Thursday, September 4, 2008


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!


  1. We're in the same boat as you, Amy. I think this is the driest I've ever seen it here. The ground is actually pulling away from the trunks of the huge oak and hickory trees in our yard. We had a slight shower this evening, but it wasn't even enough to wet the ground. I think it evaporated before it even hit. I'm not sure our grass will even make a comeback.

    Still no eggs. I think the chooks have decided to wait until the heat lets up. It's been in the nineties every day this week. They walk around all day with their mouths hanging open. I've been putting ice in their waterers so they'll drink enough. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us to get a good soaking rain soonest.

  2. Susan, I've been hoping, waiting, praying and the chickens are doing a rain dance. I think if it does rain they'll freak out because they haven't seen rain in so long! It finally cooled off up here today so hang in there. You're a good chickie mama looking after your girls!

  3. Congrats to Cheese Doodle! That's terrible about the drought. We finally got rain this week after weeks without it, but at least we got some.

  4. Hi, I am a Michigan neighbor a bit northwest of you. We have had a dry month as well. The pond is about 2 feet low. We luckily got a good soak from Gustav on Tuesday. I hope some comes your way soon.

  5. Ruth, we got just a little rain overnight but nothing significant. *sigh*

    Sugarcreekstuff, our pond is almost a foot low now. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

  6. I'm so sorry Amy.. I know how you feel- we went throught the same thing last year.
    From May 6th until the last week in August last year there was not a drop of rain fell. It was awful.


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