Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Rain moved in late Monday night and stayed around until mid morning Tuesday, bringing a total of six tenths of an inch.  Not enough to change our drought status, but it did clean the dust off of the plants.  It was also enough to block my satellite signal and deprive me of internet access, so yesterday’s post never made it out.  Rural sometimes means you’re out of touch.  I took a walk in the last of the early morning drizzle to enjoy seeing things while they were wet.

Moles took advantage of the temporarily moistened ground.  Their activities are severely restricted when the ground is super dry.

Wind accompanied the last of the rain and brought down several leaves.  Black Walnuts are quickly losing their leaves and will soon be bare.  I guess I did my trail mowing at just the right time.

I found this handsome Eastern Box Turtle near the creek.  Rain brings out many of the turtle’s favorite food items, so turtles go on the hunt when things are wet.  I don’t think the amount or timing of this rain did much to improve the chances of the turtle finding a meal.  The rain wasn’t enough to soak through the dried leaves on the forest floor and wasn’t enough to bring out the slugs and earthworms.

A few temporary pools formed in the creek.  These pools are used by a wide variety of animal species.  The absence of birds along the creek is especially noticeable when these pools disappear. 

By the time I had worked my way around to the top of the hill, the last of the rain clouds moved past and blue sky appeared.  The long range forecast doesn’t give much promise of rain in the near future, so I guess I’ll continue to watch the drought progress for a while longer.

The rain was enough to fill all of my tubs.  I’m currently using four tubs to catch runoff water from the roof.  This has been enough for me to water plants and still leave plenty of water for permanent aquatic residents of the tubs.

Gray Treefrog tadpoles of all sizes can be found in the tubs.  Most of these will not transform into froglets before cold weather begins.  The adult frogs commonly lay eggs up until early September, so it’s normal to lose those last few batches of tadpoles.  An extended warm season through fall would give many of those tadpoles a chance to mature and leave the water before winter.  Most species will take every opportunity to increase their population size and loss of a few offspring is an expected occurrence.