299: And then the rains came

Storm clouds. Taken yesterday evening.

Late yesterday afternoon, dark clouds rolled over the trees at the back of the pond.  They brought lightning and thunder and gusty winds.  The lightning and thunder had a long and noisy conversation, back and forth debating the flash and the boom.  But no rain.

Empty threat?

The wind joined the conversation, blowing and howling and gusting.  Then it started.  A few drops fell from the sky.  Slowly the raindrops moved across the pond and began to hit the windows at the back of the house.  Within a few minutes, we had a beautiful, steady rain that lasted about twenty minutes.  Everything being so badly in need of the rain soaked it up so quickly and thoroughly that by the time I went outside after the storm had moved on, it was barely wet.

At last. The rain!

We had several rounds of storms throughout the evening.  Around 3am came the drencher, the one I thought might flood the basement.  (It didn’t.  Yay!)  We had almost 4 inches of rain in about two hours.  I was awake for most of it, admiring the lightning.  It reminded me a lot of heat lightning, the kind you get on hot, hot summer nights that produce a strobe-light effect with little or no rain.

Rain in the willows

The much-needed rain has combined with today’s heat to turn the Bogs into a steam bath.  I’m not complaining.  The trees and other plants all look so much better today, having had a good soaking.

Lovely, lovely raindrops

I’m not as happy about my walks around the pond as I have been in the past.  It’s not summer’s heat and humidity making me unhappy.  It’s the neighbor on the northeastern side of us.

Hot & steamy, even in the shady spots.

Along the northeastern side of the pond we have a hedgerow.  It’s not nearly as impressive as hedgerows I’ve seen in England, but it’s been there for about 50 years.  It was thick with shrubs and trees.  Some of the trees had died and became condos for the birds.  Within the hedgerow are bushes that produce berries every autumn.  Large flocks of birds come by and gobble them all up, loading up on calories before their big migration.

It's a jungle out there.

Well.  The neighbor, like all of the McMansion type neighbors in this area, in his infinite wisdom, decided to make his country property look more like the suburbs.  He expanded his great expanse of lawn (which he spends infinite time mowing) by having the hedgerow on his side of the property bulldozed.  He also had the dry creek bed leveled by filling it where it needed filling and leveling where it needed leveled.  It ought to be interesting to see what happens there when the spring rainy season is upon us.  I think he’s going to end up with a pond over there, like it or not, now that the creek bed is gone and there is no way to direct the overflow water back towards the creek in the woods.  His yard will now be the emergency spillway for the pond.

The creek will not be drying up today.

Without the trees and the hedgerow to block the view, I can now see his house and the next house over much better than I ever hoped to (or wanted to).  The neighbor did have his house up for sale last year, but was unable to sell it.  I strongly suspect a realtor suggested bulldozing the hedgerow so as to neaten up the area as well as to give them a Pond View.  That sort of thing looks good on the spec sheet when you’re trying to sell a home.  What upsets me most is that he had all those habitats for the birds and other critters bulldozed without a thought for the animals he was displacing.

I reckon we’ll be planting more trees soon.  Probably another row of willows since they are such fast growers.  We can put evergreens in between, as we have been with the current row of willows, and eventually they will grow, blocking our new view of the house next door.

Today's view of the pond

In other news, M and I took our bikes back to the bike shop from whence they came and had them tuned up.  A free tune-up was part of the deal when we bought the bikes.  I’m looking forward to going out for a ride to see if the tune-up has made a difference.  I bet it has.  The gears were starting to skip a little, something I was told to expect as the cables stretched.

The little fisherman's chair is now in the creek thanks to the heavy rains we had this morning.

And that, folks, is about all the news from the Bogs for today.  Thanks for dropping by!

37 Comments on “299: And then the rains came”

  1. Our rain didn’t last long at all – it’s always disappointing when it rains and DOESN’T cool things down… just makes the humidity levels go up….

    Wish I had a nicer comment than that – this heat zaps my ability to think…. 😉

    • Robin says:

      I know what you mean, Holly. I’m trying really hard to like summer, but summer is making it difficult with this heat and humidity. It’s supposed to get worse (we’ll be near or at 100 by Thursday).

  2. tedgriffith says:

    I’m so gald that you got the much needed rain, and a light show thrown in! Too bad about the hedgerow. Living in rural Colorado for most of my adult life, I have found that people move from the suburbs or city to the country because they are trying to escape, and then turn it into what they left. So very sad and depressing. I hope that you are able to grow a new treeline quickly. I would much rather look at nature’s ‘housing’ than the neighbors.

    • Robin says:

      …and then turn it into what they left.

      That’s it exactly, Ted! I don’t understand the point of it. Ah well. Our neighbors will also have a good view of all the meadows we don’t mow. 😀

  3. milkayphoto says:

    I’ve been glad for the rain here as well. The hot days dry out the plantings quickly and even with an automatic sprinkler system, I still find I have to hand water things just to make sure they don’t perish. (Especially the new garden with over 11 new trees planted in May).

    So sorry to hear about the loss of the hedgerow. I, too, often worry about the critter habitats when major changes in the landscape are made. Sure enough they will adapt, and with help and concern from you, and new trees to come, they (hopefully) will all be okay.

    • Robin says:

      I have hopes the critters will all be okay too, Tracy. There is still plenty of hedgerow left on our side of the property line, and hopefully the bulldozing hasn’t disturbed too much.

  4. That’s such a crime that your neighbour just ripped up the hedgerow… Many of our ancient hedgerows are protected by law over here, for the protection of the natural habitats they are for the diverse wildlife… Kinda hope you’r right that his yard will end up an emergency spillway… Love your selection of shots too as always, especially the one of the creek itself..

