Tag Archives: rain

It’s Been A Rainy Month

Our weird weather continues.  Seems like it’s either too hot, too cold, too rainy or too dry and we keep getting into the top 10 for something.  In that vein, this June we are having the 5th wettest June ever and we still have a few days to go. At my house we’ve had 6 inches of rain so far, with some in the rain gauge to be read tomorrow morning.


(Have I said how much I love my Rain Log app for my iPhone and my rain gauge?)

So how is the yard faring?  The swale between the yards is working as it should to let water run down the block. This is also the “no-man’s land” of the yard. It serves it’s purpose of shedding water and is well hidden by a row of blue spruce (raised up to keep their water-unfriendly roots dry). I’m amazed my fence is still standing after all these years of rain.


It’s also days like this that I’m glad I have my tall slogger rain boots to check everything out in.

rain boots

We have channels of water that run around the beds.  They seem to drain as they should and keep the water from puddling on the plants and trees.



We’ve had a new problem the last few years with the neighbor’s water washing right over our side beds instead of towards the back.  This was causing some terrible erosion, so we added some timbers last summer to redirect the water to the back swale where it should be.   Seems to be working perfectly!


We also had trouble with our shed which is situated in the low spot of the yard. We had it raised up and now it’s as dry as can be and the door will stop rotting away.  I’ll write about that soon.  It was quite a job, but a necessary one.  Looks like we need to do some repair work to pretty it up a bit.


Then there was the pile of clematis flower that got knocked off.  The early blooming clematis “Sugar Candy” was in full bloom, but this is what it looked like after a particularly bad rain storm.


I was just in Yosemite National Park in California and the difference between our lush, if not water saturated, greenery and their parched, drought stricken landscape was dramatic.  I would gladly share!

Ominous Weather

This is one of those days that you know the National Weather Service is all hands on deck.  We were supposed to drive from Chicago to Terre Haute, IN today to watch my son and his teammates run in the Nike Cross National Midwest Regional Race.  But, instead, I spent hours pouring over the all the NWS reports from Chicago, Central Illinois and Indianapolis last night and this morning, trying to make heads or tails out of what was headed our way. We decided it didn’t look like a good day make that long of a drive, so we stayed home and watched the race on-line.  Turns out that was a great idea and seems like most people took the warnings seriously as well.

weather map

When I went out to “batten down the hatches” this morning, it was weirdly warm, humid and quiet.  The birds, however, were going crazy.  It’s like they knew something bad was coming.  Not only was there a lot of activity, but birds were here I don’t normally see often.  And all at the same time!  In about 10 minutes among the starlings and house finches, there were robins, a pair of cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, juncoes, and even a cedar waxwing.

cedar waxwing

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a cedar waxwing, and certainly never in my yard.  Maybe it’s all the yummy berries!

As the day progressed, we had over an inch of rain, (which means the rain boots had to come out again) as well as lightning and hours of winds of 25-30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph.

slogger rain boots

We thankfully didn’t have any tornadoes nearby, although many, as predicted, were scattered around central Illinois and Indiana.  Prayers go out to those people who have been affected, it looks like a mess.  I’ll be glad when the howling outside ends.

Here’s some of my favorite places to get good weather info at home and away:

You can also sign up for alerts from the NWS, TWC and Accuweather , or get a noaa weather radio app for you device.  Do you have a favorite weather source?

My New Rain Boots

Ugh, water! Ever since NJ, where we moved into our first house in a new development and had an entire block’s worth of water come rushing across our backyard and down the side to the street, we seem to have been plagued by water running across the yard where it’s not supposed to be. Countless times there, and then here in this house, I have had to put on some ridiculous pair of the most waterproof boots I can find, usually the wrong size and maybe even designed for snow, grab a shovel and started redirecting water back to the swale to flow where it belongs. So last week, I finally bought myself a cute pair of Slogger rain boots. This way, at least if I am out there “slogging” around in the water, I can look good and be more comfortable.

Slogger rain boots Slogger rain boots

Well, it happened again yesterday, so I’m glad I got the taller boots, instead of the equally cute garden shoes (which I might still order anyway because they are so cute and comfortable) .

This is what I woke up to after a night of rain…


Now, the water is supposed to flow to this corner, but it is supposed to then flow out and down the block between the properties to the storm sewer. But of course, something has gone wrong again.

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You’ll have to excuse the mess behind the shed. This area is really part no man’s land, part utility easement. But, that’s where the flow was clogged and the water, instead of heading down the fence line and out, was coming back into the yard, trying to turn our shed into an ark. So, out come my new cute Slogger rain boots, my raincoat and the shovel, and off to work I go. There was all kinds of debris (leaves, sticks, mulch, and even those annoying plastic bags) clogging the flow, and once I got that cleared and redirected some of the water using those giant flagstones tossed back there for storage, we were good to go.


In this photo, I look like I am wading in a pretty river somewhere. But, instead, it means the water in my backyard is moving once again and I have solved the problem for now!

Even More Rain

In the last 24 hours, over 5 inches of rain has fallen on already saturated soil, with a little more to come tonight.  Most of the day was spent watching the backyard flood and turn into quite a river as all the water from up the block flowed past, and some through, our backyard. All that rain washed whatever mulch there was remaining from the winter into the grass and across the yard.  It took a lot of topsoil with it too, and left that all over the grass as well.  Thankfully, we fared better than some, our water stayed out out of the basement (so far, fingers crossed) and did recede when the rains finally slowed down to a drizzle.  But, we’re going to have to figure out pretty quickly how to clean up this mess, protect the plants that have had the soil eroded around them and get the mulch and soil out of the grass.  The good news is that plants in higher areas are loving the water and warmer temperatures.  We’ll see what it all looks like in the morning. We may need to deal with rerouting some of this water flow permanently to keep it to the perimeter of the yard where it belongs.

Water is always a hassle to deal with, whenever one neighbor alters their landscaping or grade, it affects everyone around them.   It’s a constant battle to keep it flowing to the end of the block where the storm sewer is.

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Rain, Rain, Rain

We’ve had a lot of rain and thunderstorms the last few days, dropping over a half inch of rain just since yesterday.  We had a couple of warm days over the weekend, but now we’re stuck back in the 40s.  But even though it’s still pretty chilly, with all the rain everything is starting to green up.  I’ve got my first sprouts from the seeds I planted in the garden a couple of weeks ago.  I’m starting to see  radishes, peas and lettuce.

Radish sproutImage

We almost had a bit of a disaster with the peas.  My husband was spreading Preen in the gardens, and since the peas weren’t in the raised bed, he didn’t realize they were there.  Yep, covered in Preen.  After visiting the Preen website and learning a wealth of information about weeds and weed prevention, come to find out it won’t affect the peas from sprouting.  So, I have peas sprouting in nice cool weather that is perfect for the plants to grow in.  Hope to get more than the 4 peapods I got last year.

Peas are sprouting, first leaves are still in the seed shell-they’re the 4 bright ball looking things


And best of all, the trees are finally budding on this dreary, cloudy, drizzly day.

 Branched MapleImage