Storms moving ahead of the cold front brought 1.5 inches of rain to Blue Jay Barrens early yesterday morning. Except for the 0.1 inch of rain that accumulated over a drizzly Labor Day weekend, things have been completely dry since the first week of August. The plants were quick to take advantage of the moisture and droopy leaves became fully extended within a few hours.
The restored vigor of the plants along with the cool breeze and fluffy clouds made it feel like early September. This may be the first time this year that the weather and plant conditions actually matched the calendar. Maybe the remainder of the year will follow a little closer to normal.
The Indian Grass looks good, but it’s still a couple of feet shorter than normal. Instead of standing a couple of feet above my head, the grass almost matches my height. I can easily walk through the stand without having my view blocked by thick grass stalks.
Besides being short, the grass stand is not as dense as normal. That means it will be easy to see small cedars in the field after the plants die for the season. Unless we’re covered by snow all winter, I’ll get out and cut those invading cedars.
The rain came at the perfect time to help the Indian Grass. The grass is just now flowering and needs that moisture in order to produce a good seed crop. With so many plants aborting their seed production because of drought, the Indian Grass seeds are desperately needed to sustain the flocks of sparrows that winter in the tall grass stands.
The shorter grasses in the driest areas also perked up after the rain. These areas are in perfect shape for winter cedar maintenance. The plants grew so little because of the drought that they didn’t even hide the small cedars. I think my little loppers are going to be very active this winter.
Puddles formed in the creek bed, but 1.5 inches was not nearly enough rain to restore stream flow. I’m anxiously awaiting the return of stream flow, because that will mean our well level is on the rise and we can ease back on the water rationing.