Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Puddle in Pink

No, the photo at the left is not a diagram of the Florida peninsula that I have outlined in pink to indicate the nesting areas of flamingos or the winter homes of manatees.  Nor am I illustrating coastal erosion nor designating the position of the continental shelf off Tampa Bay.  All of those might be useful illustrations for a discussion or lecture on those topics, but I will refrain from expounding on any of those at the present time.

This IS a rain puddle on my blacktop just past the garage pad.  In fact, it is not just any rain puddle, it is THE rain puddle, the MOST IMPORTANT puddle, the puddle that I seek after every rain to provide me with a first estimate of overnight accumulation when I want to avoid walking to my rain gauge in the morning chill.  Over the years, I've come to know what each area and depth of this puddle means in terms of rain on my prairie.  Small puddle; less than 1/10th of an inch of rain fell.  Medium puddle; rain measured in 10th's.  Large puddle; might have to watch or I'll slip when walking down the hill.  Puddle overflowing the blacktop; so rare here as to be counted with hen's teeth.

As this modest puddle illustrates, however, this past weekend did bring blessed, life-giving rain to us in several small spurts.  First there was 1/10th on Friday, then wind, then another 5/10th's on Saturday morning, then wind, then a bit more rain on Sunday.  I think we got a total of just over an inch.  We need more, meaured in feet, not inches, but at least we are now back above 50% of expected average rain for this time of year.  And the prairie is no longer coated in fine powder like the surface of the moon, nor does my clay contain cracks that Bella might fall into.

The small pink petals outlining the Saturday (larger) puddle and now floating in the smaller Sunday puddle are Redbud blossoms blown down from Mrs. ProfessorRoush's favorite tree.  Yes, the Redbud flowering period has come and again, regrettably, gone here on the Kansas prairie.  Time moves on and the gardener needs to get all those final Spring chores.  I think I saw the first blossom on 'Marie Bugnet' last night from the window.  If so, it is several weeks early, and I am running several weeks late..

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