Monday, July 25, 2011

When it rains, it pours...and I mean that in a good way

It was Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m. I was doing laundry. My exciting life. I heard a strange sound outside. Could it be? Was it possible? Was I hearing raindrops on the roof? The sound went from raindrops to hail in about five seconds. In the few minutes it took me to find the camera and aim it out the window, a stream was running across the corral and through the culvert that Lucy and Ethel built last fall. 
(Not donkey Lucy, the other Lucy – the one that got in all sorts of adventures when her best friend Ethel came to visit.)

Anyway, the water was flowing through the culvert just like I'd hoped prayed it would. This was the first time it had been tested. Let's do the math. Culvert built - October 22, 2010. First time water ran through it - July 24, 2011. That would be nine months without serious rain. There's a joke in there somewhere about giving birth and labor pains but I can't quite find it, so let's move on.

The problem with the picture above is that Hank, George, Alan and Lucy are nowhere in sight. Damnit! I want to be rejoicing and singing in the rain and puddle jumping, but I can't because I don't know the whereabouts of my herd. The last time I saw them was an hour ago as they headed down the path to the back 40.

My brain goes into mom mode: check on the chickens, grab raingear, then go find Lucy and the boys.

Lord have mercy. Have you two learned nothing since the last big storm when you almost drowned and one of you fainted?

Peach: Sure wish we could figure out how to get inside that coop where it's dry.
Clara:'d think there'd be a door around here somewhere.
Me: Your sisters found the door. Why didn't you follow them? I give up. You're on your own.

I headed out toward the barn. 
The rain had eased up a bit and I could stop to admire the culvert doing its job.  
Thank you for helping me build it, Ethel!

Me: Wynonna! It's still raining. What are you doing?
Wynonna: Inspecting the culvert. Want to be sure I can get to the dining room porch when it's time for supper.

Wynonna: Can I at least have a snack for making the trip all the way down here?
Me: No.

The front pasture was one big puddle, with streams replacing the dusty, beaten paths.

Surf's up!

Every puddle brought a smile to my face, knowing the grass might finally begin to grow. 
Now if I could only find my herd. I walked to the end of the back 40 and they were still nowhere in sight. 
I started wondering if they all could swim.

I turned around and headed back to the barn, hoping they would meet me there. 
At one point I looked behind me and much to my delight, there they were, emerging from the trees.

Whew. They all looked fine and no worse for wear. The only thing amiss was Alan's fly mask. 
This would mark the third time in as many days that he managed to lose one. Grrrrr. 
Somebody's not getting his allowance next week.

Me: Hank, you don't have to follow the path, you know.
Hank: I know. I just like the way the water feels when it squishes under my hooves.

Hank: Is that a trout?

By the time we all got back to the barn, an outdoor symphony had started. Coyotes, birds, and who knows what else were singing and carrying on, celebrating the return of rain to our patch of the desert. We all had to stop and drink it in.

George: Music to my ears.

Before I went in the house to pour a celebratory glass of wine dry off, I stopped at the garden to check on the chickens.

Me: You two look madder than a couple of wet hens.
A half inch of rain is nothing to be mad about. Now get over it.


  1. I'm SO glad you finally got some rain and that your culvert worked ... can't believe that this is the first time it's seen rain! Yikes!

  2. I love the surf's up picture! Those ripples are neat!

    Is that enough rain to green things up a bit?

  3. You know, it just occur to me that you could probably get your herd trained to come at a certain kind of whistle. "Time to rally around mom" signal. 'd have to find the best whistle for equine ears... just a thought...

  4. Loved the picture of Hank following the stream home. Ha-ha. Old habits...

  5. Loved the photo of Hank walking in the stream to get home. Old habits...

  6. Estella from Co.7/25/11, 5:54 AM

    Hurray! rain...everything smells and feels SO GOOD after a rain, so fresh and clean. Hank and the trout, that was good. All of your conversions with your herd is GOOOOOOOD. Have a refreshing day.

  7. oh, congrats to you and your critters and land for getting some rain!!!

