Thursday, September 20, 2012

Missing the Rain

The pond at the corner is almost entirely gone but the heron still comes to stand in the last of the water every evening.  Surely there are no fish at all in the mud and the tiny circle of water cannot protect the bird from predators.  I guess to that bird it is home, and home is more important than food.

The prairie is full of blooming flowers, most of them yellow.  It is a constant source of delight to see the difference every year and in every season.  The prairie never looks the same.  It depends on rainfall, temperature and timing which plants bloom.  There were not many blue or purple flowers this year, but one spring there were blue and violet and purple flowers everywhere.  The blue flowers are delicate, needing rain and gentle conditions.  The yellow flowers thrive in drought and heat.  Ginger's pasture is full of a particular sunflower this fall but normally only a few of those plants blossom. 

The prairie is fine with this lack of rain, still green and growing, though the cattlemen might be worried about the quality of the grass.  I have noticed a few cows with ribs showing, which is not a common sight in these parts.   

Rain has come tantalizingly close many times this summer.  The remains of hurricane Isaac reached as far as Topeka, raining heavily one evening, but coming home, I quickly drove out of the rain into sunshine and not a single drop of Isaac rain fell at Spirit Creek.  Clouds have gathered and churned provocatively, but only a spattering of rain fell.  Twice it rained enough to leave water in the dog dishes, but not enough to quell the dust of the roads.

Having access to weather radar is not always a good thing.  Many times all of Wabaunsee County would be covered by yellow and green radar indications of rain, but no rain fell to the ground - a crushing disappointment.  Many times the storm clouds slipped around the county in an unlikely parting.  I have come to the conclusion the drought is due to someone wicked living in Wabaunsee County.  Not me, of course, but some other person whose evil and unholy deeds have caused the rain to pass us by.  But even if we were still allowed to burn witches at the stake, we could not burn anyone in Wabaunsee County because of the ban on open fires.  We will simply have to be patient.  Maybe the wicked person will move to Shawnee County.

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