  5. Kathy says:

    Welcome the precious rains! We could use some, too. I especially like the lone chair photo above.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. 🙂

      I am so grateful the rains came I made sure to do a gratitude dance (seemed like a good way to follow up my rain dance).

  6. Derrick says:

    Oh goodness… I’m just going to look at your pictures until we get some rain of our own down here. Love the image of the fishing chair – and the new header is great too!!!

  7. ladyfi says:

    At last – rain beautiful rain! Love these shots – that last one looks like a painting.

  8. carlaat says:

    So sorry about the hedgerow. That kind of change is always hard. Love all the photos, but especially the close up of the chair, now in the creek.

  9. Kel says:

    so my ‘send some of our rain to Robin’ dance worked 🙂
    actually, it can’t have, we’re on floodwatch!

    how sad to have mcmansion neighbours out where you are
    of course they wouldn’t get the little lost habitat thing
    mcmansion owners are greedy consumers

    our neighbours to the left lost a tree and now we see their house
    and one of our trees fell behind us so we now see the house back there too
    which is very frustrating when you’re on 15 acres and you can see neighbours

    non-invasive bamboo looks tempting at times like these

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kel! Keep doing that dance. Perhaps it will send your floodwatch rains here. Not that I want flooding. We had that in the spring. I figure all that traveling will help some of it evaporate a bit and we’ll end up with just enough. 😉

      We planted some non-invasive bamboo back in our woods early on, when someone built a house back there in a spot that was supposedly never going to be approved (long story). It doesn’t seem to like our extreme winters (even though we got a variety that is supposed to do well in cold climates), but after all these years, one seems to have decided to start growing. Must be the extreme heat of the summer spurring it on.

      • Kel says:

        well we’re now have a flood warning instead of just a watch
        so you can have as much of our rain as you want
        i imagine bamboo would not be a fan of snow!
        not sure if its a fan of sand either…

  10. eof737 says:

    Terrific photos…. You had more rain than we did and you captured it.. As per your McM neighbor, I am apoplectic! Pity what some do without much thought. 😦

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. 🙂

      I just don’t understand some people and their lack of thought. But I guess that’s part of the whole experience of life.

  11. dragonfae says:

    Very glad you finally got some rain! Heck, we could use some here too, but I suspect the native Southern Californians would gripe up a storm.

    I tell ya Robin, I’m one city girl who hates the city. Hopefully we can one day have a nice bit of land away from it all. Until then, my yearly retreat in the forest will have to do.

    • Robin says:

      lol, DragonFae! I’m sure you’d get some grief for stirring up the rains and infringing on that sunny SoCal weather. M and I have been to San Diego a few times and one of the best visits was after a lot of spring rains. Everything was so green and flowery. 🙂

  12. Bo Mackison says:

    I wonder why it is so difficult for some people to let nature stay natural — especially IF they have moved out into rural areas. Go back to the cities if you feel the urge to bulldoze and walk on asphalt ground and tend your imitation golf course lawns.
    Hope the creatures whose homes were destroyed have found new spaces. Too bad about your view. Hope those trees a super growers!

    • Robin says:

      I often wonder that too, Bo. When we bought this property, most of it was mowed except for a hayfield that a farmer down the street would mow in the fall. Our first year here, we didn’t mow anything, waiting to see what would come up. We were enthralled with the grasses in the meadows and the way the wind would blow through them, creating those “amber waves of grain.” We found wildflowers popping up in the “lawn” and liked the color so much that to this day mowing is put off until we’re sure the colorful array of flowers are finished.

      All this explains why my vegetable garden has such a terrible “pretty weed” problem. lol!

      As for super growing trees, you can’t beat willows They go from a small stick with a few roots on them to touching the sky in no time.

  13. Karma says:

    It hasn’t rained here yet.. I wonder if yours will travel here today. When I read your paragraph “before the jump” I couldn’t help but think of Sting’s “Heavy Cloud No Rain.” I love Sting and he’s one of my favorites, but I don’t think this song was every released.
    Best of luck blocking out the thoughtless neighbor!

    • Robin says:

      I found it on YouTube, Karma. I think I’ve heard it before, but can’t think where. Thanks for the reminder! It’s a good song and I love Sting too. 🙂

  14. Your description of the rain’s arrival is brilliant–really nice writing, Robin! Glad it finally came. And sorry about the neighbor. That would frustrate me to no end!

    By the way, I also love the photo of the lone chair!


    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. Coming from you, that’s a great compliment. 🙂

      As for the neighbor, I figure he’ll get his rewards come springtime when the snow melts and the heavy rains fall.

  15. Love that first photo–mucho gusto! We’ve been enshrouded in soup and fog for two days now.

  16. You captured the rain theme well. Now if we could get some cooling rain to take away the heat wave…

  17. Hallysann says:

    When I was litle my mum used to tell usa story of two giants playing bowls in the sky. They would roll their bowling balls down the alley which created a thunderous rumble above us, then there would be a huge CRACK as they hit the skittles at the end.
    I still smile and think of the giants when we get a thunderstorm. 🙂

  18. Dana says:

    I LOVED your description of the storm’s arrival– so dramatic! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a little karma to head in your neighbour’s direction, but karma doesn’t need my help– she always finds a way. 🙂

  19. […] we also have plenty of room to stretch out and not notice the neighbors (except when they’re bulldozing down our hedgerow) or the power lines.  The natural gas well is hidden in some trees a few properties over from us. […]

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