So, yesterday it didn’t rain but a little. Last night, though, a huge storm came up just before dawn, and there was lightning really near the house. This made for some scared dogs!
Poor Penney was right on top of me. Everyone else was under the bed. It was scary for us!
We did get a break this morning, so between meetings I was able to go out and feed my guys and the chickens. Sadly, Barbara didn’t make it through the night. Poor dear. I hope to get another one like her, though.
Last night’s storm brought over an inch of rain. The second wave, which is still going on, has already brought another inch. The creek is well over its banks, and the poor horses are in mud again. We plan to get sand soon, and the very next thing in our plan is to add a lot more cover over the stalls.
In the meantime, I don’t have a lot of hope for Trixie making it today. There’s no place to work on horses that isn’t all muddy.
I’ll just hang around in the house, with all these huddled dogs and hope it clears up. Definitely a weird July in these parts.
At least today was a little different. It didn’t rain until around 5 pm, so I got to get some work done and do some fun things. The most fun was a visit from my son and his partner, who wanted to do some ranch stuff. My son wants to learn to ride horses, so we headed off to the horse pen to rescue Apache from his solitary confinement.
So, I gave the two of them a lesson in what you do before you can ride a horse. I taught them about putting in the halter, the grooming steps, and hoof cleaning. Apache was so good!
I didn’t get pictures of it (I didn’t even take these pictures), but Fiona also got groomed. By the time R. got finished, she looked like a show donkey.
After that, my son got to walk Apache, stop him, and walk him in a circle. Apache really wanted to eat grass, but he begrudgingly complied. We were too hot to force things (oh, the humidity!).
Back at the house, I got some help with chickens. Barbara has a hurt foot, and she was getting badly pecked, so we decided to let the other pullets in with the big chickens and leave her to recover in the small enclosure. I didn’t get photos. Too busy distracting chickens.
Earlier today, I’d cleaned the front porch and started repotting my Norfolk Island pine. I’m glad my son came, because he helped me with the potting soil. I hope the plant perks up.
But, all good weather must come to an end. By the time we got back in the house, rain was back. We sat and talked while some really strong rain fell. Really strong.
We managed to get out and have a nice Mexican dinner and some great conversation about music and comedy, then our guests went home, as did we. The rainwater had been busy while we were gone.
It was way more flooded than yesterday. The secondary drainage culvert hasn’t come into operation but one other time since Lee added it (prevents the driveway from overflow). The water was really rushing and high.
The water was even flowing across the road. Eek.
Of course we had to let the dogs play. Alfred, in particular, had a blast, pawing and biting at the rapids.
Funny though, in the 20 minutes Lee and I walked around looking, the pond/tank crested and all these culverts did their job. By the time we left, it was already down a foot or so. Check out the pictures.
We will be fine, but we do wish we could send some rain to our friends and family in California.
Guess what? There’s still rain in the forecast for today. That means it will have rained every day so far in July. So, we’ve had no friends over, no family celebration…not much of anything. But that’s okay, I’ve had time to read and clean. Yesterday, it really rained a lot. We knew it was at least two inches, because the tanks filled up.
If it just rains a little, the water rises just a bit in the front tank. It doesn’t usually overflow unless there is runoff from its main sources:
The small pond by the house (we built a ditch to funnel the water thee)
The big tank over at the Wild Hermits front pasture (that comes through the arroyo)
The cotton field across the road (there is a culvert, and it also just comes over the road)
Runoff from the tank and other areas by Sara’s house (they are higher than us), which goes down their driveway at quite a clip
One reason we built the tank where we did is we knew it would have a lot of water flowing in, so it would not dry up too often. So far, it hadn’t totally dried up yet.
All of THAT water quickly fills up our little tank, which then sends water down our stream to Walker’s Creek. This is all pretty spectacular right after a hard rain. When we went to feed the horses (by car, because it was flooding), water was over the road and much of the driveway to the horse pens. It was flowing strongly. By the time we went back, it had already settled down to a brisk flow.
Now, in the fall and spring, this is going to happen a few times. That’s how it rains here, with dry spells followed by floods. However, it rarely rains much at all in July. In fact, today is July 5, with rain in the forecast, and it is already the wettest July we’ve had since Lee started tracking it right after the Big Drought in 2011-2012.
One of the things people are noticing about this year is that everything seems to be skewed a month late, thanks for the Winter Storm Uri event in February. Maybe we are getting June’s usual rain pattern, just a bit late. Or Global Warming. I don’t know; I’m not a meteorologist.
This year started out like it was going to be one of our dryer years, but who knows at this point? All I know is that the later the tanks fill up, the more likely they are to not go dry until the rains start up again in the fall. (Don’t let August fool you; most years it barely rains in July OR August.)
Texas weather is quite variable, so we’ve enjoyed tracking the patterns here in the Post Oak Savannah region. My guess is that the patterns where you live are also interesting, so I encourage you to get a good rain gauge, like the one we use, the Stratus Precision Rain Gauge, and start tracking. You can learn a lot about trends, as well as exceptions! I’m grateful to Lee for his diligence in his own Citizen Science project.
