299: And then the rains camePosted: July 19, 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And that, folks, is about all the news from the Bogs for today. Thanks for dropping by!