Rain, But How Much?

Recent rains caused visions of seed packs to dance in my head as I think about garden real estate, what grows well around here and what I want to eat.

I have what I hope is a well placed rain gauge next to one of my vegetable beds so that I can keep track of local – as local as it gets – precipitation. It’s not like it rains so much around here that I worry about having it overflow, so my usual practice, within reason, is to let rain accumulate from day to day if we are having a rainy spell. Then I just log the amount as having  fallen over whatever number of days it rained.

"Did I ever tell you about the time it rained so hard..."

“Did I ever tell you about the time it rained so hard…”

Do to life happening it’s hard to check the gauge at the same time everyday anyway and there’s no way I’m getting up at midnight to read it so that I can find out how much rain fell on a certain day. I’m more interested in how much falls over the course of a season or a year than on any given day.

So, when it recently rained steadily and often for more than two days, I mustered my best possible “no peeking” strength and waited in great anticipation for that moment when I could run outside after the rain had stopped and start my rain log for 2013.

Much to my sadness, instead of finding a rain gauge overflowing with nature’s bounty complete with swimming tadpoles and minnows and paddling waterfowl, what awaited me were several pieces of thin glass hanging in the rain gauge holder and lying on the ground. There wasn’t even any dew on it.

I know we live in this modern world awash (ah, if only) in weather information and statistics, but the kind of “local” information I’m interested in can only be provided by me and my near neighbors. Different parts of town routinely receive varied amounts of rain and to paraphrase George Carlin, “I don’t know anybody who lives at the airport.”

For now I must bear the still empty 2013 rain log knowing I’ve already fallen behind on my backyard naturalist stats in the first week of the year. I have to content myself with the varied numbers of surrounding neighborhood weather watchers, wondering just where I fit in.

I suppose the fish story version can always be, “It rained so much the bottom busted out of the gauge!”

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