Now to go check on chickens and move Apache to the dry pen. It’s rather sloppy over there, so all of us slip and slide. I will be very glad when we can get back to work on the pens so we can move him, though I’ll wager our pens will also get muddy and slick, because they are on the clay soil, too. On the other hand, someone said that a couple inches of good rain would really pack down the new driveway. I’d say it’s pretty packed now.
I knew those two relatively dry days in a row were flukes. Last night it poured and poured, right after Trixie showed up to do Apache and Ace’s feet. She was running late due to some car trouble, which gave me lots of time to love on Apache and Fiona. That is always good.
And I got to love on Sara’s heelers, including the charming and smiling baby Bess. She melts your heart.
Sara had asked Trixie if she had a horse that needed miles on it, and that prompted her to bring her small fancy stallion along with her. He’s gray, and named Archie.
His arrival sent all equines into a tizzy (except Fiona). Much neighing and prancing commenced. Archie, on the other hand, but on a show like he was a Lipizzaner. Yow. He leapt in the air, twisted, bucked, yelled, and otherwise made his presence quite obvious. I’m hoping he settles down.
I made it home after Apache got trimmed, barely asking if his feet looked okay, and hearing Trixie say they looked real good. Two minutes after I got home, the skies opened up. I worried about the rest of the gang, and texted Sara my huge thanks for letting me go first.
It rained all night, hard. It’s the most rain in one day that we’ve had during this long rainy spell. Many days it just drizzled and rained for short periods, so we only got one inch one day in May; the rest were small amounts that did add up to puddles.
Last night we got over two inches, so June already has a good rain total! Lee’s stats will be fun to see. I’m hoping to get to Austin this afternoon, once some of the creek flooding is down and before the next round starts. It’s also really wet there!
Have a good June. I’m ready to support all my LGBTQIA+ friends during PRIDE month!
Yeah, it was a long night here. We are rejoicing to be here and making Easter dinner. And rejoice is, predictably, the final UU Lent word.
It started around 9 pm, when Chris and Kathleen were sitting on the front porch with the dogs. Carlton and Penney suddenly took off. There were barks, then a yelp, and they came back. Penney was rolling around. She’d been skunked.
Then everyone ran around trying to keep her off the furniture. Kathleen bathed her in ketchup, which was really nice of her. Carlton only stank a little. He’s so fast he can avoid skunk spray.
Whew. It’s been a rough couple of days. It was time for the annual spring flood! We needed the rain, though, as we hadn’t had any appreciable rain in three weeks, according to my husband.
We had a really strong band of rain come through yesterday, and we got the long side of the front. Lots of rain ensued. Then in mid afternoon, the tornado sirens went off in town, and we got reports of touchdowns not too far away.
So, Lee and I joined all five dogs in our fine storm room for over an hour while the system touched down four times, the last one just a few miles from us.
We were surprised at how well the dogs did in the little space, but it did keep the sound away. The wind broke a few things but we were okay.
I had a post for yesterday, but I need an image from Austin, so it will have to wait. Instead, here’s a weather report!
There’s strange fog this morning. It was clear at sunrise. Lee said it was a glorious orange. (I slept through it.) But now it’s getting foggier and foggier. You can’t see the field across the road.
I’m guessing this is the rising temperatures and very damp soil are causing this rare midday fog. It’s definitely warmed up, and we’re enjoying a respite from yet another round of floods last week (you know it’s been wet when heavy flooding doesn’t even warrant a photo).
Speaking of weird weather
I wish my camera could have captured what greeted my eyes yesterday. Looking out the same front window you see above, I saw an intensely sunny morning. It had gotten cool enough to cause a heavy frost, which completely covered the field across the road, which has a cover crop a few inches high on it.
The sun was at just the right angle to make the frost shine like crystals. The result was an amazing shiny, sparkly field instead of green rye.
It wouldn’t photograph through the window screen, and it would not have looked the same from ground level, so it’s just a memory to savor for me, and something to imagine for you. Not a bad thing!
Did you know I originally intended to mostly write about the weather and flowers in this blog? I guess it’s taken off a life of its own, where I share whatever I’ve been pondering at any time.
But weather! Yes! We’ve had 2.25 inches of rain in the past two days, which means that yet again, we have lakefront property and a raging stream.
At least Walker’s Creek didn’t come over the bridge, though the neighbor kids’ school bus got stuck yesterday and they had to bring in another bus. At this moment, I can see the creek from my desk window, a thing that only happens w hen it the trees have lost their leaves AND there is a flood.
This year’s been a big one for flooding. I hope it doesn’t get too much wetter over a number of years, or we won’t be semi-arid anymore and different plants will thrive. I’ll be here watching if it does.
Getting in touch with your emotional truth, by processing feelings to improve the human condition in the 21st century. Living out loud by my motto,"Triumphing over Trauma" 🌈
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