Sunday, May 13, 2012


(post by Jason) Spring around here is not normally a dry time of year. Most of the time, errant cold fronts and Gulf of Mexico low pressure systems interact and interplay frequently enough over our area that we get lots and lots of rain. Sometimes if a low pressure system gets stuck over the area for long enough we get way too much rain and after a point ceases to do any good.

Too much rain hasn't been a problem this year. We've mostly been stuck on warm and dry since early March and our pastures and hay ground were worryingly dry and beginning to burn up. This is a foreboding sign at the beginning of the hot season because once summer comes cold fronts effectively cease to arrive with moisture this far south. We haven't had a good rain in more than a month. So when the weather forecasters predicted a 40 % chance of rain this weekend we really didn't pay it much mind. Many of my neighbours kept right on cutting hay.

I was all set to say I told you so yesterday afternoon. They predicted rain through the day yesterday and it never came. I mowed pastures all day and the few spits of rain we got weren't even enough to wet the hood of the tractor much less make me duck for cover. But about suppertime last night while I was loading a truck with junk for the dump the sky got dark and something changed. It began to rain, lightly at first and then a bit harder but steady in a way that told me it meant to stay. It rained like that all night and it's been raining all day today. It's still raining as I write this and we've added nearly three inches to the rain gauge outside and every drop of it went in the dry ground where it'll do some good. Farmers up where I come from would call this a million dollar rain. I don't know about that but I do know it was very, very welcome here in Middle Tennessee.


Too bad I wasn't at a better angle for this picture; Faune, Lotus, Winston, Romeo and Titan enjoying a run through the pasture


B-Rad, Dutch, Wiz, Darby, Sam and Lighty

Johnny and Alex

Noble and Walden

Romeo and Asterik


Maisie and Lily


EvenSong said...

I'm just finishing up my first 8-day cycle of irrigation--we had enough late season snow in the Cascades (that feeds our irrigation system) that we're going to get our full allotment for the year. But a good steady rain always feels good: besides slacking the ground's thirst, it seems to clear the air and the mind. I always welcome it, except when I know local farmers have hay down, then I cringe for their sakes.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

My grandmother was a tobacco farmer in Va. I spent many summers working on that farm. I believe tobacco is very moisture sensitive as well. I remember the pall of stress hanging over the farm if it was too wet or too dry at critical points in the growth cycle.

As a landscaper for many years, and now micro-farmer (!), I finally understand what it feels like to be at the mercy of the elements...

Glad you got your million dollar rain - it is hitting our neck of the woods today, and we are thankful. :)

RuckusButt said...

Somehow there is nothing like the appreciation for the type of rain you describe. We had some puny rains early on that just don't do much good when things are dry. We were waiting for the type of rain you describe and some were worrying back in March that it wasn't raining properly yet. We had unusually warm temps early on so I kept saying it was ok because it wasn't actually spring yet. It seems there was something to that, as things have been much more normal lately.

Glad the rain came when you needed and wanted it.

Question - what type of rain gauge do you use/like? I've been looking around and there are so many types I'm not sure which are best/most accurate.

Jason said...

RB I use the biggest one I can find so my poor old tired eyes can see it!