typical monsoon downpour

Sue’s been thinking a lot about water lately. I’m hoping that means that the Monsoon Season is quickly arriving. According the National Weather Service, the “official” start of Monsoon season is June 15th. The doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll be getting a rain on that particular day, but that “in general” the season begins around then. Technically it begins when the dew point is at 55° for three days in a row, in Phoenix. But the weather service got tired of trying to get that information out and decided to just pick a date. Whatever, we’re praying for it! But praying for it, also means you need to plan for it! Holding it, directing it, moving it, using it, keeping it out of structures, etc. So, we’ve been talking about a few ways of doing that.



the water tank, filled to overflowing, January 1, 2017.

Actually, if I look back, Sue has been prepping for the Monsoon’s ever since she got here. Trying to harvest as much water as possible, trying to slow down the runoff as much as possible – keeping it on the property as long as possible to recharge the aquifer. Also to use the rains to water as many trees as possible. That’s why she put in the Bushman Rain Water 2650 tank. That’s why we make sure the tree basins are deep, as wide as their drip-line and filled with mulch or straw (well, I’m a bit behind on this right at the moment – some of the trees really grew a lot!), and so many other things to try and work with the water. When Sue first got here in 2016, it was mid-monsoon and she was experiencing it full force. In a matter of hours the pond filled completely to the brim (from absolutely dry) – that hasn’t even come close to happening again. So, we’re hoping this year will be a good monsoon season. Sue is talking about adding another large tank up above where we’ll be planting the chestnut trees, for watering, but also for using if we need to have water during an electrical outage. Also putting some smaller square/rectangle tanks to catch the water off the north side of the house. It would be great to do something like that because we do lose a great deal of water right down the drive. Sue has even put small little berms in the driveway to divert water left and right onto the land. Water is always an important topic around here, as you can see.


monsoon prep 2The other part of that, is keeping it out of places that we don’t want it. Like the chicken coop, the tractor, the chickshaw, and the RCW. Right now the Banties are housed in the chickshaw and they’ve been quite fine in there. We only had one problem with rain getting in – when the bachelor roosters were in there – but we anticipate that it could be an issue again, soon. So, today, Sue took some steps to try to make sure it doesn’t leak as badly. You can monsoon prepsee that she’s added flashing all around the edges of the roofing so hopefully help the runoff actually run off instead of in. The rocks are there to add weight to the structure because we never know when the wind will come in at a very strange angle and pick something up and move it elsewhere. The bales of straw are there to help with that as well… so far it has survived some exceptionally stiff winds! She also gave the door a bit of an awning to keep the rain from dripping down around the door jamb. This second photo is of the rear of the tractor. We’re hoping that the chickens will be good to go now!

goat rampAnother repair, not necessarily for monsoons – but possibly, in the greater scheme of things, was the ramp for the little goats to get up to their sleeping loft. Currently, we’re still putting them in their crate at night; we’re afraid they’re too small yet and could be a tasty morsel for a coyote or puma. They have been using the ramp, on their own, to get up and down so we don’t have to pick them up and put them in the crate, but someone got a bit too rambunctious and kept knocking the ramp down. Yesterday, Sue took some metal strapping over, made a couple of legs, and screwed everything together. So far they have not managed to knock it down again. In the afternoon I took some bedding straw over to clean out the crate and put down fresh… they were running up and down that ramp like crazy! So, I know they enjoy having it to play on. Just look at that crazy kid – can’t even hold still for the photo! Oh well.

We’ll keep doing little things to prep for Monsoon, and we’ll keep talking about it all here. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

Today’s Weather: Warm and windy. Temperatures have been in the upper 80’s. Right now, at 5:32 p.m. it is 87° on the hot side of the house. Our weather station says it feels about 84° and I’d agree with that because there is a nice breeze with gusts up to a stiff wind occasionally. Right now we’re at 3 mph, but in the last hour it has been up to 20. Tomorrow’s forecast: High of 90°, overnight low at 57°. No clouds, no rain.

Egg Report: Tuesday- 2 duck, 33 chicken eggs (1 pecked). Wednesday- 2 duck, 35 chicken, (1 cracked).

Cool Thing: Sue took this photo of the morning shadows on the Pantry wall. I liked it.