  8. YAY! RAIN!!!

    LOL on those wet hens. I can't believe they couldn't find the door!

    I wonder how he's getting off those fly masks. You know, technically it's got to be someone else's fault. Sort of like when you come into town and you meet two barbers, one with the bad hair cut and one with a good hair cut...

  9. woohoo!!!!Alleluia, I have been a praying for rain for my very dry neighbours 3000 or so miles south of me here in Canada....Wynonna honey, maybe you would enjoy the water more if you were wearing a bikini ;-)

  10. Yay rain! We've been doing our own celebrating of it, too. Love it.

  11. Carson, we are over here in Scottsdale, AZ, and we got a drenching last night! And quite a spectacular light show! This morning, the quail are running around and I'm heading out for a walk. LOVED your photos of the rain water running! I bet all your animals loved it! The monsoon season has officially begun, eh?

  12. Hooray!!! Suffering from the same lack of rain that you were, I'm happy for you. Your culvert looks wonderful.

  13. Those silly hens! I'm thinkin that somebody is enjoying trying to get his brother in trouble with the missing fly masks. :) We had a drenching last night, too. First rain we've had this year. I'm thrilled-but the herd won't be. Now the nasty little gnats will show up to torture them.

  14. Love it,, "is that a trout?" Perfect!
    and our pony always, always, slips his fly mask!

  15. Ah, rain in the desert- now watch things pop! Love that last photo of George, I think it's my favorite yet of him. Of course, he has to look all innocent and handsome, in case you figure out that he just MIGHT have had something to do with the missing fly mask!

  16. I can't imagine going 9 months without rain!

  17. I could "smell" the rain from these pictures. Nice job on the culvert!

  18. Those donkeys are gorgeous, glad you've got rain! I am following you now :-)

  19. Crazy! Love the way the culvert was working. Of course Wynonna would be over to check it out. What self respecting pig wouldn't want to play in a mud puddle? Those chickens are too much. I'll bet they can do a good "Who's on First" sketch.

  20. That rain must have been quite a reprieve from the long dry spell...good for you guys !! As usual, LOVE the commentary that goes along with the pictures :) Jeanne from SC

  21. So, are some breeds of chickens smarter than others in that they have enough sense to get out of the rain?

  22. Nothing smells better than the desert after a good rain.

    Chickens never cease to amaze me. Doesn't take much to overload their little brain pans!

    Wow on the insta-stream photos. New Mexico is the only place I've been besides central Washington where it actually gets dusty when it starts to rain because every raindrop makes a puff of dust come up.

  23. Oh that must have felt great for everyone... Especially when they all rolled in the mud afterwards!!!!

  24. Hallelujah...rain! My newly installed rain barrels filled up so fast, now I have 460 gallons stored and it won't stop raining. Then the lightning fried my hot tub, TV, and one computer. Glad to see the boys and girls at 7MSN enjoying the wet. Isn't it something the way all the birds, insects and critters all start singing after a good rain?

  25. JULY 25th?!!! I can't believe it!! YAyyYYYYYYYyYYyYYy!!! for the rain, we are having a couple lil storms here too! I LOVE the rain!! That ornery Alan! hehe

  26. you have instructions on how to make a snake removal stick? I'm tired of seeing squished snakes on the road...I could remove them if I had a handy, dandy snake stick!
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~ here's my email:

  27. I am so envious of that rain! There is no stealth mode here as everything crunches when you walk.

    Like the new header.

  28. So glad YOU got rain! US, not so lucky. They said on the news just last night that we would need 15 inches of steady rain to overcome the current drought situation.

    I love the picture of the guys and girl with all ears up and looking in all directions! We would do that also if we had 1/2 inch of rain! Blessings!

  29. I'm envious of that rain too! Send it back this way!!! It looks SOOOOO GOOD. We're dryer than dry here. At least I can look at your rain and appreciate it as much as you do :)

  30. Water, water everywhere and not a single... place to roll! How odd to see all the special dust bath places turned into wading pools!

    The pic of Peach and Clara standing under the non-existent eaves of their coop *cracked* me up!