Let’s begin with rain.
Yesterday, we received quite a bit of rain. My friend (and something of a business partner) called at mid-morning. We talked for a while about solar PV training we are developing for students in the university system here in Montana. After discussing the points we needed to cover, my friend asked: “Are you floating away out there in all the rain?”
“Not yet,” I answered, “but it has been raining pretty hard out here. We’ve gotten at least a half-inch. It takes a quarter-inch of rain to build puddles on my road and a half-inch to connect them together. Right now the puddles are connecting.”
I heard laughter over the phone. “Why do you know that? I’m not exactly surprised that you know, but why would you?” More laughter. “No, you don’t need to explain.”
Allow me to explain.
Maybe knowing how much rain it takes to connect puddles in the ruts of my dirt road is a little weird. I would plead, however, I came by this knowledge in the most innocent of ways.
For the first twenty or so years of living out here in the county, I kept a rain gauge affixed to a corner post of the fence I constructed to keep out my neighbor’s cattle. I enjoyed scampering out after heavy rainstorms to see how much the gauge captured. I soon noticed that an eighth-inch of rain soaked into the ground. A quarter-inch of rain created puddles in the road. A half inch of rain connected the puddles together. Three-quarters of an inch made puddles that lasted for more than a day.
My rain gauge is no more, but the come and go puddles remain a tell certain.