We continue to experience Seattle weather here at Peeper Pond Farm. Another front has draped itself across our mountains feeding us a daily dose of rainfall. Today will be the sixth day in a row it has rained and the sun has been hidden by low clouds and fog. It began on September 7 when we received 1.43 inches of rain. During each of the following days, we received 0.78 inches, 1.12 inches, 0.56 inches, and 0.31 inches. When I awoke this morning to another fog-shrouded daybreak, I discovered another 0.38 inches in our rain gauge and we are expecting more in the afternoon. As of the morning of September 12, we have received a total of 4.92 inches of rainfall this month, while the 30-year average for the entire month in nearby Upper Tract is only 3.15 inches. That brings our total cumulative rainfall since April 1 (the day I set out our rain gauge for the season) to 45.61 inches. This compares to the 30-year average for Upper Tract over a full year of 35.33 inches. In less than 5 ½ months, we have received just over 10 inches more rain than would occur in an average year.
Consider that we are still waiting to see what Hurricane Florence will drop on us after it comes ashore in the Carolinas and you can see why we loudly proclaim we’ve had enough rain for a while! Mother Nature needs to understand that the last thing a drowning person needs is another glass of water. We desperately need a chance to dry out and clean up from all the mudslides, downed trees, and accumulated flood debris. It’s bad enough that I can’t find a good time to mow the grass, which has grown relentlessly all summer long.
Although we are in our sixth consecutive day with no sunshine, I can’t say that we have been completely deprived of the natural beauty that surrounds us. The dense fog that settles across our mountains and hollows has a beauty all its own. I was sitting on the porch this morning, watching it creep through the forests and drift down Brushy Run Hollow. It’s the one opportunity we get to watch up close as a cloud grows and drifts across the land. I’ve watched the mist fall and collect on the grass in tiny droplets that cling to every blade, leaf, and wildflower petal in our field. I have also consoled Calli many times when she races to visit me on the porch from her hunting forays, drenched from nose to tail and the top of her back to the soles of her feet and seeking a brief respite to clean the accumulated water off her fur. I also enjoy hearing the steady rush of water in our ravine as it cascades down from Cave Mountain, accompanied by a chorus of tree frogs. Each occasional storm announces its approach by the soft, swelling patter of raindrops on the forest leaves and boldly proclaims its power with a rumble of thunder that echoes endlessly along the valley. It’s a pleasure to watch rippling waves of rainfall tumble down from a distant shower as it slowly creeps across the landscape. Many times this summer, we have enjoyed full double rainbows spread out across our mountain view.
These are but a few of the sensual delights that rainy weather can bring. Even though every opportunity for mist is another missed opportunity for sun, our rural Pendleton County mountain landscape displays a beauty all its own that we never cease to enjoy and appreciate. How many of you take the time to truly enjoy the natural beauty of your own home, and how many of you get the opportunity to live in a place that abounds in such natural beauty as we experience daily here at Peeper Pond Farm? Trust me when I say it’s the best cure for a rainy day—even for a bunch of them.