Before anyone panics, NO, this is not a picture of a KSU-physics-department nuclear test cloud over the Jayhawk's football stadium in Lawrence.
But as a rather useful illustration of the frustration that is gardening in the Flint Hills,for all of those who don't live in Kansas, I give you the picture below, snapped on my way home from work on September 9th.
I had just gone north from the Vet School, took one look due west, and immediately grabbed my trusty "Jeep" camera, the Nikon CoolPix L22 cheapo that I keep in the glove compartment, and pulled over. This random rain cloud, the first actual rain hitting the ground that I'd seen in over a month, is sitting just to the south of my house, which is just over the hill on the western horizon at approximately the right hand edge of the cloud. By the time I'd gotten home 5 minutes later, the cloud had moved on, leaving a 500 foot or so wide sprinkle path over my neighbor's driveway and the pasture between us.
It was another week before we finally got a decent rain, an all-night soaker that provided us a solid inch of rain to wet the topsoil down four inches or so. It's an odd feeling to dig down into the dirt of my garden right now; moist soil for the first few inches, and then dry subsoil as far down as my shovel will reach.
Welcome to the Flint Hill's my friends...welcome to the Flint Hills, the most damnable excuse for a mid-Continental climate evident to gardening civilization.