Monday, July 25, 2016

It Won't Rain (wink, wink)

, we went from the rainy season right into the broiler. You have to love one hundred degrees and high humidity after a prolonged period of rain. Then you get oppressive heat, smothering humidity and mosquitos. There is nothing better than sweating and slapping while working outdoors. Misery loves company.
I must admit that I am afraid that we might be in a drought or at least a pro-longed dry spell. All the signs seem to be pointing toward that conclusion. This week the weatherman forecast a couple days of rain followed by cooler temperatures for the end of the week. As the first of the week approached the rain chances got slimmer and the temperatures got hotter. The weatherman misses rain often but they are usually right about cold fronts. In my expert opinion, that combination is not a good one, unless you are putting up hay.
Dad and I finished planting last week and we were surprised at just how dry the ground had gotten in just a couple of weeks. We were kind of counting on the rain. I suppose that was our first mistake. One should never count on anything as far as weather goes in Kansas.  However, the beans do seem to be coming up fairly well in spite of the conditions.
Back to the impending drought because as we all know, in Kansas we are either in the middle of an impending drought or flooding. Dad and I finished planting and went right into baling brome hay. Even though the forecast called for rain, we decided to mow hay down anyway. After all we thought we could sacrifice a little hay to bring on a rain.
Monday morning dawned with a forty percent chance of scattered thunderstorms. I drove down to Dad’s to get started on mowing hay and on the way down I saw two turtles crossing the road. This was another sure sign it was going to rain. Turtles are never wrong. I also noticed that every bunch of cows I saw were huddled up in a corner, another can’t miss sign of impending precipitation.
There was even rain on the radar out in Western Kansas and it seemed to be moving our way. Dad and I hooked up to the mower, serviced it, changed blades and we were ready to put hay down. A quick check of the radar showed that the rain was quickly evaporating but the forecast promised it would redevelop in the afternoon or for sure by Tuesday. We decided we had to start mowing sometime and that might as well be now.
Dad mowed hay and I worked on the rake and watched the radar. Later that afternoon it became painfully obvious the rain had passed us by for the day. No worries, the best chance of rain was Tuesday anyway and we had really set ourselves up to get rained on. Isaac was scheduled for his freshmen orientation at Kansas State and parents were highly encouraged to attend. Dad would be on his own (something he would say is not all that unusual) so there was no hope of one of us raking while the other baled. If that wouldn’t bring on rain, I don’t know what would. Just for good measure we went ahead and hung clothes out on the line before we left.
Storms were supposed to start bubbling up that afternoon. Sure enough about four o’clock little green dots started turning into green and orange. Maybe all this planning was going to work and our soybeans would get some much needed rain. I emerged from Isaac’s enrollment to see a darkening cloud pretty much over Manhattan. I called Dad and he had just finished raking and started baling, he also noted the rainy look off to the West. We both agreed that we would gladly sacrifice some hay for a little rain. That was probably our biggest mistake, never talk about your plans when it comes to rain.
That night I watched as the clouds built up and moved straight East, missing us by just a few miles. I heard reports that several places really close to us got a good rain. I have to admit that I experienced rain envy. After all we had done everything we could do to attract the rain and all of the signs pointed toward success. I mean how often do turtles and cows lie. In retrospect maybe I should have left the pickup windows down, but I don’t know what else I could have done. I guess we are in for a real dry spell, perfect haying weather, we might as well mow as much hay down as we can because there is no rain anywhere in the forecast. Nope, there is no way this hay will get wet, so I might as well get to mowing. Wink, wink!

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