Rain = Happiness. Low Monarch Count = Heartbreak

Looking east as the sun tries to break through the rain clouds

This will be a short post today. I am overjoyed that we had rain over the weekend. When I heard the rain drops on my skylights Friday night, my heart leapt — and I am not being over dramatic. Rain is so critical to what we are trying to do here, as well as for grass growth for the cattle, that I cannot underscore my joy enough. Per my rain gauge, we had 1 inch since Friday 12/11. It has been dry, dry, dry. One inch is not much, but at least it is something. I checked the XR2 planting sites on Sunday, and there was no displacement of the branch structures protecting the plants by water or cows. Every day that the plants are not disturbed is a day that the roots can get a better hold into the ground. There was no change in water flow or volume. One inch, after such dryness, doesn’t do much but moisten the first little layer of soil. That is great, but we need deep watering over several rain events to really give the plants the best start to the Spring and fill the swale pond and creeks. The rain also means I don’t have to haul water. My back, neck, shoulders and arms get a well-deserved break.

Rainwater Status

We ended the dry time with 2,000 gallons of rainwater. This is good news. This means we have additional capacity to add plants and flex depending on rain levels. I am planning on scaling up the planting even larger next Spring and Fall, so I will still add another one or two 2,500 gallon tanks. The two empties were tied to the house and have a decent start on the capture. Tank 3, on the south end of the house, was connected even earlier, and we had the benefit of capturing rain from the last storm in addition to this. We have over 100 gallons in that one. Thanks to my husband David for putting the system together!

Heather’s poor girl’s rain water capture system – but it is effective! Tank 1 on the north side

Bad News

I hate to share this very bad news. The early counts of monarch overwintering sites show even fewer monarchs than last year. It is a horrific thought that these incredible creatures could have populations so low as to not be viable for population growth. Let’s hope for greater numbers as the count continues. It isn’t over yet – and next year we all have to triple our efforts to help.

2 thoughts on “Rain = Happiness. Low Monarch Count = Heartbreak”

  1. Nice pics!- and we won’t lose hope-keep positive intentions flowing by allowing what is while you keep a prayer in your heart that your diligence will pay off. Do what you can – then allow what comes (sorry for all the platitudes-sometimes thats all ya got to work with!) 🙂


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