158: The annual flood

(A crocheted coral reef.)

The photos I’m using in this post were taken at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History when M and I went to Washington, D.C. last December.  The exhibition is called The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef.  This is another of those instances where photographs are not nearly as good as the real deal.  It is pretty amazing what the local crocheters and crochet groups managed to create.  I saved the photos for a watery post.  This seems to be it.

Apropos of nothing in particular:  My mother taught me to crochet.  It has been a long time since I sat down with a crochet hook and some yarn and created something.  Hopefully it’s like riding a bicycle.  All I have to do is pick up a hook and I’ll remember how to do it.

It stormed here in the Bogs last night.  And I mean STORMED.  There were many, many bright flashes of lightning and loud booms of thunder that rattled the house.  The rain POURED.  Torrents of rain.  Early this morning one of the local weather people said we had gotten 3 inches of rain overnight.  The rain, of course, melted the snow.  The result?  Water, water, everywhere.

M went down to the basement to discover that yes, indeed, the water made its way into the basement.  It’s the annual February flood.  Sometimes it waits until March if the rains start late.  One year we had no flooding at all in the spring, but a hurricane blew through and left behind so much water that the ground was over-saturated and there was no place for the water to go except the basement.

Yesterday, without thinking about the rain and the snow melt, I sorted the laundry and left it in piles on the laundry room floor.  We found it all thoroughly soaked this morning so today has been a laundry intensive day for me.  It all has to be washed and dried before it starts to become moldy and musty.  You’d be surprised how fast mold can form.

I had planned to start my Spring Cleaning Fest in a couple of weeks.  Once again Mother Nature has decided I should start earlier than planned.

M and I had to carry out the throw rugs and area carpets that soften up the basement floor.  It’s still gray and misty outside right now, but the sun is supposed to come out eventually and that should dry out the rugs and carpets.

This morning I was thankful for a lot of things, but two stand out.  The first is the shop vac (or wet/dry vac).  It is so much easier to suck up all that water with a vacuum than with a mop.  There is one little area in the basement bathroom where the water continues to slowly stream in, and I’ve had to keep at that all day, going in every half hour or so to vacuum up the new water.  Once that stops, I’ll do a good mopping with some bleach.

The other thing I was particularly thankful for was the return of my photos on the external hard drive.  It just needed a reboot.  But I like to think that talking nicely to it while turning it on helped.


Today’s outdoor adventures

With all the early spring cleaning of the basement upon me, I did not have a lot of time to spend outdoors today.  I went out periodically to hang things on the line, to feed the birds, and to get in my full 30 minute minimum.  There is a great deal of water out there.  And mud.  Lots and lots of mud.

The birds are enjoying all the mud and water, though.  There were hundreds of them covering the front lawn when I went out this afternoon.  There was even a small flock of robins.  I haven’t yet seen the red-winged blackbird, our harbinger of spring.

One nice thing is that walking around the pond is much easier without the snow.  I did not go down into the woods as the creek has taken over and it’s mostly flooded.  See the two crossed trees in the center of the above photo?  The creek bank is usually somewhere behind that.  I’d like to take a ride around and have a look at some of the other creeks around here, but I don’t think I’ll have the time for it.

I did find this lovely surprise:

Crocuses!!  The little squiggly green things from a couple of weeks ago are now flowers and leaves.

The daffodils are pushing their way up out of the ground, too.

(The ice on the pond is thawing.)

Tomorrow morning should be interesting.  It’s going down to 20 degrees tonight.  I expect there will be plenty of ice out there in the morning.

32 Comments on “158: The annual flood”

  1. penpusherpen says:

    Fantastic crochet photo’s Robin, honestly looking just as alive with colour and shape as the real thing…
    Sorry to read about the flooding, must be tiring and draining ( um…wrong choice of word!!) and um…I’ll stop while I’m ahead I think… Fantastic signs of spring, new life poking their heads out, almost hesitantly, but definitely signs to bring a smile… WE have Bluebells sprouting, but Bess keeps wee-ing on them …as a reward for their efforts I think!!!
    Glad you found and retained the lost files, marvellous what a re-boot’ll do…Maybe I should try one on myself? 😉 take care and bye for now..xPenx

    • Robin says:

      “Draining” is a good word for it, Pen. lol! But everything seems to be dried out now except for a little more laundry that I’ll finish tonight. 🙂

  2. Karma says:

    Wowee! That crochet work is pretty amazing! When the page was first loading, I thought I was looking at a picture of an actual aquarium.
    I’m sad for your basement woes, but quite jealous of your grass and crocuses. Although the snow is melting, I won’t be seeing grass or crocuses or robins for weeks.

    • Robin says:

      I was amazed at how real it looked too, Karma. The folks who put that together must have really worked their crochet hooks. 🙂

  3. Wow, a crocheted coral reef! Amazing!
    It stormed here, too, last night, and the thunder woke all of us, except the 14-year-old! I guess she sleeps through anything.
    Hope you get your basement dried out soon, and everything back to normal. Times like this make me glad that we don’t have a basement.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Michaela. 🙂

      When I was a teen, I could sleep through anything. I think that’s only thing about adolescence I wouldn’t mind having back. lol!

  4. Bo Mackison says:

    I am in awe of crocheted coral reefs. WHo could even imagine such a thing, much less do it. Amazing!

