Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rain Dance

Or maybe it is the happy dance. Our rain gauge held 0.9 inches (23 mm) of water this morning! Add that to the 0.5 inches in late September and those two storms resulted in roughly 50% of the total rainfall of the whole water year (counted July 1-June 30) prior to that.

I feel like such a geek for blogging about small amounts of rain comparable to mere fog in other parts of the world. But, I noticed that Grandma Ann of Sitting Knitting and BAM of Breathing Treatment also blogged about the rainfall and gave their rain gauge readings. Don't miss the photos of the sunrise before the rain at Sitting Knitting. Actually, don't miss any of the photography over there.

(Aside: Mark and I were discussing the geekiness of owning a rain gauge. I said that most of our friends have them, too. He said that our friends are our friends for a reason, but they are not typical. So show of hands. Do you have a rain gauge? Leave a comment.)

Mark and I mucked around in the yard today. We neglected it so during my last health setback. I had to trim back half our lemon tree due to an aphid infestation. We also trimmed quite a bit off the (healthy) bay laurel tree and the rosemary bush. I put the trimmings out by the sidewalk with a sign saying, "FREE Rosemary and Bay Leaves (but leave the basket here)". One lady actually took some Rosemary. I went into the kitchen to get a plastic bag for her.

Maybe I will even knit tonight. My sister just bought another spinning wheel. She swears that she NEEDS them all, for different types of fibers. Yeah, that's right. I NEED all the stuff in my stash because they have different uses, too.


  1. Of course I have a rain gauge. So do my parents and my inlaws and grandparents in law and so did my grandparents.

    I think it may have something to do with that gardening/farming thing we all do/did.

    My parents, inlaws, grandparents and grandparents inlaw also have weather vanes. My inlaws have an anenometer as well.

  2. No rain guage here. I did inherit my father's barometer, but I never consult it. My son gave me an indoor/outdoor thermometer which has not been installed.

    Usually I just go outdoors in the morning, sniff the air (no smog, cool day), check to see which way the wind is blowing (if there is any. Wind in the morning means a storm is coming, no wind means business as usual.), check the warmth of the sun on my skin (if there is any. Relative warmth of sunshine indicates how warm the day will get even if the morning is cool.), and dress accordingly. I am right about the day's forcast at least as often as the LA Times.

    Can we still be friends?

  3. Ah, but Grandma Ann, the rain gauge is not to predict the weather but to measure what happened.

    For those of us who garden and aren't home during most of the rainstorms it provides a nice measurement of how much moisture our plants have had. We can use that information to help decide if we need to water more or less - without waiting for the plants to show signs of stress.

  4. Grandma Ann may not have a rain gauge, but she watches the sky. She also owns a telescope which trumps a rain gauge.

  5. If I ever really desperately need to know how much it rained, I will ask one of my geeky friends who have rain gauges. I may even ask them all, and take an average!

  6. Okay, I'll admit it. I'm just a geek who likes things to be measured. I have a thermometer that records the highest and lowest temps of a given period (or at least it did before we moved and it got damaged in the move) I wanted the more expensive one that I could download the temps at 30 minute intervals (so I'd know what time it hit the coldest or hottest).

  7. But Gaia, isn't that what science is all about? You take measurements in order to draw conclusions and make predictions. You are using your rain gauge to predict how much water your plants are going to need so they won't wilt. What I was trying to say was that we shouldn't forget to use our senses because our fancy measuring devices can be deceiving. Suppose your rain gauge tells you that half an inch of rain fell. But did that rain fall gently over several hours where it would have a chance to soak in, or did it come down in buckets in a few minutes and then just run off to the ocean? In the latter case, your plants will need watering sooner than you think.

    OK, I was also teasing Grace a bit too.

  8. It was a slow, soaking rain because I listened to it while lying in bed.

    But I am with Grandma Ann on over reliance on measurements. Remember what I wrote in It's all relative?
    "Because I don't have a wind gauge, I will have to use my eyes. Look at this tree across the street. It remained upright through the March 2006 storm only to list to the south this week after the storm. That's how the old meteorologists did it. They walked around with their eyes open and looked at the trees."


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