Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rainy Days in Texas - Finally!

Roger here...  Excitement in South Texas!  It actually rained  --- not just a little bit, but a full-blown, all-day event.  Just look at our concrete driveway --  Not just drops, but yes, it is completely wet.  

I know this is not big news for our friends in most of the country, but this is the first rain Dianne and I have seen in South Texas since January of 2010.   Most of the rain fell on Saturday, but it continued at a lighter rate most of the next day.  Our scientifically accurate rain gauge (yardstick in Bandido's wading pool) confirms that over a two-day period we got about three and one-half inches of rain.  Wow!

What did we do during the two days of rain?  Well, on the first day we did not do much.  The electricity went off at 9:30 a.m.  Power was not restored until 6:30 p.m.  The important task of the day was firing up the generator in the motor home, then connecting the coach house refrigerator to the motor home so that our food stayed cold.  

I also had some quiet time to begin planning our travels for next spring, summer, and fall.  The first stop will be at the April RV Dreams Rally in the Texas Hill Country --- then on to southern Utah, near Zion National Park.  We'll be there for a month, AND our daughters and granddaughter will be joining us there for a week.  Can't wait.  After that, more travels in Utah, and an extended stay in the mountains of Colorado --- all subject to change.

Back to the rain and the power outage...  Dianne and I could not figure out why the power went out, and why it took so long to repair.  It was not windy.  There was no ice on the lines.  It obviously was not snowing.  There was no lightning.  Did a truck hit a power-line pole?  Did terrorists attack the power station?

The answer is kinda interesting:  Since it had not rained here for so long, the transformers were covered with dust, AND the wooden utility poles were extremely dried out.  Evidently, the rain caused arcing at the transformers, which ignited the dust, which set the utility poles on fire.  4000 homes were without power while workers extinguished fires in several locations and reconstructed the damaged lines and power poles.

The second day of rain was much calmer, but it was still wet and even a little chilly.  So, we mostly stayed inside.  I did some more trip planning.  We made a couple of campground reservations in the places where we intended to spend a month.  I watched a couple of taped Purdue basketball games ---  both were victories for the Boilers.

Dianne took a few pictures of our previously thirsty plants.  We water the plants nearly every day, but it is amazing how green things can get after a soaking rain.

Our new jasmine vines; we hope they eventually cover the pergola!

My tomatoes are getting big!

Ixora blooming and  Sago Palm

We sloshed through the mud to the dog park.  Bandido laid  down in the water tub, rinsing off all the mud.  What a good dog!


Eight Chachalacas sittin' in a tree....
Dianne downloaded a couple of wildlife pictures that she had taken at the Butterfly Park.

Rare Yellow-Angled Sulphur

I walked Bandido in the rain.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset at the end of a rainy day.  Life has been good.

I have been trying to get Bandido interested in Purdue basketball --- to no avail.  The pet picture of the day documents my failure.  I am afraid that Bandido is far more interested in my popcorn than my Boilermakers.

Please, Dad, can I have some?   Maybe some beer, too?


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

That is interesting and a little scary why the power went out.

Allen and Lolita DuGuay said...

Good to see you received some rain, and a nice picture of the Rainbow. Surprised you have tomatoes growing this time of year, nice looking ones to boot. That was an interesting cause on the electrical outage. Bandido seems to like the water and popcorn.

Nancy and Bill said...

So glad the rains have come your way!! That should make for a very beautiful GREEN Christmas ;o))

Merry Christmas!!

Gin and Syl said...

It's kinda nice to have a rainy day once in awhile. I like one every couple of weeks instead of every couple of years though.
Fresh tomatoes this time of year, now that's hot!