Yesterday afternoon I sat at work watching the weather radar as a little red knot of a storm popped up north of our home and headed straight towards it. It hit us square and lingered there, red and angry and dumping rain. I hoped that there wasn’t any hail or damaging winds involved.
We don’t need any more rain thank you, well not right now anyway. We are SOO saturated. It’s rained nearly every day for weeks now. Harland managed to get the rest of the soybeans planted last week (about a month behind normal planting time). Water regularly seeps into our basement these days, and runs across the floor to the drain. We have basement with hand-cut limestone blocks, not waterproof. Everything of value down there is on blocks so it’s not a biggie, but we are tired of having a little river running across the floor down there. Around the countryside, water is running everywhere, coming up out of the ground in springs that have never been there before. We even have water running out of our yard and into the driveway.
It’s haying season, that time of year when the hay is cut, it cures in the sun for a couple days, and then is baled. You know that expression, “make hay while the sun shines”? Well, the sun doesn’t shine long enough for that to happen. Cutting wet hay is a nightmare, it clogs up equipment, and wet hay can’t be baled – it rots if it’s baled wet.
Yesterday when I got home, the storm had passed, but I could tell that it had been a big one, and had dumped a lot of rain in a short period of time. Water had run across the road in several places leaving debris in the road and ditches.
The neighbors field across the way from our house had overflowed across an old driveway. I’ve only ever seen that happen a couple times. Our own driveway had washed out some, not too bad, but it’s noticeable and should be bladed to get the gravel back in place. I called Harland. He was away from home yesterday afternoon working at the summer pasture an hour south, and wouldn’t be home for a few hours yet. He asked me to go check all the cornfields for hail damage. I didn’t see any at home, but I did note that we got 2 inches out of that one storm.
I changed out of my working clothes, hopped back into the car, and went for a drive.
A mile north, where our farm is located, there was over 2 inches in the rain gauge.
Didn’t see any hail damage, but the gravel roads around our area have all been damaged and will need to be bladed.
I drove on a few miles more to a farm we rent. I wasn’t able to get my car into the drive much more than just off the road due to ruts having been cut into the driveway that were too deep for my car.
The rain gauge there was only an inch. Didn’t see any wind or hail damage there either, so overall the storm was just a gully washer, or toad strangler as we like to say.
Back home, I prepared a bottle for our bucket calf. As I stepped out the door a small brown object on the sidewalk caught my eye. I smiled and stepped back in for my camera.
It was a snapping turtle, no more than a couple inches long.
He tucked himself in as much as he could and held very still as I got down on the sidewalk to take pics of him.
Then I picked him up.
He closed his eyes up tight and braced himself as if in silent prayer:
“Please don’t eat me…please don’t eat me….please please don’t eat me.”
I took him for a walk across the road and left him in a field that isn’t mowed, where he’ll be safe.
Then I fed the bottle calf, and as I came back to the house I decided to take a look at the hole in our yard. It looked different. I poked a stick down the hole and found that I couldn’t touch the bottom. So I went inside for a yardstick.
I was able to put nearly all of it into the hole. Impressive. If we get a salesman come to the door, I’ll take him for a walk in the yard.
Thwump! Salesman gone.
But that might lead to difficult questions we’d rather not answer:
“Honestly, Officer, he was here, but after that we didn’t see much of him. Well, except his head. But then it rained and that disappeared too.”
Anyway, here’s the forecast for our area:
Today and tomorrow are dry, but look, more rain for Sunday, and even though it’s only a 20% chance, these days, that can be translated to 100%. If they call for rain, we’ll get it.
I’ve heard tilapia farming can be profitable. Or rice, it’s likes lots of water. Hmm….