Most likely it’s only a meteorologist or a hydrologist who would know that technically they’re referred to as “udometers,” or “pluviometers,” or “ombrometers.”
We know them as “rain gauges,” and ever since I can remember I’ve been obsessed with them. I need to know how much or how little rain we’ve received, not only for our lawn but for our farmers’ fields.
That passion began for me when I was growing up on the land and my farming parents considered rain a beautiful gift from heaven.
We’ve had a couple rain gauges down through the years but nothing like my new/old one. It’s not only accurate, but charming as it sits on our deck table.
On one of our trips to Tennessee, the people who live next door to brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Nathan and Geneva, were having a rummage sale. We stopped to check it out and the very first thing that caught my eye was this Froggy rain gauge. It’s a colorful ceramic material with not a chip or nick anywhere.
I call him my little “Kermit.” He cost me but a $2 bill. I wrapped him up carefully and brought him home.
Perched on a rock, Kermit is bright green with bulging black, white and yellow eyes. He wears a big bewildered grin and sports a reddish bow around his neck. There’s a look on his face that seems to ask, “Should I open my blue umbrella?” A white butterfly sits on the spiral of wire that holds the beaker which measures rain in inches and centimeters.
Kermit makes my day, every day, especially when he reports on our “gift from heaven.”
With the dawning of today we’ve reached the 207th day of 2017 with 158 days to go. That puts us in the midst of the “Dog Days” of summer.
Research tells me that the “Dog Days” are based in astronomy. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as 40 days beginning July 3 and ending Aug. 11, coinciding with the heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius.
To me, the term “Dog Days,” seems to imply a slowdown of the pace, but that certainly is not the case. This is the time of year when things really pick up.
Farmers will soon begin to reap their harvests. Gardeners will be canning and freezing. As for me, I’m waiting for a call from Lyle Rose telling me his bi-colored corn is ready. I love driving out to the Rose farm to get a couple gunny sacks of corn then spending the day husking, blanching, cutting off kernels and bagging 100 or so packages for our freezer.
To me, these are the feel-good days of summer because of what I see, hear and experience.
I’m well on my way of riding 3,000 miles again this year on my yellow Trek Cruiser bicycle.
As I ride, I see happy children at play, deer along the bike path, mother ducks and their ducklings. I have the pleasure of drinking in the aroma of yellow-blossomed Linden trees, the pink petunias I pass, freshly cut grass, a fire pit bonfire or steaks on a backyard grill.
The other night, as I rounded a corner, I looked up at the sky. There’s no one near me, save God, but I hear myself say, “How in the world do I describe this?”
The sun was below the horizon, but it still was daylight. The western sky was pale blue. The darker blue southeastern sky was plastered with layers of lighter, pillow-like clouds that looked like their edges had been dipped in pink paint. Vivid pink and blue – how interesting!
I kept riding and looking up and suddenly the tip of a huge fluffy marshmallow cloud was illuminated in glistening white, almost like it was on a stage and a stage hand had put the spotlight on it. And on that stage, the white cloud was fairly dancing with the pink and blue clouds.
Every now and then, the moon peeked through as if to say, “Hey, I’m up here, too. See me?” Indeed, I did, in its perfectly white roundness.
In my solitude with the Creator, I told Him, “You did so well when you did all this. Thank you for letting me see it.”
And then I also thanked Him for my little “Kermit,” who is so thirsty. Breath of Heaven, please quench his thirst.