Sunday, July 25, 2010

Toad Stranglers

I don't want to start an argument, but is sure does seem to me that the weather is changing. Toad stranglers present an excellent example. For the uninitiated, a toad strangler is a very heavy rain. That is a rain that could drown little garden toads and make most amphibians fear for their lives. We are having lots of them now. We're talking a pouring rain. Or, in the words of hill folk hereabouts, "It rained like a cow pissin' on a flat rock."

Road are washed out, swollen creeks tumble across low water bridges. "Thunder Storms" the weatherman calls them, but thunder seems to be the least of it. Deluges of water and heavy winds cause the damage. One of those lil thunderstorms visited us a couple of weeks ago. So far we have spent one day with the chain saw cutting out the road to the river. Trees were twisted down in several spots. Then there was at least two days of work clearing a tangled mess of trees that partially rested on the garage. There will be no shortage of firewood this fall from trees knocked over out in the timber. But, cleaning those up will have to wait....wait until we have the time and the temperature cools a little.

Now, consider what all this rain has done to farmers (mostly cattle farms in our area). Here it is late July and the folks in the valley across the river from Rock Eddy Bluff are just now getting their hay baled. That is at least a month later than usual and a month and a half later than needed for good quality hay. The problem, of course, is that farmers won't cut the hay if it looks like it could rain on it. Our next job will be hooking the blade to the tractor and working on the roads here. Water has put some ditches where they shouldn't be in our lane and up the track to the bluff house. Oh, I have tried to divert the storm water with those little "hoopdedoos" or "dead men" as they are often called. You know, those things that give you a jostle when you drive over them. But, these toad stranglers often overwhelm them.

All this sounds like a lot of whining and complaining, I know. But, just a few years ago we didn't have anything like this weather. On the news last night we heard that Chicago got a deluge of seven or eight inches that is causing all kinds of grief. The weatherman says that the weather here is sorta indefinite in the next few days but has advised all toads to seek higher ground.

Now it seems to me that folks who hold with the global climate change scenario have warned of this kind of stuff for some time. I know there are lots of folks sniping and arguing with one another about that. But, I suspect that down here in hill country you'll find most folks believing that "things is different now."


  1. my father in law is not a political person. Just not interested. But he's a hunter. And the geese are gone--they don't migrate like they used to. He hunts deer and that hasn't changed, but he said it a few years ago: the summers are the same, but the winters have changed. And that's when I knew for sure the debate was over. Jeff knew and he had nothing to gain from saying it one way or another.

  2. Global temperatures during the first 6 months of 2011 were the hottest on record. Records started in 1880. Yet, the debate does still rages on.

  3. Excuse me, that is 2010.


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Please enlighten me. The Hired Man