Patience pays off with rain; what’s next?
It wasn't too difficult to think about what to write about in this week's column. Rain, finally, and what a boat-load of it there was.
When it started Thursday and was such a nice, gentle rain like we haven't had in so long, I thought it was over. We had about a half an inch and while that wasn't nearly enough, I wasn't going to get greedy. It certainly was better than a poke in the eye.
Then there was the chance of rain on Friday. I wanted to be sure and get the Baldwin High School football scrimmage in, so I was hoping it would hold off. I made the mistake of saying, "just let the scrimmage be played and then it can storm."
Well, I wouldn't really say it stormed, but when it started raining Saturday morning and didn't stop until Sunday, that was a little bit more than bargained for. In asking around, it was pretty obvious that everyone got a good soaking.
To the north around Vinland, Larry Craig reported seven-and-a-half inches of rain. Rick Madl, south of Baldwin, checked in with the same reading, so it was pretty wide spread. In the middle of those two were the Wessels who had eight inches. Let's face it, it was plenty. Much like when the temperature gets over 100 degrees, who really counts after four or five inches?
July was hot and dry and August was certainly no better. In fact, it might have been worse. Coupled with the business of back to school, fairs, etc., it was a month to forget. I muttered the thought "thank God August is over" and was hit with "Amens."
We've all felt the effects of too much heat and too little rain. When was the last time you mowed? I honestly can't remember. Best I can recall was before the Fourth of July.
But I can't help but feel sorriest for area farmers. While there has been some good corn harvested, most of it isn't doing too well. The soybeans just aren't there. That was from the heat and no rain. It was bad enough.
Now throw eight inches of rain into the mix. What does that do for the farmers? It creates more problems. As bad as the corn looked in the heat, it looks even worse after the rain. There's no way to get in the fields and cut it now, too. If there's any sort of wind, the corn will be laying flat.
If that's not bad enough, the rain didn't do much for the soybean situation, either. The way it was looking Thursday, farmers could at least expect an insurance payment for no crop. Now, if the rain spurs some growth, that's even gone. They'll be cutting a lousy crop, whereas before, they probably wouldn't be cutting a crop at all.
As the old saying goes, "that's farmin'."
The rain did help on the grass side, though. You could almost see the grass growing Tuesday. It won't be long before we're on the mowers again. I'm guessing Saturday. I'll be ready. I miss it.
It also helped bounce back the grass in the pastures, too. Farmers were already having to feed their cattle hay and it was way too early for that. Maybe that will change, with any luck.
But, it was kind of fun to see the cows come running when I fed them hay the last two times. And, we had a bumper hay crop, so we're in good shape either way.
Has everyone viewed Mars by now? That's another thing that was affected by all the rain. It's been too overcast since Thursday to get much of a look. Luckily, we had seen it Wednesday, so I figured that was about the end of it.
But, we had a get-together Monday night to view it through a gigantic telescope and the weather cooperated. There were scattered clouds, but there were plenty of good views.
The telescope was new and we weren't quite sure how to use it. We locked in on the moon and it was incredible. The detail of the craters and other moon stuff was amazing. We didn't have the same luck with Mars, but we could see it somewhat better.
But, the view with the naked eye was good enough. Mars won't be that close again for a very long time. Let's hope that isn't until we have another rain. I kind of liked that.
What I don't like, though, is how the traffic situation along U.S. Highway 56 seems to be getting worse instead of better. Trying to get across the highway around 8 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. is getting to be a chore.
The worst time, at least to me, is that 8 a.m. time slot. Everyone is headed for work, school, etc. With the afternoon times, it's at least broken up a little.
Regardless, it is way past time that we get a traffic light along the highway and I'm not so sure we don't need two. I'll settle for one at U.S. 56 and Sixth St., but another one at Eighth St. wouldn't hurt.
But, that would take another round of counting and what-not by the Kansas Department of Transportation. I doubt that happens anytime soon. And, who knows, maybe the light at the Sixth St. intersection will be enough.
Too bad we'll be waiting patiently, or not so patiently, until that light comes in. It will be awhile. But, we're used to that -- we've been waiting on rain for way too long, too.