I've been biting my tongue trying not to bring up the subject of how dry it is here. It's normal to not have any rain this time of year in northwest Ohio. Last August we didn't get a drop of rain and I don't think we did this August either.
We had record rainfall in July with over 8 inches following an equally wet spring. Our hard pan clay can't hold moisture very long though and I'm afraid those water reserves are all gone. I stand by and wring my knuckles over the 200 saplings I planted in April. I'm afraid my losses are at 10% now, with more to come. I strain my eyes at cloud formations hoping that some water will fall from them. But it doesn't. There are cracks in the soil so big I can stick my foot in them.
The really agonizing part of all this is that there is rain all around us. Take a look at the Doppler radar map and you'll see the remnants of hurricane Gustav making its way in our direction. The red star is where the Twelve Acres is located. But is there any of that life-giving green above us? Nooooooo! We live in a pocket, if you will, protected on the north by Lake Erie. It protects us from the really bad snows in the winter which usually bury places like Chicago and Cleveland. Unfortunately, it also means we usually have a drought every summer. It could be raining like hell 15 miles to the west but dry as a bone here. When September rolls around our rainfall returns to normal and the huge cracks in the ground close up and the grass gets green again. As it is right now, we haven't mowed our lawns in well over a month...the grass is all dead. On the bright side, the drought is saving us money because we haven't had to buy gas for the mowers.
Enough doom and gloom! I have a bit of exciting news. Cheese Doodle (our only Buff Rock pullet) laid her first egg today. It is noticeably lighter than the Orpington eggs with its light chalky shell color. It's a tiny little egg but I'm so happy to have found it. The girls produced 3 eggs today. Don't be fooled by Miss Cheese Doodle's placid countenance. She'll take your arm off if she's so inclined!