For days now, the weather people have been warning us about torrential “tropical” downpours, which should start this evening and last through Friday morning. We are expecting as much as two to four inches of rain during this period. The prospect of all that rain got me thinking – not about my overflowing rain barrels or about wet basements or flooded streets – but about rain gauges. Maybe subconsciously I want to “see for myself” how much rain this slow moving system will bring our way.
I do have a rain gauge. It’s a cute little turtle with a test-tube like vessel for collecting the water. In the years between the St Paul house and this house, when I didn’t have a garden, I used it as a bud-vase! Turtle sits on the ground in the front walk garden and collects the rain. I’m not sure how accurate it is. I’ve never checked it after a rain! I just like the way it sits in the garden ready for whatever comes along.
Recently, however, I’ve been visiting friends (and fellow gardeners) and have noticed that they have much more serious rain gauges than I. One friend has a rain gauge that’s about two inches square and maybe a foot long, which is attached to her mailbox. It’s not collecting any water dripping from the trees there. And, it’s easy to read because it’s almost at eye level. (I need to either kneel on the ground or pick up my little turtle to see the water level.) Betsy has the most gigantic rain gauge I’ve ever seen in a residential setting. It is about 4 inches in diameter, with a funnel like opening at the top. Either of these might be much more suitable for my spot check on the Weather Service, but, Turtle will have to do. (I've just now realized how much like Goldilocks this story is! And, I'm sticking with the baby bear version of the rain gauge! Oh no!)
Do you have a rain gauge in your garden? If so, what type is it? Do you vary your plant watering based on what the gauge shows? Post a comment and let me know!