The Storm Has Ceased

After three days of relentless rain and wind from the northeast, it ended overnight. The temperature climbed all night instead of falling as it generally does at night and I awoke to thick as cream gravy fog. The weather and last few days of inactivity made me lazy enough to stay in bed much later than usual. I generally awaken when the sun lightens the sky outside the windows, but today I ignored it, turned over and dozed off and on for another hour.

The morning routine, everyone has one, after getting myself together is to let the pups out, prepare their breakfast, turn the kettle on to make tea or coffee, and either put granola and yogurt in a bowl for me, or toast a couple slices of homemade bread that get topped in various ways. If there is left over cornbread, it gets pan toasted in butter. As I sit at the table with my coffee or tea and breakfast of the day, I watch the birds. The Hummingbird feeder stays out and they are busy at it early, it is on the front of the house. The back has the Shepherd’s crook hangers and the three feeders that go there get brought in to the garage at night after they were taken down and damaged by something one night, shortly after we spotted the small bear in the hay field. The mixed flock of finches, chickadees, and titmice flit around it all day. Other visitors attend their needs. We have a Red bellied Woodpecker, a Hairy Woodpecker that are frequent visitors, Cardinals, a bully Mockingbird that chases everything else off, and this spring we have had Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, new to our feeders. First I would just see an occasional male, yesterday there were 3 males and 3 females. Lovely birds, I hope they stay. There are a few Eastern Bluebirds that pop by too, I think one has a nest in one of the boxes in the garden.

Hey hooman, it is your job to feed us, where are the feeders?

When I went out with the feeders and chicken scratch, the creeks were raging. The news said the New River crested over 20 feet overnight, flooding the low side of the river in Radford and probably other areas along it’s route. A road we take from Blacksburg home when we aren’t in a hurry runs along a low edge of the river and though we have never seen the water up to the road, it has flooded yards, the campground, and other low areas.

The topography of our farm is the highest elevation is at the entrance to our driveway. The house is about 80 feet lower. The west side of the farm has a creek that flows down to a sinkhole and drops through the ground at the base of a stone cliff. There is a second creek that is just a run off creek that will keep some water in it except in very dry weather, then it is totally dry. It flows the width of our property, across the road for about a quarter the width, then under the road in a culvert and angles along the top of the property until it is about 100 yards from the other creek and they converge in the sink hole. Down the west edge of our property and over on the adjacent farm is an old creek bed that dried when the sinkhole opened. When we have a lot of rain over several days, the drain hole in the bottom of the sink hole can’t cope and the flat bottom of the sink hole becomes a pond. If that pond gets high enough, the water runs down the old creek bed. Though the uncut hay was wet, after chores, I walked over to see the creeks from the top of the cliff.

Usually the creek runs clear even in heavy rain, but they recently logged up the mountain from us and I suspect that contributed to the mud.

Walking through the tall wet hay soaked me to above the knees.

Pants went straight in the dryer when I came back inside. The wood ferns are unfurled, the blackberries are full of blossoms, so there should be lots of berries to pick this summer. I can’t get to most of the berries until after the hay is cut.

After the sun comes out and dries things off a bit, there is some weeding to do in the garden. The beans are beginning to sprout, more potato sprouts are up, but lots of little weeds between them. The tomatoes and peppers survived the torrents. I still don’t see corn, sunflowers, or cucumbers. The herbs and pumpkins started indoors are sprouted and they were put out on the deck this morning to get some sunshine. While the ground is soft, it will be a good time to dig the catmint under the fence edge and also a clump of thick tall grass that has entangled the bottom of the fence so I can’t weed whack it. Last week when I did the major mowing and weed whacking, I came right in after, tossed all of my clothing in the wash, showered, and I still got poison ivy on my jaw line and the back of one of my fingers. I wasn’t allergic to it when I was younger, but wow, now I am.

Last night, not wanting to spin or knit on the shawl, I decided the rainbow yarn was going to become a skinny rainbow scarf. It has a plan and a possible recipient. We will see.