I tell you, it's enough to give a guy a complex. ProfessorRoush spent the early summer thinking that the two-year drought had eased, only to watch June and July turn completely dry in this area. I can't count the number of storm fronts that I've seen split and go north and south of us, or watched as they came in from the west and petered out at the edge of the Flint Hills. By Sunday, July 28th, this area was 2 inches below our normal July average, 4.92 inches (22.8%) below average for the year. Tuttle Creek Reservoir, just north of Manhattan, was at a record low elevation of 1074.49 feet. I was beginning to feel like a pioneer Kansan of the late 1930's, praying for rain, not for the crops, but so that the six-year-olds can see water fall from the sky.
Then, last Monday morning, July 29th, I started north at 4:30 a.m. for a business trip to Omaha Nebraska. It began to sprinkle on me when I was 10 miles north of Manhattan and it rained all the way to Omaha (3 hours drive). According to the paper, by 7 a.m. Monday morning, it had rained 0.98 inches in Manhattan. By Tuesday at 7 a.m. it had rained another 2.1 inches. On Wednesday and Thursday there was minimal rain, but Thursday night there was another 1.89 inches. I came home Friday night to a 5 inch rain gauge by my vegetable garden that had overflowed. No more deficit presently for 2013. We now have a surplus of 1.85 inches for the year-to-date.
I'm now feeling a little guilty for not leaving town sooner. We rarely get Spring-quantity rains here in July and August, and if I'd been here watching the storms, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have rained in any measurable quantity. Others may have recognized my odd recent power over the weather as well. I texted a friend late Tuesday, saying "Evidently, all I had to do was leave town," and he replied "well, you can come back now, we're drowning."
The result of all this rain in my garden is a previously dormant lawn that now needs mowed, some very happy roses, and the rising dominance of the fungi. The large one pictured above, and the others sprouts shown here, have popped up in the location that I usually see them, an unusually damp spot along my "viburnum" bed where the grasses are always a bit greener. I fantasize that it must be the site of an old buffalo wallow. Or perhaps there is a subterranean spring lurking just below the surface here; a "dowser" witched out the spot last year and told me I should drive a well there. I'd have been more impressed by his abilities if the grass where he was standing wasn't emerald green while the grass 10 feet away was as brown and dry as a paper grocery sack.
I'm now afraid that if the weather turns dry again, I'm going to wake up to neighbors with torches and pitchforks ready to run me out of town. If so, I plan to use this blog as an emergency beacon, so please monitor it closely over the next few months and be ready to rescue me from the lynching townsfolk. Or just give me a quick ride out of the area.