Just Enough Rain

By , August 19, 2016

I’d heard the reports of severe flooding on the news, but the extent of the weather crisis down south didn’t fully hit home until a friend told us that parts of Louisiana had received two feet of rain in two days! As Michelle pointed out, that’s half an inch of rain an hour—inconceivable, even for those of us who live in a temperate rainforest!

Here in that rainforest, it’s more or less “monsoon season.” Mid-August often means rainstorms here, usually the tail ends of monsoons in Southeast Asia. We’re getting rain in moderate amounts, particularly considering what’s happening in the Lower 48.

We’re getting just enough for our needs. The gardens are getting well watered, edible mushrooms are popping up everywhere, water fills our catchment tanks.

There’s also just enough rain to send me up on the cabin roof.

Mist covered mountain across Lynn Canal (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Mist covered mountain across Lynn Canal (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

As explained in the older post, Leaky Roof, forest debris accumulating under the seams of our metal roof wick rainwater into the cabin. To prevent this, we periodically run the special cleaning tool down the seams, clearing out the mush of debris.

This year, many of our spruce trees are battling an infestation of a certain type of aphid. Possibly weakened by the drier summer weather, these trees are dropping needles like crazy. They accumulate in drifts all around the compound, making the slopes as slick as if they lay under several inches of slushy snow!

This needle fall covered the cabin roof pretty thoroughly. Those piles collected dust, and decayed to produce their own soil, all of which turned to mud when the rain fell. Eventually, we had to deal with it.

Oddly, the leak came in an unexpected place; thankfully, only a few drips fell, as it all landed in a box of shipping envelopes that would have been ruined with any more moisture than we got. Had I been sitting in my chair, those drops would likely have hit me right between the eyes.

We’d been warned, and I answered the call.

Tuesday, I threw a line over the peak of the roof, set my ladder, donned my safety harness, and climbed the roof with a long handled brush and “The Tool.” I spent a few hours “swimming” up and down the slope, running the tool along the seams and brushing or wiping off as many piles of needles as I could reach.

I came away covered in muck and aching from pulling myself up and down the roof mostly by my arms, but we should be leak free for a while.

The rains seem to have tapered off somewhat. Our forecast predicts alternating rain and sunshine every other day. I’m not sure if I believe that, but it wouldn’t be bad at all.

That would be just enough rain.

2 Responses to “Just Enough Rain”

  1. Ekij says:

    Two feet of rain in two days is not an inch an hour, it’s half an inch an hour (24 inches / 48 hours).
    Just wondering which one of these three figures was wrong
    [two days / two feet / inch per hour]

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Ekji, you’re absolutely right. I’d like to blame this on my wife, who told me this, but I should have checked the math myself. Thanks for the correction, the post now reflects the correct information.

    I can’t believe this stood unchallenged since August! I will have to tease my proofreader friend, Angie, for missing this one. Thank you for that, too!

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