Early morning rain
July 26, 2012
It’s been dry and hot on the farm for as long as we can remember this summer. The clear weather was not without its compensations: fishing has been good, even with dropping water levels, and bugs were few. The dearth of wet days meant fewer trips to Kingston and fewer impulse buys at Princess Auto. Dr. Bill has had his best haying year in memory, with the whole crop cut and baled without a rain, though he complained yesterday that the bales are fragile because of the extreme dryness and the short grass in one field.
But when a well went dry two weeks ago on the next drumlin over, Bet grew concerned about the water table and budgeted the allotments to flowers, trees and veggies. From then on we were on rain watch. I chose not to mow the weeds around any trees out of concern that a struck stone might ignite a fire. With all of the extra time I fished crappies every evening and eventually decided to replace the aging floor on my mother’s verandah. The only suitable dry wood turned out to be black walnut, but hey, the stuff does grow on trees. I’ll cut another this fall and have George slice it up. In the plastic palace it dries nicely in a year.
This morning at 5:30 I awoke to a sound I’d almost forgotten. Could it be rain? Yep, just starting, a gentle drizzle, coming straight down. I toured the upstairs windows, feeling the sills. The south-facing ones were a bit damp. Closed them. Then came the others. As I walked around the yard with my coffee, raincoat, and a bemused dog (spaniels normally don’t like the rain), we watched a puddle slowly form and then dissipate on the driveway, only to form again.
My 3pt hitch dump box was sitting in the trailer field. Water was 1″ deep in one corner. When I leveled it prior to overturning the implement to prevent rust, I estimated about 1/4″ of rain had fallen to that point. We continued our walk into the orchard. No apples to speak of this year, and the pears on one tree look very small. But the other pear tree has normally sized fruit, turning red, though still very firm. Cagney accepted the bitten pear from me gingerly, then took a bite. As I continued my tour of the orchard alone, the tail-wagging spaniel devoured her kill, greatly impressed with her new discovery. Then she checked out the fallen apples under another tree, but didn’t find them to her liking.
Back in the house the dog stood riveted to the mat until I had dampened her towel with a rubdown. Then she was still reluctant to leave the mat, despite my assurances. Eventually she marched over to her cage and curled up on the dry, warm bed inside.