This was the lake level on May 10th.
This is the lake level today. Soils are now 100% saturated down to 32″. We’ve had 21.63″ of rain for the month, and it’s still raining. The drought is well and truly busted. Now we’re dealing with periodic house flooding when the rain comes down in buckets and just has no place to go. Last night using a Shopvac, and 32 towels of various sizes, we sopped up some eighty gallons of water inside the house and some carpets still got soaked. When the rainfall rate is light to medium, my swales and diversion ditches can handle the runoff, but when the rainfall rate gets up to an inch an hour, all my efforts are quickly overwhelmed. Last night we got six inches of rain in roughly six hours. It was a crazy amount of rain, and there was no stopping it from getting into the house.
Do you ever come across a sight that makes you say: “Huh, well that’s different!” I came a cross just such a sight. I was checking out the extent of the flooding and could see a couple of butterflies feeding on a pile a something in the road. Silly me, I assumed it was dung. Butterflies often stop at a nice pile of dung to extract minerals. I started taking pictures getting closer and closer, when I finally realized it wasn’t dung at all but a road killed toad. I have never witnessed that before, but after a quick web search found that butterflies do indeed extract mineral salts, particularly ammonium salts from carcasses. In this case, the butterflies in question are a Viceroy on the left and a Red-spotted Purple on the right, there was also a Red Admiral stopping now and again. I’m still learning something new every day.
Last week I took this picture of our pond after getting a moderate 1.6″ of rain. We had a few frogs calling and life was returning to the vernal pool. Then the weather pattern changed and suddenly we were hit day after day with torrential rain.
Creatures long dormant came awake. Hurter’s Spadefoots crawled out of their underground lair and were hopping everywhere, including our flooded walkway.
The lake started reclaiming its floodplain and wildlife moved with it. There were frogs calling from the flooded forest, carp splashing in the shallows, and a flock of Wood Duck paddled down the street.
All the floating logs were covered with Red-eared Slider, crawling out to bask in the brief sunlight after days of dreary skies.
How did Windhaven fare? Our backyard became a sandy delta as the gopher tunnels spewed out the contents of the hillside. We had some minor flooding in Peter’s office as the gutters backed up and the drains clogged. I finally got all the gutters cleaned out by Sunday morning, then had very little rain to test them.
And the pond? After 8.94″ of rain in just one week, the pond is full to overflowing. I’ll be interested to see the drought report that comes out on Thursday. My guess is that the drought, at least in our neck of the woods, is well and truly busted.