Waiting on Weather

By , September 5, 2013

I find that we’re caught between two weather possibilities: wet and dry.

We had a dry, hot summer and early autumn overall. The last snowfields on The Mountain With No Name have melted. The forest floor crunches dryly beneath our feet. The levels in our water tanks drop steadily toward empty. We need rain!

August generally brings wet weather. Usually, we get the tail end of Asian typhoons at this season, alarming dumps of rain that fill our tanks for the coming winter in an amazingly short time (see Fresh Water: Collecting and Conserving a Precious Resource).

This year, the rain has come somewhat late and fairly light. I record little more than one or two tenths of an inch in our rain gauge each rainy day. We’re getting enough for the garden and mushroom development, but not enough to collect new water.

On the other hand, I still have about a quarter to a third of the wood shed to fill before winter. We’re not lighting fires to warm the cabin yet, but those days will come very soon. I don’t want to add damp wood to the top of my carefully assembled dry pile. That means I could use more windy, dry weather to cure the last of the firewood harvest. If the rain were to hold off, we’d get our wood.

Of the two, the water seems more imporant, at least at the moment. We could face a cold cabin better than a dry cabin. If we got to the point where we had to haul in water or wood, the wood seems easier to transport. In a pinch, we can burn uncured wood; we don’t have a fresh water source beyond our catchment systems.

But, as we are often reminded, we have no control over the weather. Saturday’s forecast, calling for “rain, heavy at times” sounds hopeful, but we are somewhat outside of Haines’s weather influence. Often, when it rains in Haines, it’s dry over the homestead.

You would think that gaining advantages from either weather pattern would satisfy me. After all, we win either way. I need to look at it from that point of view, plan for either contingency, then sit back and see what comes.

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