Friday, August 16, 2013

Rain is done; back to watering

'Bout Time Creek
'Bout Time Creek after about 8 inches of rain

This summer has been spectacular, in my view. With cooler temperatures--right now it is a comfortable 69.6º at 10:00 a.m. It may reach 75º at the hottest part of the day. I call this perfection, especially for the middle of August in Arkansas. The windows are open and the breeze feels heavenly.

We have finally had enough rain! After two weeks, the rain finally ended a couple days ago. In fact, I had to water my plants again. They are now spoiled after enjoying such a good soaking every day. The Ozarks experienced a very rainy spell--like nothing I have seen before--at least not during an Arkansas summer.

It rained nearly every day for days on end. Some areas north and south of us were inundated, receiving far more rain than we did. It resulted in flash flooding that destroyed property and even took lives. That wasn't the case here. In fact, the dry creek bed that traverses our property flowed at hardly more than a trickle. 

A few years ago, my husband, John, named our creek. One spring after a heavy rainfall--13 inches I believe--the water rushed like a torrent, draining areas of higher elevation. It sounded like Niagara Falls. He said it was 'bout time there was water in it. So he started calling it 'Bout Time Creek. The name stuck. By the way, I haven't heard it like that since.

Our total rainfall was nowhere near what others received. Unfortunately we didn't monitor rainfall totals over the entire event. Rather we simply noticed two inches here and three inches there. I think the most was four inches at one time. Other communities north of us received two and three times that amount in one day. Here, the ground was so deficient it never really got saturated to the point of becoming mere runoff which explains why the creek never raged. The photo above was taken just a day after the last rainfall. 

I loved waking up to the sound of rain and going to sleep to it as well. I never had this affinity for rainy days before, but I now look at rain as nurturing and so necessary to the survival of all living things. I have come to really enjoy a good rainy day. At times I sat on the front porch enjoying it and watching the birds, seemingly frenzied, as they scurried back and forth from a nearby tree to their feeder and back again. In my mind, they seemed to enjoy the moody days too. 

Some of my friends began to complain about the dark and dreary conditions. I just couldn't relate. 

I suppose I remember all too well what it was like just a year ago when temperatures hovered over 100º for days on end. We couldn't get a drop of rain to save our lives. I watched clouds form overhead only to disappear before my eyes. I didn't think it would ever rain again. I was afraid our well would run dry or all our trees would die. I watched all my plants that I so carefully planted and cared for during the spring months perish in the parched conditions, the unyielding sun burning everything beneath it. The drought was considered extreme. It was really bad. 

So a few days ago when the rain finally ended, I was disappointed. The result of our many rainy days is renewed hope for my garden, which is now thriving and producing. My flowers, some of which I feared would die after becoming lunch for the deer, have recovered and are now blooming again. The rain was like waving a magic wand over the landscape. I plan to enjoy the benefits until we receive our next rain event. Until then, I don't mind watering. It is one of my most favorite chores.
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