I went out just after daylight this morning to replenish the feeders and scatter a cup or two of cracked corn on the rocks and stump below. I was surprised at how warm it felt. Not unseasonably warm for early-December, I suppose, but certainly much warmer than it has been for several days. The window thermometer said 50 degrees.
When I pulled up the National Weather Service’s site, the prediction was rain beginning at noon. A sprawling front from the Gulf of Mexico was arcing up across the western plains, through the central Midwest, into the lower Great Lakes, and thence eastward.
The prediction was off by several hours. It began raining before we finished breakfast. Serious, steady showers…and indeed they continued at much the same pace the entire day.
Whether or not it will be enough to get the river up remains to be seen; if the rain doesn’t arrive in an absolute downpour, it usually takes several hours for the river’s water levels to begin their climb. Feeder creeks have to start draining their watersheds—tiny brooks and rills, roadside ditches, little washes that remain dry 90 percent of the year. These dump into the creeks which dump into our river—which, in time, empties into a larger river, then into the Ohio River, and finally the mighty Mississippi which will eventually empty into the sea. In the case of today’s rains—moisture from the warm Gulf of Mexico, carried north and east on a massive front—it's a journey homeward, a delivery back to its birth source.
An amazing, circular journey for a water droplet.