I sat on the hill overlooking the prairie to west, watching the sun slip behind a bank of dark clouds. The days are already noticeable shorter as darkness slowly spreads. It is a quiet evening—no bird sound, no coyotes yapping, no mourning dove calling in the distance. No flutter of pine needles from the nearby white pines.
Dry weather at Roshara and rain is badly needed. The lawn grass has quit growing; the neighbor’s cornfields are suffering. The prairie grass and wildflowers are on hold. All waiting for much needed rain on this sandy land.
On evenings like this, when I was a kid, I remember standing with my dad back of the barn looking to the west, looking for a sign of rain. Pa was usually right with what he saw, “Nope, no rain yet” or an optimistic, “Rain by tomorrow evening.”
He never said what he saw, or felt, or heard. I’m guessing it was a combination of cloud formation and wind direction—but it was more, too. A feeling he had perhaps.
So on this quiet evening I saw a bank of clouds. But no lightning, no thunder. Just clouds. I’d seen clouds like this before, but by morning they had disappeared.
The clouds were still there the following morning, and when I walked out to check on my garden, I felt the first drops of rain. And while eating breakfast I heard the low growl of thunder as the rain now fell steadily. It rained all morning, slow and easy. More than an inch by noon. So much needed. So much appreciated.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Celebrate the rain.
BOOK OF THE WEEK:
I am recommending the same book I suggested last week, as it seems appropriate for the topic.
WEATHER WISDOM by Albert Lee. (Double Day and Company, 1976). Most of us remember, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning,” and “Red sky at night, sailors delight.” Here is a book full of these weather sayings. Such quaint ones as “When the ditch and pond affect the nose, then look out for rain and storm blows.” Or, “Ants that move their eggs and climb, rain is coming anytime.”
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
August 12, 6:00 p.m., Westfield Library. Whispers and Shadows
August 26, 9:30 a.m. Farm Technology Days, Sun Prairie. Farm Stories.
August 30, 1-4 p.m., Book World, West Bend. Book signing.
September 3, Noon. Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)
September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore, Oconomowoc, Whispers and Shadows.
September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History. Time to be announced.
September 17, 11:-a.m. St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI Stories From the Land
September 19 , 12:30 and 2:30 Stonefield Village, Cassville. Whispers and Shadows.
September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History
September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.
October 4, 1-3 p.m. Readers Realm bookstore, Montello. Ag. History
October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows
October 11, Old World Wisconsin
October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows
October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI
October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing. Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
October 29, Brown County Library. Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.
November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.
November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows
November 10, Wausau Public Library. Ag. History.
November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary) plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows
November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land with Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium. Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)