, and the morning sun glowed off a spider web among the shadows of the flowers.  I don’t know much about spiders, but their handiwork is beautiful.

Spider web glowing with dew in the morning

The rain of the night before was some of the strongest we have had in spring.  It washed out the driveway where the gravel was not thick enough, and even washed log debris across the rural road as the creeks rose too fast to handle the water.   Some time on the tractor helped to repair the damage and the driveway is as good as, well, as a gravel driveway should be I guess.

Gravel driveway washed out by rain

But this morning the pond was quiet and you might never know how much rain we received the night before.  I really appreciate being outdoors as the sun rises, and watching the light slowly change among the landscape.  It’s so peaceful before the noise of the world around us begins to stir.  How do you explain it?  All I know is that it’s nearly like meditation, or a sense of time stopping for a while.  I find myself standing there sometimes, staring out among the trees.  Then I sort of remember where I am and feel silly, but smile and take a deep breath of appreciation for the sounds and smells of the morning, and embrace the coming day.

Early morning over the pond

Too Much Rain

April 1st, 2008

An incredible day of rain yesterday. We’ve never seen the pond as high as it was, or the amount of runoff coming from the upper pastures.  There’s little anyone can do when you receive 2-3 inches of rain in as many hours.   The pond is now totally brown colored due to the runoff.  It filled up at least 2 feet higher, over the banks.

On a whim, I took the young boy out for a walk in the downpour to show him all the water.  Of course my amazement was not the same as his… he was amazed at the miniature rivers of water everwhere, and the large puddles to splash in.  He smiled and shouted with delight at the water, and said he had never been so wet before.  Fortunately it was 65 degrees, and warm enough to enjoy.   He stood by the spillway, with water flowing through pipes, and gently over the top of the grass.

The Pond is full!

The spillway let the water flow down through the woods.  All the creeks were filled and roaring with water. 

Water flowing down the spillway

The news tonight stated that this is the most rainfall we have had during March and the first three months of the year since 1897.   Will the summer still be too dry and near drought like the past two years?  The contrasts are amazing.  I’m ready for a little warmer (and less wet!) weather.  It’s time to get ready for planting, and a little more work outdoors.   But the weather patterns go all across the nation- the Cardinals, Yankees and Toronto BlueJays openers have been rained out.  It’s time for a change.

… Smile when you’re spinning round and round
Sigh as you think about tomorrow
Make a vow that your gonna be happy again

It’s all right in your life, no more rain…

                                                      Paul McCartney, Too Much Rain

At the end of the day the sun glowed brightly under the clouds, still with storms all around.  The landscape was cast in a beautiful yellow glow.

Sunset after rainstorm

Water, Water Everywhere

March 19th, 2008

We’ve had so much rain the past few days that many areas have flooded already.  I started wondering where Noah was building the ark yesterday…  Some of the smaller towns have evacuated people temporarily, and the larger rivers may not crest yet for a few days. Let’s hope the water doesn’t rise too fast. We received over 3-4 inches of rain this week at Fox Haven, so everything is very soggy and muddy. At least the water table will be strong going into the summer this year.

We do sit up fairly high, although a large watershed drains into the pond.  We’ve never seen water crest the dam, and I hope I never do.  But it was within a foot or two yesterday, and the water rushed out the spillway to the side of the dam and down through the woods.  Today it’s all colored brown and muddy.

Here’s a picture of our “rain gauge stump” under the water for half the day yesterday.  Today it’s finally back a few inches above again as the water drains.

Pond stump under water after heavy rain

Compare the picture above to this one of the same stump!  This is our “Old Man in the Stump” and in August last year he was quite dry. Hopefully we’ll have a little more rain through the summer this year.

Old Man in the Stump in August

But not everyone minds the rain and high water.  These wood ducks enjoyed playing all around the shoreline, but kept a wary eye out too!

Wood Ducks on Fox Haven Pond

Heavy Rain and a Full Pond

February 6th, 2008

     The storms yesterday were very strong, and deadly in some regions.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the affected families in neighboring states.  We had severe storms and wind, but no tornadoes.  We also received far more rain than we could handle, which turned the slopes and draws into conduits for the immense force of the water as it went downhill.   Just a month ago the pond was 4-5 feet low, and then after storms a couple weeks ago only 2 feet low.  And now it’s overflowing down the spillway from yesterday’s rain.

Almost in a matter of hours the pond rose over 2 feet during the storms completely filling up.  Obviously we prefer a full pond, but it’s hard to watch the heavy storms and rain affect the landscape.  Now we have multiple new channels cut in the slopes where the grass washed out down to the rocks underneath.  The driveway is washed out again in several places too, so I’ll have some work to do on the tractor this week.  Somehow this yearI need to get a lot more gravel, and a lot more grass seed to grow in places.  But it’s a balance, and in all I’m sure everything is just fine.  This will all be here long after I’m gone, probably not looking too much different!

The water washed down the draw from the acreage up the hill.  It’s like this for a couple hours during really heavy rain, and then slowly returns to a steady trickle, but only during wet months.  In the summer it’s very dry.

Heavy rain washing into pond

 

I had just picked up our son at the bus stop and as we pulled into the garage it started hailing.  There were so many hail pebbles that it clogged up the gutters!

Hail filled up the gutters

He had never seen or felt hail before so he was very curious.

Hailstones in a boy™s hand

In a small victory, the rocky drainage I asked the state highway department to put in really helped along the roadside.  Instead of a huge muddy flow of water heading down the hill, it was transformed to a slower flow of water.  It’s so much better, and doesn’t induce “hydraulic” washout effects at the bottom of the hill now.   A good lesson for me… I need to get a couple truckloads of gravel and dump that strategically around the property.

Roadside drainage during storm

Raindrops are Falling…

December 6th, 2007

    Been working in a vacuum… getting some academics finished up.  Still looking for daylight… but every now and then I come up and look around, and find something I need to do.   We’ve had some days of rain, and others of warming sun.  Is it really December?!  We’re even late getting ready for the holidays, but we’ll get there soon.  Is it just me, or does it come faster every year?

I was out collecting wood debris after some windy days so I could cut and rake leaves, but then I looked to the west and saw these huge, dark clouds almost upon me.  “Hmmm… think I’m going to get wet if I don’t hurry!”  Sure enough, within a few minutes the heavens opened up and buckets of rain were coming down.  Kind of neat to watch, but I had to take shelter under an eave to get a few pictures.  The wind was just ripping up the pond…  Can you imagine if this was snow?!  Maybe it will come yet.

Sheets of rain and wind across the pond

 

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