Tuesday 12 June 2012

"Biblical" Rain

A few days after the rain soaked Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant, County Roscommon receives its share of the rain - heavy and unrelenting all day, one night and half the next day. Everything even vaguely bowl-shaped fills up and overflows; buckets, basins, wheel barrows and every dint and depression in driveway, lawn and fields. The poor pelargoniums in their window boxes, not yet protected by guttering are drowned in the waterfall whooshing off the end of the extension.
 We all mooch around indoors wishing it would stop and Dad publishes a jokey story in Facebook about the chickens hoisting sails on the chicken coop so that they might tack a few times before dropping anchor in Clew Bay just off Westport. The poor bunnies are rescued from their wind and rain lashed exposed position mid-lawn in their rather flimsy hutch, to the calf house where they can get warm and dry out of the weather. Dad adds to his silly chickens-at-sea story on FB with a yarn about the lifeboat having been launched to go to the aid of Ginny and Padfoot
When the bottom end of the yard starts to fill up like a lake we realise that the various JCBs and mini-diggers manouvring about have basically created a clay dam between the flat yard surface and the main water gully, so Mum and Dad are out there with the Irish pointy-ended shovels cutting gaps in the 'dam' to get the water run-off flowing again and draining the yard.
We are all pleased to note though, that once the rain eases, everything is very quick to drain away. All the puddles quickly empty and the yard dries. It is a credit to all our water-shedding, ivy and chest-high weed clearing, water re-routing and gravel-laying activities all aimed at drying the house out. This will be even better when we have got the concrete down in the 'apron' (the path round the house which slopes gently away from the walls) and (please, God!) the gutter man has done his job on the new gutters. The latter will at least mean that rain falling on the house roof is directed straight into the under-ground drain pipes under the yard and down away to below the yard in the big, cleared out, ditch.

By the Saturday morning the sun came out and really dried us out. The chicken run quickly reverted to the silty dust so that the chooks could dust-bathe and scratch like they should, rabbits were re-instated to the lawn, Dad could mow the lawn and the West Field and get back into the allotment and Mum and Dad could do a whole succession of catch-up washing machine loads. Each load flapped quickly dry in the warm breeze and was processed onwards. Roscommon may be clay laying over hard sandstone rocks but at our height (70+m) the soil on the surface is free-draining silt rather than clay, so as long as you have a decent depth of soil, surface water vanishes fast. Only where cattle or vehicles have smeared the layers, does the water sit.

We're back!

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