Hurricane Nicole Brings the Rain

A wet, gloomy day
A wet gloomy day in the woods.

Who knew rain could move north from Florida so quickly?

I like to say we have our own microclimate, but today it was much like the macroclimate for many states around us: rainy. While we are receiving what the National Weather Service calls “beneficial rain,” people in the Appalachian Mountains from Tennessee all the way up into Pennsylvania will be on the lookout for local flooding. I guess it is worse in the South, closer to the hurricane’s origins.

We can only hope that this day or two of rain is addressing some of the drought and “abnormally dry” areas in the Mid-Atlantic states and into the Midwest. Years ago, when I lived in North Carolina, we were in the grip of a strong drought. It was so severe the news media were counting down the number of days of water left for Raleigh, the state capital. Then the remnants of a hurricane blew through and it was years before we heard the word “drought” again on the local TV news. I guess those reservoirs filled right back up.

Maybe some of this rain will fill up the Ohio River, which will in turn raise the level of the Mississippi. That could help float some of those barges and get commerce moving on the river again.

At least the warm Southern wind is keeping the polar vortex away to the time being. Our forecast is for falling temperatures reaching the 20s by Sunday night. I understand the much of the Great Plains states are currently experiencing a blast of artic air. Hopefully, they will get some snow to alleviate their drought.

Burning Wood

Yesterday was the first day of the season that we didn’t let the wood stove go out overnight. I had stocked it with two large logs when I went to bed and my wife added more wood when she woke up in the morning. I joked with her that we now had to keep the fire going until April. The truth is, we may well, although we let it die down every few weeks to shovel out the ashes.

Earlier this fall, when we used the wood stove, we’d let it go out at night and restart it late the next afternoon if it remained cold. Keeping it running is a sign winter is here. It also means I can look forward to carrying firewood into the house two or three times per week.

Real Beekeepers do it in the Rain

Bob Binnie, a commercial beekeeper who has an excellent YouTube channel, sells a bumper sticker that says, “Real Beekeepers do it in the Rain.” Not this beekeeper. I inspected my hives Thursday morning and removed the mite treatment. The hives looked very robust for this time of the year. I won’t be checkign them again for at least a month.

The hives are not yet wrapped in tar paper, but that is coming. I am also thinking about buying some foam insulation sheets to put on top of the hives.

Desk Bound

With rain all day Saturday, I wrapped up my chores quickly. Then I was indoors for the rest of the day except for a couple of dog walks. My surplus military poncho comes in handy, although the winds blew it up enough that I had a four-inch wet stripe on my pants just above my boots and below the poncho hem. The one arm sticks out the poncho to hold the dog leash or the feed bucket also gets wet, but that’s another plus of a wood-burning stove. The radiant heat does a nice job of drying things out.

One of the nice things about a rainy day is it gives you the perfect excuse to put things off and take it easy. I took advantage of being “forced” to stay indoors to check three desk-bound things off my to-do list, leaving just one pressing matter for tomorrow. Then I relaxed with a book and later the TV. My wife streamed a show and then fell asleep on the couch. It was a much needed “day off” for both of us.

This coming week is one of those rare weeks where I have nothing on my schedule that takes me away from home. That means I save money and gas by staying home, have time to go on some longer hikes, and will read some books.

If I get bored, I can always start building beehives.

Hurricane Nicole Brings the Rain