Sunday, April 27, 2014

I Think That Any Rain is Good Rain

And if that's true, then this morning we had a great rain. Thank the skies above, I heard the thunder at 4:30 a.m. and then rose with the patter on the windows reminding me to close the windows that were open. One thunderstorm followed another and by 7:30a.m., I woke singing to an old Bachman Turner Overdrive song;

"She said, I've had it comin' to me
But I wanted it that way
I think that any love is good lovin'
So I took what I could get, mmh
Oooh, oooh she looked at me with big brown eyes
And said, 
You ain't seen nothin' yet
B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet"

Rain on the Kansas Flint Hills is always a time to rejoice. Parched spirits are replenished along with the thirsty hills who are just waking to Spring. In the midst of euphoria, I had enough presence of mind to set up the iLightningcam app so that I could capture the moments of lightning and rain on my greater garden. In the photo above, you can see the paths of the garden turning green, emerald against the prairie grasses still cloaked in winter gold. My tower of Sweet Autumn clematis is greening in the center, and behind it, a Jane Magnolia holds onto it's last rain-soaked blooms. At the left foreground, my iris bed readies a banquet of blooms, the aptly named 'First Edition' already in flower. An early viburnum or two stand out white against the dark foliage of the early morning in the greater garden. Even in the golden carpet of the foreground, you can see the forbs greening up, the genesis of wildflowers that will come along as the seasons mature. This is the area of native prairie between the house and garden that I mow just once a year, every Spring, to allow the wildflowers a chance to compete. Fed by the rain and by the nitrogen generated out of the lightning, all this is going to explode these next few weeks, a bounty of foliage and flowers miraculously generated from dead twigs and brown earth.

It's 10:30 a.m. now and I just braved the continuing lightning and sprinkles to check my closest rain gauge. There is 2.4 inches in the gauge and it is still coming down, more slowly now as if the skies know the earth needs some time to bask in the glory of wetness spreading deep beneath the surface. According to this morning's sodden newspaper, we were 2.86 inches behind average rainfall for 2014 yesterday and an inch behind April's average rainfall. No more. Now the promises of the peonies and the roses are freed to fill us again with joy and beauty and grace.


  1. It is quite a novel thought, for us Brits, to long for rain, and to be truly aware of its life-giving properties. It is so common here that we regards it as a bit of a nuisance, something that stops us getting out into the garden when we want to. Your post made me think about how fundamental it is to the growing process. I wish you many more showers !!

    1. Thank you Jane. Yes, I wonder, sometimes, what living under the misty British climate would be like. Would I love the roses more, or complain instead about the blackspot?

  2. We didn't nearly get as much rain as that here in Atchison, but the little we did get was sorely needed. I grew up in a town on the Gulf Coast which fights Seattle for rainiest city in the US with it's daily thunderstorm deluges, so living out here in Kansas has been an adjustment to the lesser amounts of cathartic rain. Our gardens appreciated the little rain we did get, though.

    1. Yeah, less rain, more sunshine. As a gardener, which tradeoff would I rather have? Tough to say until you've lived the other side.

  3. whoop as they say in Aggieland.


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