observations

Those People Who Always Know When Rain Is Needed

When you live in a place like Minnesota that gets four distinct seasons per year, you tend to be attuned to weather fluctuations, simply because it is always changing. Although, if you’ve lived here long enough, you can get all Buddhist about the weather because of the constant change. You stop paying attention to it and go with the flow. (Yeah, that’s not very mindful, is it? The Buddhist acceptance of constant change is cancelled out by the lack of mindfulness. Oh, well.)

There are some people, though, who remain particularly attuned to the weather, especially rain. These are the people who, if we’ve had four dry days in a row, start saying, “We really need the rain,” as they look longingly at the sky for some sign of precipitation and bemoan the suffering of their not-yet-wilted plants.

I am not one of those people.

Grass so dry it can lacerate bare feet, Central Minnesota, August 18, 2018.
Grass so dry it can lacerate bare feet, Central Minnesota, August 18, 2018.

I don’t notice the lack of rain until I’ve gone at least three weeks without mowing and my grass is so dry it can lacerate my bare feet.

Or my lily leaves are no more than dry husks.

Dry lily leaves, Central Minnesota, August 18, 2018.
Dry lily leaves, Central Minnesota, August 18, 2018.

That’s when I notice we haven’t had enough rain.

We’re in that state now in central Minnesota.

We certainly could have used rain the past couple of weekends to help knock some of the particles from Canadian wildfire smoke out of the air. I’ve had a sore throat and cough from the smoke.

Adding to the sad condition of the grass, which I don’t feel sorry for when it is dormant, is the bumper crop of acorns we’ve got all over our lawn and sidewalk. They are so thick on the roads in some areas that vehicle tires are mashing them into acorn flour. It’s like walking on marbles, with their attendant risks, when I go outside.

I’m being a true Minnesotan in complaining about the weather with this post, but I’m genuinely in awe of people who sense we need rain long before I notice. I’m also concerned about the effects of climate change on our weather and want to document what I’m witnessing as it happens in case the observations are needed by future scientists.

To sum up for future scientists, August 2018 in central Minnesota is seeing:

  • A lack of rain
  • Canadian wildfire smoke/haze, which creates a pink evening sun
  • A bumper crop of acorns
  • Many days in a row of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit

What are you seeing in your local weather this August?

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