    Sorry about all the water. Sounds…wet. And you are staying so calm about it. Good for you, Robin! Hope all is drying out.

    • Robin says:

      It’s amazing the ideas people come up with, Bo. I suppose you’d have to be an avid crocheter to one day think, “I could make a coral reef…”

      It’s mostly dry now, thank goodness. 🙂

  5. Oh no! A flooded basement is the worst. I had a pipe burst in my house once, so I feel your pain. I was also very thankful for my shop vac at that point. I’ll be sending good vibes your way.

  6. Robin, those crochet coral reefs are interesting, never saw that before, nice colors. Thanks for sharing them. Glad to hear you recovered your photos, but sorry to hear about your basement. I liked seeing the greenery you posted….Spring is on it’s way!

  7. ladyfi says:

    Those crotchet underwater scenes are amazingly gorgeous – just like those spring flowers you found… Lovely!

  8. k says:

    I love your blog and photos. You seem so down to earth. Thank you.

  9. milkayphoto says:

    My mom taught me how to crochet when I was a kid. Never kept it up but I know my mom still does it. She would really appreciate that exhibit!

    We used to suffer the ‘flooded basement’ woes. About 5 years ago we had enough and had the ‘B-dry’ folks do their magic. They spent a week in a very hot July digging out a 2 foot deep trench all around the perimeter, filling with drains and crushed stone, installing a mighty sump pump, etc. Aaaaaah…worth every penny!

    Looks like spring has descended upon you! How lucky! We are weeks away as it snowed (again) on Sunday!

    I’m 3 weeks into my workout committment and it is going well! Woo-hoo! Thanks once again for your Cathe recommendations…I’m enjoying her weight training and core workouts! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      My mother would have loved that exhibit too, Tracy. In fact, she probably could have made a coral reef of her own if she’d wanted to. She was quite a prolific crocheter, and she made some pretty remarkable stuff.

      We need to regrade our front yard and that will take care of the flooding problem. We’ve put it off because we have plans for an addition to the house, and figured any heavy equipment used for that would ruin any landscaping and regrading we did so it was decided we’d wait until we had the addition done. In the meantime, we did dig a trench which worked for a while. Guess it’s time to get out there and re-dig it.

      Well done on your workout commitment! I did the Muscle Max workout this morning for the first time in 2 weeks, and I’m fairly certain I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow. In a good way. 🙂

  10. Unbelievable that reef display is made up of crochet creations. That must have taken a lot of planning and work.

    Looks like you know the spring flooding routine and Nature does have a way of getting ones attention. We got your rains yesterday but no storms, only wind. Today is it sunny with a lovely blue sky. Birds were singing as I left for work. Spring can not be far behind.

    • Robin says:

      I hope so, Scott. Winter has been interesting, putting on some beautiful displays, but I am ready for spring. The birds seem to be, too. They have been quite vocal over the last few days. “Twitterpated,” as Friend Owl said in the movie Bambi.

      Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re walking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!

  11. jenna says:

    I have yet to spot my first crocii or robins – robins mean spring to me. So optimistic. And so brave to come out and stay out before it’s truly warmed up!

    I found crocheting to be like bike-riding. Well, I haven’t ridden a bike since I was a kid, but when I picked up the crochet hook after a hiatus of more than a decade, all that basic stuff came right back.

    • Robin says:

      I’m surprised, J. Usually signs of spring come to your area a few weeks before they arrive here. It’s nice to be early for a change. 🙂

  12. Okay, I’m a day behind on my reading, but have to tell you that your photos never cease to inspire me. I love the crocuses and tulips! Lovely, once again!

    Hugs from Haiti,

  13. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Those are some amazing crochet creations. I’ve crocheted blanket throw or two, but never had the patience for more complicated patterns. On the other hand, my sister crochets beautiful doilies with a tiny little hook. I think she got the gene from our great-grandmother – we each have some of her doilies and runners – I can’t get over how intricate and lovely they are.

    3 inches is A LOT of rain in one night! Do you often get floods in the spring? Enjoyed your photos… I bet a lot of worms came up from the water-logged soil – a scrumptious feast for those birds to gulp down! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I’ve never crocheted more than a few blankets and maybe a scarf or two, Barbara. My mother used to do that intricate work with the small crochet hooks. It always amazed me.

      We’re on high ground so we really shouldn’t have to worry about flooding, but there are times (heavy rain + fast snow melt or a hurricane with really heavy rains) when the ground is so saturated the water comes up through the floor of the basement. Fortunately it doesn’t happen every year, and some regrading of our front yard may solve the problem.

  14. I thought they were real corral at first glance. How cool!

    That is a lot of rain! Do you have mud boots? I always wanted to buy some, but have no reason to living in the desert :(.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t have mud boots, Morgan. But my husband does so I put his on if I want to slosh around out there (with VERY thick socks and they’re still too big…lol!). I really should get a pair.

  15. Marianne says:

    So sorry to hear about the water in the basement. Hopefully, that will be the end of the flooding.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Marianne. As of the time we left, the basement was dry. We saw on the news today that there were more heavy rains last night, but I haven’t heard from the housesitter so I’m guessing all is well. I’m sure she would have called otherwise. 🙂

  16. Anna says:

    I’m hoping to go see this exhibit with a fellow photography friend. Looks like it will be quite a sight. Thanks for sharing

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