Friday, August 29, 2008

Splish, Splash!

Rain, we finally had some glorious rain, thanks to Tropical Storm Fay. It started out Monday as just a tease--I could sit here at my computer and see raindrops hitting the back deck and hear it on the tin roof of the chicken house, but it was so light a rain that when I went out to feed Maia on Tuesday morning the ground was dry beneath the bowl I had put out for her Monday night, and the rain gauge measured less than a quarter of an inch. I was beginning to fear that the "big rain" from Fay was going to be a bust here in central North Carolina. As Tuesday afternoon rolled around, though, we got some periods of harder rain, so that by bed time the guage measured an inch and a half or so. Now, that's more like it!

Wednesday dawned (well, as much as a day can dawn when it's cloudy and raining) and it was pouring! I had to go to traffic court all the way up in Yanceyville in Caswell County (that speeding ticked from the weekend of the NC BC Boards picnic) and I was worried about making it on time because news reports were that streams were flooding back roads.

I went out to feed and the barn looked like the set from "A River Runs Through It." No kidding. Whoever situated this barn on the downhill side of a hill with no drainage measures must not have been thinking. When it rains, the water runs through. When it pours, the water pours through. On my way out the drive, I checked the rain guage. Five inches! Woohoo!

I'll not go into the details of my day at court. Suffice to say that it's one big moneymaking scheme--show up and your ticket will automatically be reduced. Sit there all day for your 15 seconds of pleading guilty to a lesser speed, give us your money, and thank you, have a nice day. I will say that they had something like 357 cases scheduled, and public parking spaces for maybe 25 cars. Nothing like having to park a quarter mile or more away and hike to the courthouse in the pouring rain (there was just no way not to be soaked).

Anyway, while I was whiling away my time in the courtroom and getting a lot of reading (The Worst Hard Time) done, folks down my way were braving tornado sightings, school lockdowns, and roads closed due to flooding. I had to take the long way home down 85 since the back roads I normally take were closed.

That means I missed the worst of the flooding here as well. Jimmy said that at one point the sheep were up to their knees in water standing in the bottom of the pasture near their round bale. The spring/creek that runs through the bottom there (at the bottom of a 6-foot-deep gully) was overflowing. The road we take to the back of the property was overflowing, and the culvert Lark likes to jump under was a raging torrent that even she wouldn't brave.

Hello, sheep? There's plenty of high ground you could move to.

Lark actually did make her jump once, but the water was rushing so hard that I think it scared her because while she would stand there looking at the water coming out of the culvert (the same water she likes to snatch at as she jumps into the pool below) she refused to make a second jump.

Here you can see how much water is rushing out, but just an hour earlier when Jimmy shot some video, the culvert was completely full and the water came up over the edge that Lark is standing on, so it has already receded significantly in this photo.

The final tally? Seven inches! I'm sure it came down at such a rate that most of it ran off, but some moisture must have gotten to our pastures, and at least the creeks, ponds, and aquifers will have benefited from the run off. I think we were down a total of 12 inches between this year and last, so at least we've made up part of that. And the good news is that I didn't really complain at all, even with 40 muddy paws to deal with. I had promised I wouldn't bitch and moan if we just got some much-needed rain, and since Mother Nature came through with the rain, I held up my end of the bargain too.

Phoebe does have a nickname or two. Since she was little, she's been known as the "rabid possum" because, well, she's a bit snarky and when she's wet she does look like a possum. She's also known as "pigpen," and you can see why from the photos below.

Here she's continuing her excavation work by Lark's swimming hole, trying to expand it. Excavation is so much more fun when there's also muddy water in the hole!

If anything that was planted in the fall garden plots remains after all that rain, Phoebe is doing her best to remove it.


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Glad you got some moisture! Send some to Nevada will ya? :)
Looks like the sheep enjoyed it too!

Laura said...

Great photos--it really looks like it's a mudfest out there! Looks like the dogs really enjoyed your much-needed rain :-)

Samantha said...

Glad you got some more rain. Looks like Phoebe loves that wet mud. I love that shot of her with her head submerged in it! :-)

Allie Oop said...

I LOVE the picture of Phoebe in the mud hole!! What a character! Great pictures and commentary.