Rain and Superstition

I understand a little better why farmers from the dawn of agriculture were/are superstitious about rain and what prevents or brings it. Austin and the outlaying area where I live is going through a tremendous period of drought. Here at the farm, we're doing our best here to reduce and reuse what we've got:
  • the soiled goose pool water irrigates our fruit trees and food gardens,
  • stale water bowls are dumped onto the compost piles to keep them moist,
  • used dishwater takes care of the ornamentals (planted by a previous owner),
  • and the "warm up" water from our shower is stored in a bucket and waters whatever else is in need.
When I see potential rain clouds overhead, my mind starts spinning. I start thinking about the things I did that might have "encouraged" rain in times before. Did I have the car washed? Did I leave the car or house windows open? Did I leave a project outside that would be ruined by a good rain? I'm tempted to do any and all of these things in the hopes that some of that precious moisture will come down from the skies to relieve the oaks and grasses, and refill our wells. But of course, the rain will not be propitiated. It will rain when the conditions are right. Or when I want a couple of sunny days, like now when my Mom is coming out to visit.

Ah well. I quietly give thanks anyway, and hope the rain doesn't hear it and go away out of spite. Superstition is a persistent habit, isn't it?

[pic: the rain gauge reading from the past 24 hours - 2 inches!]


  1. Congratulations on the rain -- I know y'all have been in the big drought. Do you use rainbarrels and if so, how do they work out? Just curious.

  2. @Chance: I still need to get gutters estimated & installed on the house. I'm hoping once that is done, we can then directly install a 10K gallon tank for storage. One of the many things on the "honey-do" list!

    Lots of folks in the area successfully use rain barrels with a screen over the top to keep out mosquitoes. Others use cattle watering troughs, and create a wood/screened top (also to keep out mosquitoes).

  3. @Chance - reread your question, and realized I may not have answered your question. Just stick a rain barrel under a gutter downspout to collect rain runoff from the roof. You can use an open top barrel, just be sure to put some sort of screen material over the top to keep out the mosquitoes. Easiest is to buy a pre-made window screen that is slightly wider than the barrel itself, then weight the screen down to keep it from blowing off the top of the barrel.

  4. @Chance - to get the water out, you can dip a watering can into the barrel, or siphon water out with a hose, or if the barrel has a spigot hole, attach a spigot & hose, and use like a regular water spigot.

  5. Hey, thanks for the rainbarrel information -- I'm in the research phase. We're blessed with lots of water in Vermont, but there's the water bill, so I am thinking of putting in a garden water barrel on both green principal and save money frugality. Of course, first I have to repair the gutters, and that's on my "honey-do" list.


Of Mice and Various Snakes and new Duck Feed Station

As mentioned in the previous post, our region is experiencing a near-Biblical plague of mice. "It's due to all the moisture we had...