July 9

We have been in a drought situation here since the last days of April. No rain, and hot, hot, hot; more so than usual for late spring.

It started raining on the 4th whilst I was starting the BBQ, and it has not stopped. We are not complaining. We welcome the rain.

I was up at 7:30 today; it is now noon, and it has rained constantly, and is continuing to do so. We welcome the rain.

I have not been out to the garden to check on the freshly transplanted melons and okra, as it is so wet. I may just brave it and go check the rain gauge to see what our totals are since this began. We welcome the rain.

The yard has greened up nicely with fresh sprouts of grasses, wildflowers, and of course, weeds. The wildlife are finding new places from which to scrounge their food. The water troughs have filled up today, due to the rain. The birdbath too, has filled up after we shut it off. The damn deer got spoiled and figured out that the birdbath had fresher water than that in the two troughs. We welcome the rain.

I hear thunder in the distance, and through the kitchen window, I can see the rain still coming down. This is ideal. A slow soaking is the best way to saturate the ground and gardens, filtering down into the aquifers, from whence we get our water.

The forecast says it will taper off over the next couple days, bringing back temps into the nineties.

We have some wrought iron patio furniture, that requires cushions if one sits on them for any length of time. As it began to rain on the 4th, I told the wife “for sure if I leave these out, it will rain constantly until they are brought inside.” It’s always a battle to leave them out? or bring them in for the evening. Now they are soaked with puddles of water in the seats. Perhaps the time to bring them in is upon us, then again I feel I would be admitting “nuff rain already!” should I bring them in. I used to think that the only sure way to make it rain was to wash and wax my truck. Never failed (or so it seemed).

OK, so I braved the spongy squishy wet ground and trekked to the garden. A few of the transplanted okra have come up, but not as many as I would have liked. The melons are looking good; all four of them. The rain gauge showed 2 1/2 inches thus far.

There was standing water her and there, but it’s not unusual for a constant falling rain. When it stops, it will soak in slowly. We’re fortunate here to be on a gentle grade from west to east, as the water runs across the property and away from us, should it be a downpour.

My pop spoke of a 22 inch cloudburst back in the 2010 era, and the massive flooding it caused. He was high and dry however. He indicated that the upper five acres had a wall of water run down into the cornfield, and washed it away. That’s a low area, hence the fertile soil there, instead of the caliche which we have here on the “higher elevation” of the property. He planned it well.

There was a guy at his church that told a story once about a water crossing at his ranch. It goes something like this

We built a dirt road over the low water crossing with a couple of colverts to handle the water flow under it in the dry creek bed. The first heavy rain washed out the entire crossing. We never found the colverts. So I installed a caliche water crossing; again with a pair of colverts; larger ones this time to funnel the water under the crossing. The next heavy rain that came, washed away completely as well. Then we put in a concrete low water crossing bridge with colverts and brush catchers…and it  never rained again.

I do welcome the rain. It’s good for everybody; one way or another.

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Senior Teenager

Garden Update

On the 4th, I was doing my usual surfing my blogroll, updating my list for Sam’s, when my internet crashed. We do not have cable internet out here, although it is “on the way”. Meanwhile, I have my phone set up as a ‘hotspot’ for connecting to the web. I repeatedly tried to reconnect, but to no avail. I figured that with the holiday and all, the tower to which everyone around here connects, was overloaded.

My suspicions peaked this morning when again, I was unable to connect. I could still hit the web with my phone browser, but it’s hard to see details on the screen; plus it crashes at will.

I am thinking how to troubleshoot this when it hit me: could it be so simple as to restart my Windows phone. I did so, and I’m back. I hate Windows with a cold passion.

Onward.

I am very disappointed in my garden thus far. No, I have not put in a lot of time, but I did plant 30 or so okra plants and some watermelons. One watermelon has poked up, and only about three okra. Disappointing.

So I took it upon myself to germinate the seeds the old fashioned way; in a wet paper towel stashed inside the cabinet. Lo and behold, I had three melon seeds sprout, and I transplanted them in some peat pots with some Bio Bizz organic soil.

They sprouted nicely above the soil after a couple days of getting wet with rainwater…there is no substitute.

I then put a couple dozen okra seeds in same paper towel setup, and in two days, had almost all of them sprouted.

After all the rain we just had, I used a pencil and planted another row of okra between the other failed ones. We will see.

I will transplant the melons when they poke up from their peat pots. It’s almost too late to plant those but it stays fairly hot here well into September.

The wife and I have discussed it, and with all the  moving crap we went through this spring, we just had no time to care for planting a garden early and getting the plants established. Next year, we will go whole hog and fill the five raised gardens with veggies, and work the cornfield to maximize its potential. No more excuses.

7/6

More rain today. That’s a good thing. Brief but intense showers. We’ll take everything and won’t complain. The forecast is rain for the next several days. That’s the best way to get it; short but frequent showers.

7/7

This morning I went to the garden and transplanted the watermelons that were in the peat pots. They came up nicely.

The okra I had germinated and transplanted the other day showed no visible growth. Still expecting rain for the next few days.

Irish Diplomacy

Gasoline Storage Revisited

I have been looking for viable gasoline storage containers, trying to avoid buying more 5 gallon cans, and came across this

https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/safety/safety-cans/fuel-gas/polyethylene-plastic-gas-caddy-fuel-tank-14-gallon-capacity?trackType=3&trackPrimKey=0&trackCatKey=4699&webCatKey=171&trackType=3&trackPrimKey=0&trackCatKey=4699&webCatKey=171

A 14 gallon poly tank for $119. It has its own filling nozzle, and wheels. I figure a couple of those might be handier than a shitload of 5 gallon cans.

The same company offers a 25 gallon container, similar to the above mentioned for just over $300.

It occurred to me that if I choose to go the route of an extra freezer, I would need extra gas to power it for as long as possible, in case of extended power outage.

I would prefer to have a larger tank, say 100 gallons, but the portability of such a size would be null, unless I mounted it to a trailer; permanently causing me to purchase a few hundred dollar trailer just for that.

My grampa used to drive a gasoline truck back in the sixties for the local farmer’s union coop. He delivered gas and diesel to farmers out in the boonies. I have found no such service here locally, but would make it ideal if there those who still did that. I am sure that that there are new regulations concerning what kind of tank the service could actually fill.

A couple of the 14 gallon tanks would be easily loaded into my trailer, and subsequently filled at the local gas station; easier than hauling 8 five gallon cans, unloading them, filling them, and putting them back into the pickup.

At this juncture, it’s my best option thus far.