Thursday, September 08, 2011

raindrops keep falling (and falling and falling and falling and falling) on my head

When we recently caught sight of what looked like a .... maple tree seedling? ... growing OUT of the gutters, we thought it was high time we do an inspection.

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So this past Monday, Charlie climbed up a ladder, confirmed it was indeed ... a maple tree seedling! ... growing OUT of our gutters, and he took the gutter guards off to clean them out.

Although, I must admit, there was a part of me that wanted him to leave that little seedling there to see just how big it would grow. It might have turned in to a real tourist attraction. Come one, come all! Come see the leaves change color on the tree that is growing out of the gutter!

Fall is in the air!

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What my husband wasn't expecting is that when he removed the gutter guards, there would be well established ecosystem IN the gutters. There was at least three inches of rich mulch and beneath that, countless tadpoles and full grown frogs.

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I still can't believe there were FROGS in the gutters. I wouldn't have ever guessed that was even possible. I mean, how did they get there? I don't see how they could hop on the roof, and if they fell out of a tree, they wouldn't have been able to squeeze under the gutter guard. Maybe they climbed up the gutters? Or maybe ... they just EVOLVED from the bacterial matter that had accumulated? Obviously it was an environment that sustained life because they were plump and had babies, happily swimming about.

Charlie finished his cleaning in the nick of time.

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Because by Monday afternoon, it started to rain and continued raining all night. It spitted on and off for most of the day Tuesday. But by Wednesday morning, Mother Nature cranked the shower on high and then she just forgot about it.

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As I wrote a few weeks ago, I've experienced two, now three hurricanes. But I don't recall ever in my life seeing the kind of precipitation like I've seen here in the past few days. This morning, I woke up to a torrential downpour. So I put on my boots and walked down to the creek to see just how high it had risen.

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Oh, it was high alright.

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But within an hour, it had crested the bank and was flooding our lower yard.

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And the rain didn't stop falling. Relentless downpour are the two most suitable words that come to mind. When we lived in San Diego, I never turned on the weather channel because ... why?

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Ever since we've moved to Virginia, the Weather Channel is my favorite television program. I've got a Weather App on my phone and receive e-mail updates. I never realized before just how much I LOVE WEATHER. It's awesome and adds tremendous joy to my life. It's really such fun living in a place where there is some variability because it is so unpredictable.

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Last week, we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts.

This week, we should all be wearing scuba gear.

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Standing down by the creek made me nervous. In the blink of an eye, the water was so high, you couldn't even see the river bank. I scooped Henry up as I was snapping this picture because one wrong step and he'd be in the river and on his way to the Chesapeake.

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From the safety of the house, perched high on the hill, we watched huge trees washed downstream. We watched the water level rise so high, it was lapping the base of the children's play structure.

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According to Charlie's rudimentary (but extremely accurate) rain gauge system, as of 9:45 PM tonight, we have received almost TWELVE inches of rain since Monday afternoon.

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Six of those inches fell today. The reason for this record rainfall is because we're wedged between Tropical Storm Lee to the west and Hurricane Katia to the east. And from the projections I've seen, there are even more storms that will be following on the heels of these big 'uns over the next few weeks.

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This was the run-off from our front yard.

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This was the run-off from our back yard.

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And this is my husband who realized I was using his iPhone to take pictures. Not my phone of course, because it would get ruined in these wet conditions. (Just kidding! Yes it's my phone. Yours is still drying out from when I took pictures this morning...)

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Since we've now had an earthquake, hurricane and massive flooding in two weeks time, I think God is trying to tell Virginia something. So we've got the plans drawn up and for an ark. At the moment, I'm just keeping my eyes peeled for animals to come marching swimming out of the forest in pairs.

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  4. BlackOrchid9/9/11, 8:58 AM

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