Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks 9-10-12
I guess the combination of folks a’prayin’ for rain and folks a’complainin’ about the lack of rain worked. Last weekend we were blessed with three days of light rains that totaled 3- to 4-inches at and around Damphewmore Acres.
It for sure wuz a welcome respite from the searing stretch of rainless months that we’ve endured. And, you’d think that 4-inches of rain would have created a little runoff into the ponds and streams, but that didn’t happen. All that rain simply ran down into the cracks in the ground and got swallowed up.
However, as my ol’ pappy, Czar E. Yield, used to say, “You won’t get much runoff until the soil profile is filled.” I know our soil profile ain’t filled, but we sure got a good start last weekend. We’re primed for the next rain.
Speaking of moisture in the soil profile got me to wondering about a few things. For instance, if it’s true that tree root systems are as massive as what’s growing above ground, then trees are pulling moisture from 20- to 50-feet deep in the soil profile. Some local trees gave up the ghost and already dropped their leaves.
Many native grasses have root systems that extend more than 10-feet into the soil profile. Well, the Flint Hills pastures went mostly dormant weeks ago, so that means The Hills were dry to at least 10-feet before the rain.
Also, after a 4-inch rain, usually the earthworms come to the surface and congregate in wet spots. Not so after this recent rain. I’ll bet those worms haven’t died out, but kept burrowing down to moisture. Who knows how deep they are?
Ol’ Nevah and I kept parts of our garden alive through near-constant watering from our rural water district. We also watered the fruit trees, most of the lawn trees and shrubs and Nevah’s flower gardens.
The last water bill we paid wuz for nearly 14,000 gallons of water. That wuz expensive — slightly more than $100. And, it got me to thinking about how many gallons of water really fell on Damphewmore Acres in the 4-inch rain — and what it’s value wuz in dollars and cents.
I went to the good ol’ internet and quickly got my answer. Here’s the basic math. Damphewmore Acres covers 22.5 acres. An acre-inch of rainfall is 28,000 gallons. Therefore, 4-acre-inches equal 112,000 gallons of water. Multiply that number times 22.5 and I found that our welcome rain totaled 2,520,000 gallons.
And it wuz free! Then I took my calculating a step more down the path to determine how much 4-inches of water would have cost me if I’d had to buy it from the RWD. It cost us a bit more than $100 for 14,000 gallons. So, I divided 14,000 into 2,520,000 and got 180. I multiplied 180 times $100 and found my free rain was worth $18,000 if I’d had to buy it. Now, I really appreciate that rain for the blessing that it truly was!
As I said, we kept our peach trees alive in the drought. The result wuz a great first-crop for our 3-year-old trees. However, in processing the peaches, ol’ Nevah and I encountered one big problem — the peaches, while tasty, were small and they were cling peaches.
Oh, were they CLING peaches. It wuz about impossible to separate the “goody” from the seed. Ol’ Nev and I spent more than four hours blanching and peeling enuf peaches for 10 quarts of canned peaches.
We still had lots more peaches to process and I wuz determined to not go through the peeling process again. That’s when necessity became the mother of invention. I remembered we had an apple slicer stashed away in a kitchen back drawer. You know the implement. It’s what folks use to press down on an apple to core it and separate it into eight slices.
Well, folks, it worked equally well on those small cling peaches becuz the seed wuz just small enuf to fit through the hole in the slicer. Granted, the peach slices still contained the skin, but we figgered eating the peach skin wuz a small price to pay for the convenience.
So, that’s what we did. In just a couple of hours we canned up the rest of our cling peaches, and included 8-pints of peach jam.
That’s a little tip others might use if they’re ever faced with the same situation we were in. It’s a great labor-saver, if you don’t mind eating peach skins. And, by the way, our canned peaches look great, too.
Well, one political convention is over and the second is about to start. I’m a political junkie and love to hear all the flamboyant rhetoric. The one thing I can’t stand is the all the self-righteous posturing by partisans posing as serious journalists. Somewhere in the past decades, serious, non-partisan journalists have become almost impossible to find — in either the written or electronic media. In my humble opinion, we’re all the worst for it.
I’ll get off my soap box now and quit this column with some words of wisdom about political conventions from American businessman John Jay Hooker. He said, “Attending that convention and talking with those people and many others convinced me that I should become a blogger in my efforts to reform the government and uphold the integrity of the Constitution and the laws made in furtherance thereof.”
I’m gone. Have a good ’un. ❖
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