rain, almost

We’re located far enough south that the monsoonal influence that brings August rains to the desert southwest can sometimes make itself felt. But we’re far enough north that the effect is mostly somewhat more humid days but very little or nothing at all in the way of actual precipitation.

Yesterday afternoon I was on the computer, playing a game of Tetris, that time-sink that raised itself in my consciousness again now that media outlets were celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. For a few seconds there was this noise outside. Rain?

Raindrops on step

By the time I paused the game and made it outside most of it had evaporated, but I did manage to see a few drops left on some steps. It was enough to make it into the weather report as “a trace” of rain, but nothing to add to the 0.0 inches rainfall total since the start of the July rain season or 3.1 inches since the start of the year.

Sunrise clouds

A trace isn’t enough moisture to mean much to the plants, but the weather pattern made for nice clouds for the sun to colorize this morning…

Moon rising

…and a nice moonrise last night. (Sunset a few minutes later was great, but I don’t take my camera everywhere I go.)

We’ve been thinking about getting ready for a few days away to see some family in the Sonoma Valley. A little rain would have helped with the preparations by reducing the areas I’d be hand-watering in preparation for being away. There’ll be someone taking care of the house, but it would be a little much to assemble detailed watering instructions or to ask them to climb a short but steep bank of loose dirt with a watering can to attend to some plants that are still getting established.

At a time like this I realize that this is a gardener’s garden that requires selective attention to different plants. Most of the plants are grouped by water needs, and two sprinkler heads and a small drip system take care of the thirstiest plants. But the occasional new plant mixed in with established plantings requires individualized attention–mostly in the form of extra water, usually delivered by hand. So I’ll be working through a short list of watering chores to finish before leaving:

  • soak the potted plants
  • soak the new plants scattered around the garden
  • give the veggies a good drink
  • visit the water store for 5 gallons of water for the bog plants
  • water seedlings and cuttings in the greenhouse

Scooter recumbent

And there’s one final important thing to remember: Put cat food out where the cat sitter–but not the ants–can find it…

5 thoughts on “rain, almost”

  1. Ants just love cat food for some reason. My cat lives outside-as does her food. Unfortunately she is picky and does not like the ants but we make do. I know you must have been excited even to see the few drops of rain. When we finally got rain last summer after two months of none everyone came out of their houses just to watch. I think even a few drops help plants as it adds to the moisture in the leaves and even humidity helps out. Have fun on vacation and your garden will survive without you. Do not waste time worrying about it.

  2. Growing up in El Paso, we called it a 10-inch rain. Drops 10 inches apart! At least you had the smell of rain I hope. I hear you on the selective watering. Even after the wettest recorded June since 1903, I fretted about leaving for 10 days in mid-July. But there are some things you just can’t ask your helpers to do. Enjoy the time away knowing you’ve done your best!

  3. Tina, I love watching the rain, and the first rain of the season–or after a long dry spell–will pull me out of the house to watch it. For most plants, warm and humid versus warm, windy and dry is probably a better situation to be in. Our drying winds in October get me watering in the garden more than these summer days.

    Lynn, really funny about the 10-inch rain. I hadn’t heard that one. I’m almost done with the preparation watering, so vacation should be a no-worries deal. Gosh, I’m even looking forward to the interesting family dynamics.

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