Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dust, Dust, Dust, Mud

It rained!  In the USA seasons are so different and in most parts of the country precipitation falls year round (rain, snow, sleet…).  It hasn’t rained here for four months or so.  While it is a little early for the rainy season to have come back fully, it rained yesterday – starting with a bang!

OK, Tuesday we also heard some distant thunder and raindrops fell for a few minutes wetting some parts of the ground, but yesterday the thunder started and mid-afternoon the heavens opened and it poured!  We had lightning as well.  In fact, it was close enough early on to trip the whole-house circuit breaker at my house.  (I easily restored power by pushing the right button – after the storm had passed.)

I went to the market this morning and it was amazing to see the number of huge puddles and areas with an inch or more of mud.  I slipped a couple of times and did a lot of walking around the mud and puddles. 

Wow.  For months, dust has coated everything and the humidity has been very low.  Now walking in town means skirting little lakes and tons of mud.  I am sure that part of the reason is that the ground   Later in the rainy season the same lakes and mud will be around because the ground has soaked up all it can.  This picture is a new “bird bath” that appeared in the middle of the road near my house.  (I didn’t think to take pictures of the serious mud at the market this morning.)  I think the seasons here should be renamed – dust and mud. 
has become so hard and dried out that the rain did not soak in at all.

So this is the time to plant yams.  Still too early to plant peanuts and corn, but it is the time to prepare the ground to restart the growth cycle.

There are other signs that the rains are coming back.  Mangos are getting bigger and will soon be ripe.  (I have said this before, but will repeat: it is counter-intuitive to me that mangos ripen when there is no water/rain.  This is a juicy fruit and trees produce hundreds or even thousands.  The tree roots must go deep into the earth to find the moisture they need.)

Some flowers are blooming.  There is a tree with pretty purple flowers just outside my house.  The flowers produce a very cloying scent – almost overpowering.  These orange flowers also are blooming near my house.  And, in the background for most of the morning is the sound of a multitude of insects.  It seems to be surround sound!  In the heat of the day they fall quiet (fortunately).  Will they today when it is not so hot?  I hope so!  I also believe (and hope) that the iiiiiiiii sound will not last too many days since it is most likely mating calls.  Here’s a short video of the tree flowers moving in the gentle breeze with insects in the background. 

Another way that I can tell that the seasons are changing is my dining room/office table.  Now that the humidity is significantly increased, the table top has bowed.  I remember this happening last year,   It will go back to being almost level in time.  

In many places in the US spring is coming.  May you enjoy the green and re-awakening of the natural world as I am with the return of the rains.


  1. The Joy of the first rains - we will go above freezing today, puddles of melting snow, Joy!