Friday, November 7, 2008

It finally rained!

So after months of planning, marking out, and digging diversion drains, swales and ponds, I was kind of eager to see some rain. The rainy season was supposed to start in mid-September but it never did. By late October, when I was due to leave, we had had one good rain (that I was away for) and several smaller rains, with some but not a whole lot of water flow happening. Almost daily dark clouds with thunder and lightening would loom overhead then go and rain about three kilometers west - we learned that Sabina is in a chronic rain shadow. Anyways, I was hungry to experience a decent downpour - to see the ground completely soaked to capacity and then for hard rain to continue with 100% run-off. All our earthworks were in place and like open arms waiting to receive.

I had resigned myself to the fact it probably wouldn't happen when, at about 1am on my very last night, October 26th, it rained! And it rained hard and long! After an hour of good rain I leapt out of bed, borrowed Mike's headlamp, and headed out into the night in my boxer shorts to splash up and down the swales. It was just fantastic, with the top two swales (in the driveway orchard) full and overflowing into the third, which was about 2cm from overflowing, the diversion drain behind the library starting to flow, and two of the three long swales (what we call the uncles swale and the blind river - you can see them in the Our Latest Design Efforts entry below) almost totally full, the latter receiving an enormous flow of water flooding in via a diversion drain from the bare-grounded entrance area. Thousands and thousands of litres of water channeled, caught, sitting still, and soaking in. The papaw and yam circle was impressive, totally full and just starting to overflow, as was the last swale below the bathrooms. I used the water level to check the different spillways and then went back to bed. When it kept raining I headed out again at about 4am. Deborah the home administrator saw a light moving around and thought she better investigate before realising "Oh it's probably just Dan or Mike in the swales." It was a wonderful goodbye treat, and I'm sure Mike will have some photos of the water fun up on the blog soon, as the rainy season continues and hopefully picks up its pace. For a while there I was thinking we should rename it the slightly less dry season!

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