John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

Rain rain go away

It's been raining for most of the last three days here in Madison, which totally bites. I mean, OK, I'll admit we needed the water. Last summer's drought was severe enough that we didn't fully recover from it until this week. But speaking as a pedestrian and bus rider, rain is just the worst. Even with an umbrella and waterproof boots, you get wet, and the windows of the bus fog up so it's easy to lose track of where you are, and the fogged winders plus the overcast skies plus the stupid blue lights Madison Metro uses on many of the buses makes it that much more difficult for an old guy with poor eyesight to read.

And while the drought recovery aspect is nice, there are negative environmental consequences to all this rain too. The rain came before all the snow was gone, so the streets department hadn't yet gone out with the street sweepers to clean up the detritus that had accumulated in the gutters. The rain sent a lot of sand and sediment straight into the lakes. And with the farmers' fields clear of snow but also of crops, there's a lot of agricultural runoff too, the phosphorus in which will likely result in larger algae blooms this summer, which diminishes (if not destroys) the recreational value of the lakes.

The rain would be easier to deal with if it weren't also so cold. Right now it's 39° F; the warmest it's been since the rain started on Tuesday is 39°. I remember from my many summers at Camp Freeland Leslie that it's really quite nice being in a dry tent or under a tarp during a light to moderate rainfall on a warm day. On the other hand, I also remember the summer at archaeology camp in Kampsville, Illinois, when it rained four days out of five, making it impossible to work the dig. Even on the day it didn't rain, the ground was too wet to go to the site. At least the town didn't flood. (A real possibility, given the town's location on the Illinois River flood plain.)

Still, it's April, and that's sort of the deal, right? May flowers right around the corner, I hope.
 
Tags: current events, environment, halcyon days of yore, illinois: kampsville, weather, wisconsin: camp freeland leslie, wisconsin: madison
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